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A language of China

ISO 639-3khb

Population  280,000 in China (2000 census). 50% monolingual. Population total all countries: 701,960.
Region  South Yunnan, Jinghong (Chiang Hung, Chien Rung), Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, west of Lixianjiang (Black) River. Also in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam.
Language map  Southwestern China
Alternate names   Dai, Dai Le, Lu, Lue, Ly, Pai’i’, Pai-I, Shui-Pai-I, Sipsongpanna Dai, Tai Lu, Xishuangbanna Dai
Dialects  Mu’ang Yong and dialects in the Lanna area may converge phonologically with Northern Thai [nod] (Diller and Juntanamalaga 1990). Low intelligibility with Shan [shn] (Dehong). Different from Tai Nüa [tdd], each having their own traditions. Most closely related to Khun [kkh]. Lexical similarity: 88% with Northern Thai, 74% with Central Thai [tha].
Classification  Tai-Kadai, Kam-Tai, Be-Tai, Tai-Sek, Tai, Southwestern, Northwest
Language use  Official regional language. Vigorous. Some speakers of other languages use Lü as L2 for trade. All domains. All ages. Positive attitude. Also use Chinese [cmn] or Jingpho [kac]. Some schools only teach in Chinese.
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 84%. Taught in primary and secondary schools. Magazines. Newspapers. Radio programs. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1933.
Writing system  Lanna (Tai Tham) script. Lao script. Latin script. New Tai Lue script. Tai Le script. Thai script.
Comments  Classified as Dai nationality. SVO; modifiers follow noun heads. Agriculturalists: wet rice; merchants; small businessmen. Traditional religion, Buddhist.

Also spoken in:


Language name  
Population  134,000 in Laos (2000).
Region  West Phongsali, Luang Namtha, Bokeo, Udomxay, Xanyabouli, Luang Prabang provinces.
Language map  Laos, reference number 35
Alternate names  Lu, Lue, Pai-I, Shui-Pai-I
Comments  Traditional religion, Buddhist.


Language name  
Population  200,000 in Myanmar (1981).
Region  Kengtung District of Shan state.
Alternate names  Lue, Pai-I, Shu-Ai-I, Tai Lu
Comments  Traditional religion, Buddhist.


Language name  
Population  83,000 in Thailand (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001).
Region  Widespread in the north; Chiangrai, Payao, Lamphun, Nan, Chiang Kham.
Language map  Northern Thailand, reference number 19
Alternate names  Lu, Lue, Pai-I, Pai-Yi, Shui-Pai-I, Tai Lu, Tai Lue, Thai Lu
Language use  All domains. All ages. Positive attitude. Also use Central [tha] or Northern Thai [nod].
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 1%–5%. Literacy rate in L2: 50%–75%.
Comments  Agriculturalists: wet rice; fishermen. Traditional religion, Buddhist.

Viet Nam

Language name  
Population  4,960 in Viet Nam (1999 census).
Region  North, Lai Chau Province, Binh Lu area.
Language map  Northwestern Viet Nam, reference number 52
Alternate names  Duon, Lue, Nhuon, Pai-I, Shui-Pai-I, Tai Lu
Comments  An official nationality. Traditional religion, Buddhist.