Lahu language

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Lahu
Ladhof
Native to Yunnan, China; Thailand; Laos; Myanmar
Ethnicity Lahu
Native speakers
600,000 (2007–2012)[1]
Latin script
Official status
Official language in
Lancang Lahu Autonomous County, Yunnan
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
lhu – Lahu
lhi – Lahu Shi
lkc – Kucong
Glottolog laho1234[2]

Lahu (autonym: Ladhof [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.[3] 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.[4]

Dialects[edit]

Matisoff (2006)[edit]

A few dialects are noted, which are each known by a variety of names:[5]

  • 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[6][7]
  • Lahu Nyi (Red Lahu, Southern Lahu, Musseh Daeng, Luhishi, Luhushi), Shehleh
  • Lahu Shehleh

Pham (2013)[edit]

Phạm Huy (2013:13) lists the following 3 branches.

  • La Hủ Phu (White Lahu): only found in Lüchun County, Yunnan, China
  • La Hủ Năk (Black Lahu)
  • La Hủ Nê Thu

Yunnan (1998)[edit]

Yunnan (1998:280)[8] lists 5 Lahu dialects.

  • Lancang (standard) dialect 澜沧标准音区片 (in most of Lancang, Ximeng, Menglian, Cangyuan, and Shuangjiang counties)
  • Nanmei dialect 南美土语群片 (in Nanmei Township 南美乡, Lincang County; Gengma County, and other nearby areas)
  • Mojiang dialect 墨江土语群片 (in Pu'er, Simao, Mojiang, Xinping counties, etc.; Lahu Shi)
  • Menghai dialect 勐海土语群片 (in Menghai, Jinghong, Mengla, Lancang counties (in Jiujing 酒井, Yakou 雅口, Qianliu 谦六 townships, etc.); Lahu Shi)
  • Jinping-Lvchun dialect 金绿土语群片 (in Jinping and Lvchun counties)

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.[9] Black Lahu is the standard dialect in China,[3] as well as the lingua franca among different groups of Lahu in Thailand.[4] However, it is intelligible to speakers of Yellow Lahu only with some difficulty.[3]

Bradley (1979)[edit]

Based on the numbers of shared lexical items, Bradley (1979) classifies the Lahu dialects as follows:[10]

Common Lahu
  • Black Lahu
    • Shehleh
    • (Core)
      • Black Lahu proper
      • Red Lahu
  • Yellow Lahu
    • Bakeo
    • Banlan

Lama (2012)[edit]

Lama (2012) gives the following tentative classification for what he calls Lahoid.

Lahoid
  • Lahu-Xi (Yellow Lahu)
  • (Black Lahu cluster)
    • Lahu-Na (Black Lahu)
    • Lahu-Ni (Red Lahu)
    • Lahu-Pu (White Lahu)
    • Lahu-Shehleh

Jin (2007)[edit]

Jin Youjing (2007)[11] classifies the Lahu dialects as follows.

  • Lahu Na 拉祜纳 (Black Lahu 黑拉祜): about 80% of all Lahu
    • Xiananxian 下南现 (Nanling Township 南岭乡) dialect
    • Dongkahe 东卡河 (Laba Township 拉巴乡) dialect
  • Lahu Xi 拉祜西 (Yellow Lahu 黄拉祜): about 20% of all Lahu
    • Northern dialect: Donghe 东河, Xincheng 新城, Qianliu 谦六, Wendong 文东, Fudong 富东, and Dashan 大山 townships
    • Central dialect: Yakou 雅口, Qianmai 谦迈, and Yingpan 营盘 townships
    • Southern dialect: Southern Nuofu 糯福(南), Northern Nuofu 糯福(北), and Huimin 惠民 townships
  • Lahu Alai 拉祜阿莱: located in Alai Dazhai 阿莱大寨, Fubang Township 富邦乡, Lancang County and a few other nearby villages
  • Kucong 苦聪: located in Jinping, Lvchun, Zhenyuan, and other counties

Jin Youjing (1992)[12] covers Lahu linguistic geography and dialectology in detail.

Sound changes[edit]

Lama (2012) lists the following sound changes from Proto-Loloish as Lahu innovations.

  • *s-l- > x-
  • *z- > ʣ-
  • *ŋ- > x-

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Lahu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Lahu Shi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Kucong at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Lahoid". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ a b c Gordon 2005, Lahu
  4. ^ a b Reh 2005
  5. ^ Matisoff 2006, p. xiii
  6. ^ Lahuyu Jianzhi 拉祜语简志 (1986)
  7. ^ http://www.ynszxc.gov.cn/villagePage/vIndex.aspx?departmentid=111373
  8. ^ Yunnan Gazetteer Commission [云南省地方志编纂委员会] (ed). 1998. Yunnan Provincial Gazetteer, Vol. 59: Minority Languages Orthographies Gazetteer [云南省志. 卷五十九, 少数民族语言文字志]. Kunming: Yunnan People's Press [云南人民出版社].
  9. ^ Bradley 1979, p. 41
  10. ^ Bradley 1979, p. 159
  11. ^ Jin Youjing [金有景]. 2007. "Guanyu Lahuyu de fangyan" [关于拉祜语的方言]. Minzu Yuwen 民族语文 2007:3.
  12. ^ Jin Youjing 金有景, et. al. 1992. 中国拉祜语方言地图集 = Cokawr Ladhof khawd fayer diqthurcir = the linguistic atlas of Lahu in China. Tianjin: Tianjin she hui ke xue yuan chu ban she 天津社会科学出版社.

Sources[edit]

  • 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. 
  • Phạm Huy (1997). Một phần chân dung: dân tộc La Hủ (nhật ký điền dã). Lai Châu: Sở văn hóa thông tin Lai Châu.
  • Reh, Louis (August 2005). "Silenced Minorities". The Irrawaddy. Archived from the original on 2006-01-27. Retrieved 2006-12-29. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]