|Native to||Yunnan, China; Thailand; Laos; Myanmar|
|Native speakers||730,000 (2007–2012)|
|Writing system||Latin script|
|Official language in||Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Yunnan|
lhu – Lahu
lhi – Lahu Shi
Lahu (autonym: lɑ˥˧xo˩) is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by the Lahu people of China, Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. It is widely used in China, both by Lahu people, and by other ethnic minorities in Yunnan, who use it as a lingua franca. However, the language is not widely used nor taught in any schools in Thailand, where many Lahu are in fact refugees and illegal immigrants, having crossed into Thailand from Myanmar.
A few dialects are noted, which are each known by a variety of names:
- Lahu Na (Black Lahu, Musser Dam, Northern Lahu, Loheirn)
- Lahu Shi (Yellow Lahu, Kutsung); the divergent la53 xu31 sɯ33 dialect is spoken in Nanduan 南段村 (Lahu: na31 tɔ35) Village, Nuofu Township 糯福乡, Lancang County, China
- Lahu Nyi (Red Lahu, Southern Lahu, Musseh Daeng, Luhishi, Luhushi), Shehleh
- Lahu Shehleh
Traditionally Lahu folk taxonomy splits the Lahu people into the two groups of Black Lahu and Yellow Lahu; Red Lahu and White Lahu are new dialect clusters originating in messianic movements within the past few centuries. Black Lahu is the standard dialect in China, as well as the lingua franca among different groups of Lahu in Thailand. However, it is intelligible to speakers of Yellow Lahu only with some difficulty.
Based on the numbers of shared lexical items, Bradley (1979) classifies the Lahu dialects as follows:
- Common Lahu
- Black Lahu
- Black Lahu proper
- Red Lahu
- Yellow Lahu
Lama (2012) gives the following tentative classification for what he calls Lahoid.
- Lahu-Xi (Yellow Lahu)
- (Black Lahu cluster)
- Lahu-Na (Black Lahu)
- Lahu-Ni (Red Lahu)
- Lahu-Pu (White Lahu)
Lama (2012) lists the following sound changes from Proto-Loloish as Lahu innovations.
- *s-l- > x-
- *z- > ʣ-
- *ŋ- > x-
- Bradley, David (1979). Lahu dialects. Oriental monograph series #23. Canberra: Faculty of Asian Studies, Australian National University. OCLC 6303582.
- Matisoff, James A. (2006). English-Lahu Lexicon. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-09855-2.
- Reh, Louis (August 2005). "Silenced Minorities". The Irrawaddy. Archived from the original on 2006-01-27. Retrieved 2006-12-29.
- Lee, Hyun-bok (2000). "라후어의 언어학적 연구 (A Linguistic Study of Lahu)". The Journal of Humanities (Seoul National University) 44. Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2006-12-28.
- Shi, Feng; Liu, Jing-rong (2006). "拉祜语的元音格局 (The Vowel Pattern of the Lahu Language)". Yunnan Nationalities University Journal (2). Retrieved 2006-12-27.
- Wang, Zhenghua (2004). "拉祜语共时音变研究 (On the Synchronic Phonetic Change of the Lahu Language)". Yunnan Nationalities University Journal (1). Retrieved 2006-12-27.
|Lahu test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|