Khmu

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A language of Laos

Alternate Names
Kamhmu, Kammu, Kamu, Khamu, Khamuk, Khmu’, Khomu, Kmhmu, Lao Kang, Lao Terng, Mou, Pouteng, Pu Thenh, Tenh, Theng
Autonym
ກຶມຫມຸ‎ (Kmhmu’)
Population

708,000 in Laos (2015 census). Based on ethnicity. Total users in all countries: 798,250.

Location

Scattered in the north.

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

Yuan, Khroong (Krong, Kroong), Luang Prabang, Sayabury, Cwaa (Lii, Lyy), Rok, U (Eastern Khmu, Uu), Hat. Dialects are grouped into three: Northern Khmu (Cwaa and Yuan), Western Khmu (Khroong and Rok), and Eastern Khmu (Svantesson and Holmer 2015).

Typology

SVO.

Language Use

Vigorous. Used by all. Mixed attitudes. Many also use Lao [lao], especially under the age of 40. Used as L2 by Samtao [stu].

Language Development
Radio. TV. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1918–2006.
Writing

Duota script [Qaaf], used in a small collection of villages well away from the rest of the language group, also used in China. Lao script [Laoo]. Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion.

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