Thai, Northern

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A language of Thailand

Alternate Names
Kam Mu’ang, Kammyang, Kammüang, Khon, Khon Mueang, Khon Myang, Khonmuang, La Nya, Lan Na, Lanatai, Lanna, Mu’ang, Mueang, Mung, Myang, Payap, Phayap, Phyap, Tai Nya, Western Laotian, “Tai Yon” (pej.), “Tai Yuan” (pej.), “Yuan” (pej.)
Autonym
คำเมือง‎ (Kam Mueang)
Population

6,000,000 (1983 SIL). Total users in all countries: 6,029,500.

Location

Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaeng Phet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Phayao, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, Uttaradit provinces.

Language Maps
Language Status

3 (Wider communication). De facto language of provincial identity in northern provinces. Northern Thai is used as a language of wider communication among many of the tribal groups in Northern Thailand (Herington et al 2013).

Dialects

Nan, Bandu, Tai Wang. Nan dialect is more distinct.

Typology

20 consonants, 21 vowels.

Language Use

Most use Northern Thai in the home. All ages. Positive attitudes. Some also use Thai [tha]. Used as L2 by Bisu [bzi], Eastern Lawa [lwl], Iu Mien [ium], Lü [khb], Mlabri [mra], Mpi [mpz], Phrae Pwo Karen [kjt], Prai [prt], Tai Ya [cuu], Western Lawa [lcp], Yong [yno].

Language Development
Newspapers. Dictionary. NT: 1914–2017.
Writing

Tai Tham (Lanna) script [Lana], limited usage. Thai script [Thai].

Other Comments

Yuan is their term for Vietnamese. The name ‘Phyap’ (Phayap) is Sanskrit, north. Buddhist.

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