Lahu

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Kaixien, Kucong, Kutsong, Lahuna, Laku, Lohei, Moso, Muhso, Mussar, Musso, Mussuh, Namen
Population

280,000 in China (Bradley 2007). Population total all countries: 530,350.

Location

Southwest Yunnan Province, Simao prefecture, Lancang Lahu, Menglian Dai, Lahu, and Va autonomous counties; Lincang prefecture, Gengma Dai, and Va autonomous counties. Also in Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam.

Language Status

4 (Educational).

Dialects

Na (Black Lahu, Lohei, Musser Dam, Northern Lahu), Nyi (Musse Daeng, Red Lahu, Southern Lahu), Shehleh. Standard dialect: Na. Black Lahu dialect and Lahu Shi [lhi] have difficult intelligibility. Lahu Shi and Kucong Lahupu (White Lahu dialect, in Zhenyuan County, China) are distinct.

Typology

SOV; Lü [khb] and Hani [hni] loanwords

Language Use

Vigorous. Some speakers of other languages use Lahu as L2 for commerce. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. 20%–30% also use Chinese fluently, 50%–60% use simple Chinese, 10% can understand but not speak it. 1,000 also use Lü [khb], Hani [hni], Plang [blr], or Wa [wbm].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 63%. Literacy rate in L2: Low in Chinese. Taught in primary schools. Newspapers. Radio programs. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1989.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

Officially classified within Lahu nationality. Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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