Lao character notes

Updated Wed 15 Oct 2014 • tags lao, scriptnotes

This page lists characters in the following Unicode block and provides information about them.

This is not authoritative, peer-reviewed information – these are just notes I have gathered and copied from various places.

For a summary of the script and its use in writing systems, see the page Lao script summary. For similar information related to other scripts, see this list.

We have usage data for the following language that uses the Lao script: Lao.

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Information about languages that use these characters is taken from the list maintained for the Character Use app. The list is not exhaustive.

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Consonants

U+0E81 LAO LETTER KO

Lao class 1 consonant, kɔː kaj

k

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p29

U+0E82 LAO LETTER KHO SUNG

Lao class 2 consonant, kʰɔ̌ː

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p100

U+0E84 LAO LETTER KHO TAM

Lao class 3 consonant, kʰɔ́ː kʰwaːj

initially; k finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0E87 LAO LETTER NGO

Lao class 3 consonant, ŋɔ́ː ŋúa

ŋ

A preceding silent h ຫງ changes the default tone to high.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0E88 LAO LETTER CO

Lao class 1 consonant, cɔ̀ː cɔ̀ːk

c initially; t finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p29

U+0E8A LAO LETTER SO TAM

Lao class 3 consonant, sɔ́ː sâːŋ

s initially; t finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0E8D LAO LETTER NYO

Lao class 3 consonant & vowel component, ɲɔ́ː ɲúŋ

ɲ initially; j finally.

A preceding silent h ຫຍ changes the default tone to high.

Used as a component in the following vowels:

ia ເ-ັຍະ and ເ-ັຍ

iːa ເ-ຍ and ເ-ັຍ

Used at the end of the following vowel sounds ending with j:

aːj -າຍ

əːj ເ-ີຍ

oːj ໂ-ຍ

ɔːj -ອຍ

uj -ຸຍ

uaj -ວຍ

ɯaj ເ-ືອຍ

Refs: [1] The World's Writing Systems Daniels p461 [2] Lao for Beginners Simmala p123

U+0E94 LAO LETTER DO

Lao class 1 consonant, dɔ̀ː dek

d initially; t finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p29

U+0E95 LAO LETTER TO

Lao class 1 consonant, tɔ̀ː taː

t

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p29

U+0E96 LAO LETTER THO SUNG

Lao class 2 consonant, tʰɔ̌ː tʰǒŋ

initially; t finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p100

U+0E97 LAO LETTER THO TAM

Lao class 3 consonant, tʰɔ́ː tʰúŋ

initially; t finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0E99 LAO LETTER NO

Lao class 3 consonant, nɔ́ː nok

n

A preceding silent h ຫນ changes the default tone to high.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0E9A LAO LETTER BO

Lao class 1 consonant, bɔ̀ː bɛ̂ː

b initially; p finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p29

U+0E9B LAO LETTER PO

Lao class 1 consonant, pɔ̀ː pàː

p

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p29

U+0E9C LAO LETTER PHO SUNG

Lao class 2 consonant, pʰɔ̌ː pʰəŋ

initially; p finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p100

U+0E9D LAO LETTER FO TAM

Lao class 2 consonant, fɔ̌ː fǒn

f initially; p finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p100

U+0E9E LAO LETTER PHO TAM

Lao class 3 consonant, pʰɔ́ː pʰúː

initially; p finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0E9F LAO LETTER FO SUNG

Lao class 3 consonant, fɔ́ː fáj

f initially; p finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0EA1 LAO LETTER MO

Lao class 3 consonant, mɔ́ː mɛ́ːw

m

A preceding silent h ຫມ changes the default tone to high.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0EA2 LAO LETTER YO

Lao class 1 consonant, jɔ̀ː jàː

j

A conjunct form related etymologically to the Thai อย.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462 [2] [Simmala] p29, 176

U+0EA3 LAO LETTER LO LING

Lao class 3 consonant, ɔ́ː

l

Officially removed from the alphabet by the Ministry of Education, it is still used occasionally to transliterate Indic or other foreign words into Lao, eg. ຝຣັ່ງ [flaŋ] foreigner. It is generally used to represent a the letter 'r': the sound [r] no longer exists in Lao.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461-2 [2] [Simmala] p248

U+0EA5 LAO LETTER LO LOOT

Lao class 3 consonant, lɔ́ː líŋ

l initially; n finally.

