Fraser Script


Fraser characters compared to Latin1
Latin A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z . , .. ., ; : -. =


Lisu initial consonants1910
labial alveolar alveolar
retroflex palatal velar glottal
plosive tenuis /p/ ⟨b⟩ /t/ ⟨d⟩ /ts/ ⟨z⟩ /tʂ/ ⟨zh⟩ /tɕ/ ꓚꓬ ⟨j⟩ /k/ ⟨g⟩ /ʔ/a
aspirated /pʰ/ ⟨p⟩ /tʰ/ ⟨t⟩ /tsʰ/ ⟨c⟩ /tʂʰ/ ⟨ch⟩ /tɕʰ/ ꓛꓬ ⟨q⟩ /kʰ/ ⟨k⟩
voiced /b/ ⟨bb⟩ /d/ ⟨dd⟩ /dz/ ⟨zz⟩ /dʐ/ ⟨rr⟩ /dʑ/ ꓙꓬ ⟨jj⟩ /g/ ⟨gg⟩
continuant voiceless /f/ ⟨f⟩ /s/ ⟨s⟩ /ʂ/ ⟨sh⟩ /ɕ/ ꓫꓬ ⟨x⟩ /x/ ⟨h⟩ /h/ ⟨h⟩
voiced /w, v/ ⟨w, v⟩ /l/ ⟨l⟩ /z/ ⟨ss⟩ /ʐ/ ⟨r⟩ /ʑ, j/ ⟨y, e⟩ /ɣ/ ⟨e⟩b
nasal /m/ ⟨m⟩ /n/ ⟨n⟩ /ɲ/ ꓠꓬ ⟨ni⟩ /ŋ/ ⟨ng⟩ /h̃/ ⟨h⟩

Lisu final vowels19103
front back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
glide /j/ ⟨i⟩ /w/ ⟨u⟩
high /i, z̩/ ⟨i⟩ /y, ʐ̩/ ⟨u, i⟩ /ɯ/ ⟨e⟩ /u/ ⟨u⟩
mid /e/ ⟨ei⟩ /ø/ ⟨ei⟩ /ɤ/ ⟨e⟩ /o/ ⟨o⟩
low /ɛ/ ⟨ai⟩ /ɑ/ c ⟨a⟩
nasalization /˜/ ⟨n⟩d

Lisu tones1910
order pronunciation Fraser Latin
1st [55] ⟨l⟩
2nd [35] ⟨q⟩
3rd [44] (Ø)
4th [33] ⟨x⟩
5th [21] ⟨r⟩
6th [21ʔ] ⟨t⟩

James Fraser’s Lisu transcription7
Fraser ˍ e
Latin b p hp d t ht g k hk j ch hch dz ts hts m n l s r ng sh w y h hh v a á ye ē i, ï aw u ü rgh rgha rghe (a) ʼ ¹ ² ³


Consonants: , , , [d] , [ɖ] , [tʰ] , [g] , [k] , [kʰ] , , [tɕʰ] , , , , , [m] , , , [s] , [z] , [h] , , , [w] , [ɕ] , [cʝ, j] , 𑾰

Vowels: , [a] , [e] , [ɤ] , [i] , [ø] , [u, v̩] , [ɤ] , , [ɯ] , 2.718


  1. Unwritten implicit initial consonant when syllable begins with a vowel
  2. Unwritten if before /ɯ/ or /ɤ/
  3. Unwritten implicit final vowel, only written if syllable does not begin with a consonant. The common suffix /ɑ/ is instead written as “ˍ”.
  4. Initial consonant /h̃/ always causes nasalization, nasalization may also otherwise occur. In the Fraser script nasalization may be written as “ ʼ ”.
  5. Nasalization


