Phu Thai language

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Phu Thai
Phu Thai
Native to Thailand, Laos and Vietnam
Native speakers
870,000 (2002–2006)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 pht
Glottolog phut1244[2]

Phu Thai (Phuu Thai; Thai: Phasa Phuthai, ภาษาผู้ไท or ภูไท) is a Thai language closely related to Tai Dam and Tai Dón, it is less closely related to the Isan and the Lao languages. It may be the same as Tay Khang.[1]


Speakers of the Phu Thai language in Thailand numbered about 156,000 in 1993. They can be found mainly in the areas around Khamcha-i District, Nakhon Phanom, Ubon Ratchathani, Kalasin and Sakon Nakhon. Phu Thai speakers live as well in the Khammouane, Savannakhet, Saravan, and Champassak provinces of Laos, northern areas of Vietnam, and possibly also in China.

There is little dialect differentiation.

Tai Gapong or Tai Kapong found in the Nape district of Ban Nahuong, Bolikhamsai Province, Laos speak a slightly different dialect.[3]


Despite its rich heritage, and regional use, in Thailand this language group is increasingly becoming integrated into the mainstream Isan language.


  1. ^ a b Phu Thai at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Phu Thai". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  3. ^ Schliesinger, Joachim. 2003. Ethnic Groups of Laos. 2 vols. Bangkok: White Lotus Press.

Further reading[edit]

  • Khanitthānan, Wilaiwan. 1977. Phāsā Phū Thai. Krung Thēp Mahā Nakhō̜n: Rōngphim Mahāwitthāyālai Thammasāt, 2520.
  • Pacquement, Jean. 2015. Languages in contact: the case for Phu Thai. Presentation at SEALS 25. Payap University. Chiang Mai.

External links[edit]