A preceding silent h ຫລ changes the default tone to high.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0EA7 LAO LETTER WO

Lao class 3 consonant, wɔ́ː wíː

w

A preceding silent h ຫວ changes the default tone to high.

Used as a component in the following vowels:

ua -ົວະ or -ົວ

ua -ັວ- or -ວ-

uaj -ວຍ

Used at the end of the following vowel sounds ending with w:

aːw -າວ

eːw ເ-ວ

ɛːw ແ-ວ

iw -ິວ

iaw -ຽວ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0EAA LAO LETTER SO SUNG

Lao class 2 consonant, sɔ̌ː sɯ̌a

s initially; t finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p100

U+0EAB LAO LETTER HO SUNG

Lao class 2 consonant, hɔ̌ː haːn

h

This is used (silently) before the following initial consonants to change their default tone value: ລມນງຍວ.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p100

U+0EAD LAO LETTER O

Lao class 3 consonant, ɔ̀ː òː

ʔ

Used to support vowels when there is no syllable initial consonant.

Also used as part of the following vowels:

oːj -ັອ-

ɔː -ອ

ɔːj -ອຍ

ɯa ເ-ຶອ

ɯaj ເ-ືອຍ

ɯːa ເ-ືອ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461-2 [2] [Simmala] p29

U+0EAE LAO LETTER HO TAM

Lao class 3 consonant, hɔ́ː hɯ́an

h initially; n finally.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

Consonants for Khmu

U+0EDE LAO LETTER KHMU GO

U+0EDF LAO LETTER KHMU NYO

Vowels

U+0EB0 LAO VOWEL SIGN A

Lao short vowel, ǎ

a

Also used as an indication of shortness in the following syllable-final short vowels:

e ເ-ະ

ɛ ແ-ະ

ia ເ-ັຍະ

o ໂ-ະ

ɔ ເ-າະ

ua -ົວະ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p461 [2] [Simmala] p123

U+0EB1 LAO VOWEL SIGN MAI KAN

Lao short vowel, mâi-kan

a, used when the syllable has a final consonant.

Also used to produce the following vowels:

e ເ-ັ- (short)

ɛ ແ-ັ- (short)

ia ເ-ັຍ (short)

ia ເ-ັຍະ (short)

ia -ັຽ-

ɔ -ັອ-

ua -ັວ-

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p195

U+0EB2 LAO VOWEL SIGN AA

Lao long vowel, àː

Also used in the following vowels:

aw ເ-ົາ

aːj -າຍ

aːw ເ-ົາ or -າວ

ɔ ເ-າະ (short)

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52, 73-74

U+0EB3 LAO VOWEL SIGN AM

Lao long vowel, am

am

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p73

U+0EB4 LAO VOWEL SIGN I

Lao short vowel, ǐ

i

Also used in the following vowels:

iw -ິວ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52, 74

U+0EB5 LAO VOWEL SIGN II

Lao long vowel, ìː

Also used in the following vowels:

əː ເ-ີ (long)

əːj ເ-ີຍ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52, 73-74

U+0EB6 LAO VOWEL SIGN Y

Lao short vowel, ɯ̌

ɯ

Also used in the following vowels:

ə ເ-ຶ (short)

ɯa ເ-ຶອ (short)

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52, 73-74

U+0EB7 LAO VOWEL SIGN YY

Lao long vowel, ɯ̀ː

ɯː

Also used in the following vowels:

ɯːa ເ-ືອ (short)

ɯaj ເ-ືອຍ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52, 73-74

U+0EB8 LAO VOWEL SIGN U

Lao short vowel, ǔ

u

Also used in the following vowel:

ui -ຸຍ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52, 73-74

U+0EB9 LAO VOWEL SIGN UU

Lao long vowel, ùː

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52

U+0EBB LAO VOWEL SIGN MAI KON

Lao short vowel, mâi-koŋ

o, used when the syllable has a final consonant.

