Kuy language

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Native toThailand, Laos, Cambodia
Native speakers
ca. 450,000 (2005–2006)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
kdt – Kuy (Kuay)
nyl – Nyeu (Yoe)

Kuy, also known as Kui or Kuay (Thai: ภาษากูย; Khmer: ភាសាកួយ), is a Katuic language, part of the larger Austroasiatic family spoken by the Kuy people of Southeast Asia.

Kuy is one of the Katuic languages within the Austroasiatic family. It is spoken in Isan, Thailand by about 300,000 people, in Salavan, Savannakhet and Sekong Provinces of Laos by about 64,000; and in Preah Vihear, Stung Treng and Kampong Thom Provinces of northern Cambodia by 15,500 people.


Spelling variants and varieties include the following (Sidwell 2005:11).

  • Kui
  • Kuy
  • Kuay
  • Koay
  • Souei. The term "Souei" is also applied to other groups, such as a Pearic community in Cambodia.
  • Soai
  • Yeu
  • Nanhang
  • Kouy. A textbook in French is published for this variant (Parlons Kouy).


Van der haak & Woykos (1987-1988) identified two major Kui varieties in Surin and Sisaket provinces of eastern Thailand, Kuuy and Kuay. Van der haak & Woykos also identified the following divergent Kui varieties in Sisaket Province, Thailand.[3]

Mann & Markowski (2005) reported the following four Kuy dialects spoken in north-central Cambodia.

A variety of Kui/Kuy called Nyeu (ɲə) is spoken in the villages of Ban Phon Kho, Ban Khamin, Ban Nonkat, Ban Phon Palat, and Ban Prasat Nyeu in Sisaket Province, Thailand.[4] The Nyeu of Ban Phon Kho claim that their ancestors had migrated from Muang Khong, Amphoe Rasisalai, Sisaket Province.

In Buriram Province, Kuy is spoken in the 4 districts of Nong Ki, Prakhon Chai, Lam Plai Mat, and Nong Hong (Sa-ing Sangmeen 1992:14).[5] Within Nong Ki District, Kuy villages are located in the southern part of Yoei Prasat (เย้ยปราสาท) Subdistrict and in the western part of Mueang Phai (เมืองไผ่) Subdistrict (Sa-ing Sangmeen 1992:16).


The following list of Kuy village locations in Sisaket Province is from Van der haak & Woykos (1987-1988:129). Asterisks (placed before village names) denote ethnically mixed villages, in which ethnic Kuy reside with ethnic Lao or Khmer.

Kui Nhə[edit]

  • Mueang District เมือง
    • Tambon Phonkho โพนค้อ: Phonkho โพนค้อ, Nong, Yanang, Klang, Non
    • Tambon Thum ทุ่ม: Khamin
  • Phayu District พยุห์
    • Tambon Phayu พยุห์: *Nongthum
    • Tambon Phromsawat พรหมสวัสดิ์: Samrong, Khothaw
    • Tambon Nongphek โนนเพ็ก: *Khokphek โคกเพ็ก
  • Phraibung District ไพรบึง
    • Tambon Prasatyae ปราสาทเยอ: Prasatyaenua ปราสาทเยอเหนือ, Prasatyaetai ปราสาทเยอใต้, Khawaw, Phonpalat, Cangun
  • Rasisalai District ราษีไศล
    • Tambon Mueangkhong เมืองคง: Yai ใหญ่
  • Sila Lat District ศิลาลาด
    • Tambon Kung กุง: Kung กุง, Muangkaw เมืองเก่า, *Chok

Kui Nthaw/M'ai[edit]

All Kui Nthaw/M'ai live in mixed villages.

  • Rasisalai District ราษีไศล
    • Tambon Nong Ing หนองอึ่ง: *Tongton, *Huai Yai ห้วยใหญ่, *Dnmuang, *Kokeow, *Hang
  • Uthumphornphisai District อุทุมพรพิสัย
    • Tambon Khaem แขม: *Phanong, *Sangthong, *Sawai, *Nongphae, *Phae
  • Pho Si Suwan District โพธิ์ศรีสุวรรณ
    • Tambon Naengma หนองม้า: *Nongma หนองม้า, *Songhong, *Songleng, *Nongphae

Kuay Prue Yai[edit]

  • Khukhan District ขุขันธ์
    • Tambon Prueyai ปรือใหญ่: Preu Yai, Makham, Pruekhan, and village no.12

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kuy (Kuay) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Nyeu (Yoe) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Kuy–Souei". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Van der haak, F. and Woykos, B. (1987-1988). "Kui dialect survey in Surin and Sisaket", in The Mon-Khmer Studies Journal, vol. 16-17, pp. 109–142. http://sealang.net/sala/archives/pdf8/vanderhaak1987-1988kui.pdf
  4. ^ Taweeporn Suwannaraj. 1980. The phonology of the Nyeu language. MA thesis, Mahidol University.
  5. ^ Sa-ing Sangmeen. 1992. The Kooy language of Tambon Yoeyprasat, Amphoe Nongki, Burirum. M.A. dissertation. Nakhon Pathom: Silpakorn University.