Phutai Language

A comparative study of the Phutai in Thailand and Laos P.D.R.


Thai-Lao-Phutai-Taidam wordlist


     The Thai-Lao-Phutai-Taidam wordlist below was make by Asger Mollerup in 1998 when studying comparative linguistics as a part of his preparations for the Thai-Isan-Lao Phrasebook (White Lotus, 2000).
     The main reason for the list was to compare Phutai and Tai Dam in order to see how closely the two languages were related. The author tentatively concluded that Phutai and Tai Dam are two different but related languages. Phutai has no diphthongs (combined vowels), Tam Dam has (e.g. 'wife', 'cow', and 'boat'). Both languages tend to elude final-k after a long vowel (e.g. 'child'). Tonal systems were not compared.
     The Phutai groups in NE-Thailand (Isan) were re-settled from southern Laos in the middle of the 19th century. At some unknown time in history they migrated southwards from an original habitat, probably Sip Song Chu Tai in NW-Vietnam, which still hosts Tai Dam groups.

12 August 2007

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