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The term 'Lao-Tai' as defined by Patricia Cheesman on page 11 of her book 'Lao-Tai textiles: The Textiles of Xam Nuea and Muang Phuan' published in 2004 by Studio Naenna Co. Ltd (for futher details see details listed in relevant Laos bibliography):

"My use of Loa-Tai is in preference to simply Tai, which is more commonly used in academic research referring to those speakers of the Tai-Kam-Sui-Kadai language group that was first classsified by P.K. Benedict as a linguistic hyper-group (Benedict 1942). The term Lao is the oldest known reference to these peoples and was used continuously in Chinese historic documents frm 271 B.C. fo 1057 A.D. (Cam 1997 pp.104-105). The indigenous people of the nrotheast of Laos use the word Tai to refer to peoples using the non-aspirated dialectic form of 'p' and 't' such as the Tai Dam, Tai Daeng, Tai Nuea and Tai Khao. The Lao on the other hand use aspirated 'ph' and 'th' as do the Phuan, Tai Khang and many other groups not included in this research. This seems to be a regional, rather than ethnic aspect and as the languages are easily transferred, I do not base my studies on linguistic classifications. Chamberlain and other linguists have recognised the two dialectic branches of Tai known as 'p' and 'ph' (Chamberlain 1972 p234) and these are both represented by my classification of Lao-Tai. " See further expansion of these points in Cheesman's book on the Lao-Tai.

Cheesmans references from her Bibliography on page 295 of Lao-Tai 2004:

Benedict, P.K. 1942. Thai, Kadai, Indonesian. American Anthropologist XLIV.

Cam, Trong, 1997. What has been achieved by ethnology on the Tai Dam and tai Khaao and how to continue research [June]. Tai Culture II:103-111.

Chamberlain, James R. 1972. The origin of Southwestern Tahi. Bulletin des Amis du Royaume Laos:233-244.

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this page last updated 24 July, 2005