Southern Luo language

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Southern Luo
RegionUganda and adjoining areas
Native speakers
8.8 million (2001–2009)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2luo
ISO 639-3Variously:
adh – Adhola
kdi – Kumam
luo – Dholuo (Kavirondo Luo)
alz – Alur
laj – Lango
ach – Acholi

Southern Luo is a dialect cluster of Uganda and neighboring countries. Although Southern Luo dialects are mutually intelligible, there are six ethnically and culturally distinct varieties which are considered to be separate languages socially.

Proto-Southern Luo has been reconstructed by Blount & Curley (1970).[3]


  • Adhola (Uganda)
  • Kumam (Uganda)
  • Luo–Acholi
    • Dholuo (Kavirondo Luo) (Kenya, Tanzania)
    • Alur–Acholi
      • Alur (Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo)
      • Lango–Acholi


  1. ^ Adhola at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Kumam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Dholuo (Kavirondo Luo) at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Alur at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Lango at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Acholi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Southern Lwoo". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Blount, Ben and Curley, Richard T. 1970. The Southern Luo Languages: A Glottochronological Reconstruction. Journal of African Languages 9: 1-18.