Thai, Northeastern

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A language of Thailand

Alternate Names
Esarn, Isaan, Isan, Issan, Thai Isaan
Population

15,000,000 (1983 SIL). At least 1,000,000 in Bangkok. Kalerng has a few thousand speakers (1990 A. Diller).

Location

Northeast; 33 provinces. Kalerng subdialect: Sakon Nakhon and Nakhon Phanom.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). De facto language of provincial identity in east, northeast provinces.

Dialects

Central Isan (Kalerng, Kaleung, Kaloeng), Korat, Northern Isan, Southern Isan. Korat dialect is quite different, and may be a separate language.

Typology

SVO.

Language Use

88% use Isan dialect in the home, 1% use Central Thai, 11% use both. Used as L2 by Kuy [kdt], Northern Khmer [kxm], Nyaw [nyw], Phu Thai [pht], Yoy [yoy].

Writing

Thai script [Thai].

Other Comments

Buddhist.