Lavi language

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Native to Laos
Native speakers
500 (1999)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog lawi1235[2]

Lavi (Lawi; autonym: Swoeng or səlwəŋ) is a Mon–Khmer language of the Bahnaric branch spoken in Sekong Province, Laos. Chazée (1999:95) estimates the population at 500, while the 1995 Laotian census places the Lavi population at 538.

The Lavi language was discovered by Thai linguist Therapan L-Thongkum in the late 1990s. Within the West Bahnaric branch, it is the most divergent language (Sidwell 2003). Lavi speakers reside in the village Ban Lavi (also called Ban Fandeng), which is about 8 km south of the city of Sekong.


  1. ^ Chazée 1999
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Lawi". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 

Further Reading[edit]

  • Bradley, David (2007). Languages of Mainland South-East Asia. In The Vanishing Languages of the Pacific Rim. Oxford University Press. Oxford and New York. p.317.
  • Sidwell, Paul (2003). A Handbook of comparative Bahnaric, Vol. 1: West Bahnaric. Pacific Linguistics, 551. Canberra: Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, Australian National University.