Lahu

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A language of China

Alternate Names
Black Lahu, Kaixien, Kucong, Kutsong, Lahu Na, Lahuna, Laku, Moso, Muhso, Muhsur, Mussar, Musser Dam, Musso, Mussur, Na, Namen, Northern Lahu, “Lohei” (pej.)
Autonym
Ladhof
Population

280,000 in China (Bradley 2007b). Ethnic population: 486,000 (2010 census). Includes Kucong [lkc], Lahu Shi [lhi], Lamu [llh], Laomian [lwm], and Lawu [lwu] (2010 census). Total users in all countries: 540,850.

Location

Yunnan province: Lincang prefecture, Gengma Dai, and Va autonomous counties; Simao prefecture, Lahu, Lancang Lahu, Menglian Dai, and Va autonomous counties.

Language Status

4 (Educational). Language of recognized nationality: Lahu.

Dialects

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; noun head initial; classifiers; dual number; aspect; causatives; 24 consonants and 9 vowels; tonal (7 tones).

Language Use

Vigorous. All domains. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Blang [blr], Hani [hni], Lü [khb], Mandarin Chinese [cmn], Vo Wa [wbm]. Used as L2 by Lahu Shi [lhi], Laomian [lwm], Sangkong [sgk], Shuhi [sxg], Vo Wa [wbm].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 63%. Literacy rate in L2: Low in Chinese. Taught in primary schools. Literature. Newspapers. Radio. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1989.
Writing

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian.

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