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Kri language

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Title: Kri language  
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Subject: Austroasiatic languages, Vietic languages, Minriq language, Phai language, Tariang language
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Kri language

Native to Laos or Vietnam
Native speakers
250  (2009)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Linguist list
pkt-kha [1]

Kri (Krìì) is a recently described Vietic language. Kri speakers live in the Upper Ñrong (Nam Noy) valley of Khammouane Province, Laos, as well as other locations within the Nakai-Nam Theun Biodiversity Conservation Area. It is mutually intelligible with Pròòngq, which is spoken in several villages downstream from the Kri (Enfield & Diffloth 2009).

The Kri call themselves mleeng Kri, and their language meengq Kri. They are swidden cultivators who move every 2–3 years among pre-existing village sites (Chamberlain 1998).[2] Houses are torn down after the death of a household member, and the housing materials are then used to construct a new house in a different location. Other than the Kri language, many adults, especially men, are also fluent in Vietnamese, Saek, Bru, and Lao.



The consonants in Kri are:

Labial Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop [p] [t] [ʈʂ] [c] [k] [ʔ]
aspirated [pʰ] [tʰ] [ʈʂʰ] [kʰ]
voiced [ɓ] [ɗ] [ʄ ]
Fricative [s] [ɣ] [h]
Nasal [m] [n] [ɲ] [ŋ]
Approximant [w] [l] , [r~ʐ] [j~ʝ]


These are the consonants that may come at the end of a syllable in Kri:
Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar
Checked [pˀ] [tˀ] [kˀ]
Nasal [m] [n] [ɲ] [ŋ]
Oral [w] [l] , [r] [j] Vowel

Do note that they are all contrastive, and that vowels, nasal consonants, and oral consonants may have checked endings. The Oral endings also may become voiceless.


Kri has a few morphological features, less than Khmu but more than Vietnamese.

Causative Infix

The -a- infix may be inserted into words with two initial consonants, between them. This infix turns intransitive verb into a transitive verb, adding an agent. It can also turn a noun into a verb. Here are some examples:

praang - to cross over
paraang - to take someone across.

slôôj- to be washed away by running water
salôôj- to discard into flowing water, to let something be washed away.

kleeh- to fall off
kaleeh- to pick off

blang- of the eyes, to become open (like a young dog's)
balang- to open one's eyes

ckaang- a hand span
cakaang- to measure something by hand spans

Nominalising Infix

The -rn- infix is placed after a single initial consonant. This infix makes a noun from a verb:

sat- to get one's foot stuck
srnat- a foothold

koq- to live
krnoq- a house

This shortens to -r- when between consonants:

kadôôlq- to rest the head on something
krdôôlq- a pillow



  1. ^ Names/varieties are listed as Kha Phong, Maleng Kari, Maleng Bro, Kha Nam Om, Phong, Phòòngq
  2. ^ Chamberlain, J.R. 1998, "The origin of Sek: implications for Tai and Vietnamese history", in The International Conference on Tai Studies, ed. S. Burusphat, Bangkok, Thailand, pp. 97-128. Institute of Language and Culture for Rural Development, Mahidol University.
  3. ^

External links

  • The Kri language
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