The Lao Language and Lao People
Khampha Sidavong*, Ph.D.

Manchester, Connecticut

According to the and Maha Sila Viravong's documentation on the early history of Laos: In the seventh century, a northwesterly migration of Tais from their region of origin in northwestern Tonkin brought to the Ta-li region in what is present-day Yunnan, China, a successor state to the Ai Lao kingdom. This new kingdom, Nan-Chao, expanded its power by controlling major trading routes. Culturally, this polytechnic, hierarchical, and militarized state was to have a great influence on later societies in Indochina, transmitting the Tantric (Hindu Sansakrit, Pali) Buddhism of Bengal to Laos, Thailand, the Shan state, and possible Cambodia, the political ideology of the maharaja (protector of Buddhism). Both findings are similar to each other but no one yet can determine how our ancestors acquired the ability to speak.

The linguistic origin of the Lao language is divided into two periods.

1. The first Linguistic period have its roots in the Buddhism script which used the Pali and Sanskrit languages and originated in India about two thousand five hundred forty eight years and seven months ago (2,549 years since Buddha's passing), during the reign of King Asoka Maharaza. The King reformed the Buddhism official doctrine and language. After the reform, the King appointed two monks: Phra Sona and Phra Outhara their task was to spread the Buddhism Doctrine throughout central and South East Asia which makes up the Laos territory in Nongsae and current Laos or Souvannaphom pateth.

2. The second Lao Linguistic period have its origins in the Cambodian Buddhism which also used Pali and Sanskrit languages, during the reign of King Fagnum Maharaz who returned to Laos establishing the Lanexang kingdom in 1349.

The Laotian Language Elite Committee of the Royal Lao Government from 1953-1975 passed solution order # 10 to change the original 41 characters to 27 and created new 6 compound characters.

The current Lao PDR government reduced the original Lao alphabet from 27 characters to 26 characters. The full report is included on the hand out.

The first Lao Lanexang Kingdom Dictionary was written in June 7, 2004 and completed on December 31, 2004. This Dictionary will contain the meaning and root

President: New England Arch, Inc. and Sidavong and Associates
Founder: "The Free International Economic Trade Zone" between border of Laos, Thailand and Cambodia namely "The Emerald Triangle Project"