During the late 1960s, William J. Gedney completed an exhaustive study of Lue, a Tai language spoken in northern Thailand, parts of Burma, and the Sipsongpanna region of Yunnan in southern China. Using several informants, including the former ruling prince of Sipsongpanna, Gedney compiled a massive glossary of words, phrases, sentences, proverbs, and song fragments. In addition, he elicited three lengthy texts dealing with the birth of the Buddha. This volume presents all of these data along with an introduction.
Lue, or Tai-Lue, belongs to the Southwestern branch of the Tai language family, and Lue speakers can be found in a number of areas: 1) in Chieng Hung, the capital city of Sipsongpanna, and most of southern Yunnan province; 3) inChiengrai and Chieng Mai provinces in northern Thailand; 4) in Muong Sing and Luang Prabang in Laos; and 5) in northwest Vietnam around Binh Lue. All of Gedney’s Lue material presented in this volume was provided by speakers from two localities: 1) Chieng Hung (H), where Lue is the dialect of the capital city and the ruling family, and 2) Muong Yong, (Y) to the west, across the border in northeastern Burma.Although Lue has its own writing system, the data in this volume are written in the International Phonetic Alphabet, except for the palatal semivowel.