  1. Unicode Character Code Charts.
    1. “Lisu.”
    2. “Lisu Supplement.”
  2. WG2 Document Registry, Unicode® Technical Committee Document Registry,,
    1. Proposal for encoding the Old Lisu script in the BMP of the UCS. China.
      1. 2007-09-13, N3317R,
      2. 2007-10-10, N3317R2, L2/07-357,
    2. Michael Everson. Towards an encoding of the Fraser script in the UCS. 2007-09-11, N3323, L2/07-297,,
    3. Richard Cook. Fraser’s Lisu orthography: Research notes toward a Unicode encoding. 2007-09-15, N3326, L2/07-294,,
    4. Documentation on legacy encodings of the Old Lisu script. China, 2007-12-29, L2/07-423,
    5. Proposal for encoding the Lisu script in the BMP of the UCS. China.
      1. 2008-01-28, L2/08-019,
      2. 2008-04-22, N3424R, L2/08-019R,
    6. M. Hosken. Discussion and proposal of default Lisu sort order. 2009-07-10, L2/09-247,
    7. Lorna Priest Evans, Neil Rees. Proposal to encode LISU LETTER YHA in the UCS.
      1. 2018-12-14, L2/18-338,
      2. 2019-01-08, N5025, L2/18-338R,,
      3. 2019-01-16, L2/18-338R2,
  3. The Unicode® Standard: Version 15.0 – Core Specification. September 2022,
    1. “Lisu.” pp. 782–784,
  4. Lisu (Fraser) [Lisu]. ScriptSource, SIL International,
  5. Romanization systems used in the Place Names Database (KNAB). Institute of the Estonian Language,
    1. “Lisu.” 2012-10-18,
  6. Noto Lisu. Google,
  7. J. O. Fraser. Handbook of the Lisu (Yawyin) Language. Rangoon, Superintendent, Government Printing, Burma, 1922,,
    1. George A. Grierson. “[Review].” The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, April 1923, No. 2, pp. 284–288,
  8. E.R. Hope. “Lisu.” Phonemes and Orthography: Language Planning in Ten Minority Languages of Thailand, ed. William A. Smalley, Pacific Linguistics, Series C-43, Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University, 1976, pp. 125–148,,
  9. David Bradley. Proto-Loloish. Scandinavian Institute of Asian Studies Monograph Series No. 39, Curzon Press, 1979,
  10. David Bradley. A Dictionary of the Northern Dialect of Lisu (China and Southeast Asia). Pacific Linguistics, Series C-126, Department of Linguistics, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University, 1994,,
    1. Zev Handel. “Review of A Dictionary of the Northern Dialect of Lisu (China and Southeast Asia).” Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Volume 17.1, Spring 1994, pp. 141–154,
  11. David Bradley, Maya Bradley. “Standardisation of Transnational Minority Languages in Asia: Lisu and Lahu.” Bulletin suisse de linguistique appliquée, 69/1, June 1999, VALS-ASLA, pp. 75–93,,
  12. David L. Morse, Thomas M. Tehan. “How Do You Write Lisu?” Endangered Languages and Literacy: Proceedings of the Foundation for Endangered Languages conference, Charlotte, North Carolina, 21-24 September 2000,
  13. Zev Handel. “Proto-Lolo-Burmese Velar Clusters and the Origin of Lisu Palatal Sibilants.” Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Volume 25.1, Spring 2002, pp. 95–112,
  14. David Bradley. “Lisu.” The Sino-Tibetan Languages, Edited by Graham Thurgood and Randy J. LaPolla, 2003, Routledge, pp. 222–235,
  15. David Bradley, Edward Reginald Hope, James Fish, Maya Bradley. Southern Lisu Dictionary. STEDT Monograph Series, No. 4, Sino-Tibetan Etymological Dictionary and Thesaurus Project, Center for Southeast Asia Studies, University of California, Berkeley, 2006,,
    1. Thomas M. Tehan, William J. Hanna. “Book Review: Southern Lisu Dictionary, By David Bradley.” Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area, Volume 34.1, April 2011, pp. 151–156,
  16. David Bradley. “Lisu orthographies and email.” Lesser-Known Languages of South Asia: Status and Policies, Case Studies and Applications of Information Technology, 2006, pp. 125–136,
  17. David Bradley. “Lisu.” Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, 2012,
  18. Duncan Poupard. “The Lady of Lijiang: Contextualising a Forgotten Missionary Translator of Southwest China.” Bulletin of the John Rylands Library, Volume 94, No. 2, Autumn 2018, pp. 95–114,,,
  19. Marija Tabain, David Bradley, Defen Yu. “Central Lisu.” Journal of the International Phonetic Association, Volume 49, Issue 1, April 2019, pp. 129–147,