|Native to||Laos or Vietnam|
|250 (2009)|
|ISO 639-3||None (
Kri (Krìì) is a recently described Vietic language. Kri speakers live in the Upper Ñrong (Nam Noy) valley of Khammouane Province, Laos, as well as other locations within the Nakai-Nam Theun Biodiversity Conservation Area. It is mutually intelligible with Pròòngq, which is spoken in several villages downstream from the Kri (Enfield & Diffloth 2009).
The Kri call themselves mleeng Kri, and their language meengq Kri. They are swidden cultivators who move every 2–3 years among pre-existing village sites (Chamberlain 1998). Houses are torn down after the death of a household member, and the housing materials are then used to construct a new house in a different location. Other than the Kri language, many adults, especially men, are also fluent in Vietnamese, Saek, Bru, and Lao.
The consonants in Kri are:
Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal Stop [p] [t] [ʈʂ] [c] [k] [ʔ] aspirated [pʰ] [tʰ] [ʈʂʰ] [kʰ] voiced [ɓ] [ɗ] [ʄ ] Fricative [s] [ɣ] [h] Nasal [m] [n] [ɲ] [ŋ] Approximant [w] [l] , [r~ʐ] [j~ʝ]
These are the consonants that may come at the end of a syllable in Kri:
|Oral||[w]||[l] , [r]||[j]||Vowel|
Do note that they are all contrastive, and that vowels, nasal consonants, and oral consonants may have checked endings. The Oral endings also may become voiceless.
Kri has a few morphological features, less than Khmu but more than Vietnamese.
The -a- infix may be inserted into words with two initial consonants, between them. This infix turns intransitive verb into a transitive verb, adding an agent. It can also turn a noun into a verb. Here are some examples:
praang - to cross over
paraang - to take someone across.
slôôj- to be washed away by running water
salôôj- to discard into flowing water, to let something be washed away.
kleeh- to fall off
kaleeh- to pick off
blang- of the eyes, to become open (like a young dog's)
balang- to open one's eyes
ckaang- a hand span
cakaang- to measure something by hand spans
The -rn- infix is placed after a single initial consonant. This infix makes a noun from a verb:
sat- to get one's foot stuck
srnat- a foothold
koq- to live
krnoq- a house
This shortens to -r- when between consonants:
kadôôlq- to rest the head on something
krdôôlq- a pillow
- Names/varieties are listed as Kha Phong, Maleng Kari, Maleng Bro, Kha Nam Om, Phong, Phòòngq
- Chamberlain, J.R. 1998, "The origin of Sek: implications for Tai and Vietnamese history", in The International Conference on Tai Studies, ed. S. Burusphat, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 97-128. Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development, Mahidol University.
- Enfield, N.J.; Diffloth, Gérard (2009). "Phonology and sketch grammar of Kri, a Vietic language of Laos". Cahiers de Linguistique Asie Orientale 38 (1): 3–69. doi:10.1163/1960602809x00063.