F.3    
 

Distribution of ethno-linguistic categories

   
 

Ethno-linguistic classification in international academic terms includes classification below the level of family. Thus each of the four main families contains a number of branches and subgroups that are recognised by specialists.

The map represents the ethnic classification broken down by branches. Lao-Tai is divided into Lao and Tai-Thay; Mon-Khmer is divided into Palaungic, Khmuic, Vietic, Katuic and Bahnaric; Hmong-Mien is divided into Hmong (Hmongic) and Mien (Mienic); and Sino-Tibetan (Tibeto-Burman) is not broken down because of its very small numbers. 

Also, in the far southwest district of Mounlapamok of Champasak province, there are several Khmer and Souay villages that are not differentiated from Bahnaric.These ten branches have considerable cultural relevance. For example, the Mienic branch of Hmong-Mien is comprised of two main subgroups, Lu Mien and Kim Moun, both of which are Taoists, while the Hmongic branch groups are heavily influenced by Confucianism.

The Tai-Thay branch includes all of the Lao-Tai subcategories in the official classification except for Lao, Yooy, and Kaleung. It may then be seen on the map that the ethnic Lao distribution basically follows the Nam Ou river in the north of Phongsaly Province to Luangprabang, and then down along the Mekong to Cambodia in the far south. The Tai-Thay groups are all found further inland with the exception of the Lue found in the far northwest or near the upper Mekong.

 

 

 


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