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Until ca. 1950, the endonym Lolo was written with derogatory characters in Chinese, and for this reason has sometimes been avoided. Shafer (1966-1974) used the term "Burmic" for the Lolo-Burmese languages. The Chinese term is Mian-Yi, after the Chinese name for Burmese and one of several words for Tai, reassigned to replace Lolo by the Chinese government after 1950.
The position of Naxi (Moso) within the family is unclear, and it is often left as a third branch besides Loloish and Burmish. Lama (2012) considers it to be a branch of Loloish, while Guillaume Jacques has suggested that it is a Qiangic language.
The Pyu language that preceded Burmese in Burma is sometimes linked to the Lolo-Burmese family, but there is no good evidence for any particular classification, and it is best left unclassified within Sino-Tibetan.
Pai-lang, attested from the 3rd century, is Lolo-Burmese, perhaps Loloish.
Guillaume Jacques & Alexis Michaud (2011) argue for a Burmo-Qiangic branch with two primary subbranches, Na-Qiangic (i.e. Naxi-Qiangic) and Lolo-Burmese. Similarly, David Bradley (2008) also proposes an Eastern Tibeto-Burman branch that includes the two subbranches of Burmic (AKA Lolo-Burmese) and Qiangic.
Bradley (1997, quoted in Peiros 1997) gives the following classification for the Lolo-Burmese languages. In later publications, in place of Loloish, David Bradley instead uses the term Ngwi based on a conservative autonym in the Sanie language.
Lama (2012) recognizes 9 unambiguous coherent groups of Lolo-Burmese languages, whereas Bradley considers there to be 5 groups (Burmish, Southern Ngwi, Northern Ngwi, Southeastern Ngwi, and Central Ngwi).
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Huang, Bufan , ed. (1992). A Tibeto-Burman Lexicon (TBL) . Beijing: Minzu University Press .
Lama, Ziwo Qiu-Fuyuan (2012). Subgrouping of Nisoic (Yi) Languages (PhD thesis). University of Texas at Arlington. hdl:10106/11161.
Satterthwaite-Phillips, Damian. 2011. Phylogenetic inference of the Tibeto-Burman languages or On the usefulness of lexicostatistics (and "Megalo"-comparison) for the subgrouping of Tibeto-Burman. Ph.D. dissertation, Stanford University.
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