A language of Thailand

Alternate Names
Chao Dong, Chaodon, Lawa, Niakuol, Niakuoll, Nyah Kur, Nyakur, “Chaobon” (pej.), “Chaobun” (pej.), “Chaubun” (pej.)
ญัฮกุ้ร‎ (Nyah Kur), เนียะกวล‎ (Niakuol)

1,500 (2006 C. Shimmin), decreasing. No monolinguals. It appears the last monolingual speakers likely died out no later than the 1950s (2017 C. Shimmin). Ethnic population: 3,000 (Thongkum 1984).


Bueng Kan, Chaiyaphum, Kalasin, Nakhon Ratchasima, Phetchabun, Phitsanulok, and Sakon Nakhon provinces; Possibly in Khorat province.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).


Chaiyaphum users say they understand Petchabun only with difficulty, if at all. At least 91% lexical similarity among all dialects (Diffloth 1984).



Language Use

Few children can speak Nyah Kur. Nearly extinct in Petchabun and Nakhon Ratchasima provinces (2007 SIL). Home. Adults only. Mixed attitudes. Some have strong identity links to their language, others prefer to identify themselves as Thai (2002 P. Suwilai, 2007 SIL). All also use Thai [tha] (Statezni et al 2007). Some also use Northeastern Thai [tts] (Statezni et al 2007). Also use Lao [lao].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 75%. Most men and the younger generation are literate in Thai [tha]. Literacy in Thai transfers easily to Nyah Kur. Dictionary. Bible portions: 1996.


Thai script [Thai].

Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian, traditional religion.

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