Also used to produce the following vowels:

aw ເ-ົາ

aːw ເ-ົາ

ua -ົວະ (short)

ua -ົວ (long)

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p195

U+0EC0 LAO VOWEL SIGN E

Lao long vowel, èː

Also used in the following vowels:

aw ເ-ົາ

aːw ເ-ົາ

e ເ-ະ or ເ-ັ- (short)

eːw ເ-ວ

ə ເ-ຶ (short)

əː ເ-ີ (long)

əːj ເ-ີຍ

ia ເ-ັຍ or ເ-ັຍະ (short)

iːa ເ-ຍ or ເ-ັຍ or ເ-ຽ (long)

ɔ ເ-າະ (short)

ɯa ເ-ຶອ (short)

ɯa ເ-ືອຍ (short)

ɯːa ເ-ືອ (long)

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52, 73-74

U+0EC1 LAO VOWEL SIGN EI

Lao long vowel, ɛ̀ː

ɛː

Also used in the following vowels:

ɛːw ແ-ວ eg. ແລ້ວ lɛ̀ːw (to finish).

ɛw ແ-ວ eg. ແຂ້ວ kʰɛ̀w (tooth).

ɛ ແ-ະ or ແ-ັ- (short)

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52

U+0EC2 LAO VOWEL SIGN O

Lao long vowel, òː

Also used in the following vowels:

oːj ໂ-ຍ

o ໂ-ະ (short)

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52

U+0EC3 LAO VOWEL SIGN AY

Lao long vowel, máj-múan

aj

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p73

U+0EC4 LAO VOWEL SIGN AI

Lao long vowel, máj-má-lai

aj

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p73

Various signs

U+0EAF LAO ELLIPSIS

Lao symbol

Used to indicate ellipsis or abbreviation.

U+0EBC LAO SEMIVOWEL SIGN LO

Lao class 2 consonant

l

Represents the consonant lɔ́ː líŋ when following a silent h (ie. ຫຼ). This sequence changes the consonant class of lɔ́ː líŋ to 2.

The sequence can also be written ຫລ.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462 [2] [Simmala] p176

U+0EBD LAO SEMIVOWEL SIGN NYO

Lao vowel

Originally an alternate form of non-initial ɲɔ́ː ɲúŋ , this character is now used for diphthongs.

It appears in the following vowels:

ia -ັຽ-

ia ເ-ຽ

ia -ຽ-

iaw -ຽວ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462 [2] [Simmala] p73-74

U+0ECC LAO CANCELLATION MARK

U+0ECD LAO NIGGAHITA

Lao long vowel, ɔ̀ː

ɔː

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462-464 [2] [Simmala] p52

Repetition mark

U+0EC6 LAO KO LA

Lao symbol, kʰɯaŋ-mǎːj-sâm ເຄ່ຶອງໝາຍຊ້ຳ

Indicates repetition of preceding sound.

Also used in ໆລໆ kʰɯaŋ-mǎːj-lɛ-ɯːn-ɯːn (ເຄຶ່ອງໝາຍ ແລະອຶ່ນໆ), with a meaning similar to etc.

Tone marks

U+0EC8 LAO TONE MAI EK

Lao tone mark, mai eːk ໄນ້ເອກ

Used with any consonant class. Produces a mid tone.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p464-465 [2] [Simmala] p13,28, 35, 36, 121, 161

U+0EC9 LAO TONE MAI THO

Lao tone mark, mai toː ໄນ້ໂທ

Used with any consonant class. Produces a high falling tone with class 1 and 3 consonants, but low falling with class 2.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p464-465 [2] [Simmala] p13,28, 35, 36, 121, 161

U+0ECA LAO TONE MAI TI

Lao tone mark, mai tiː ໄນ້ຕີ

Used with any class 1 consonants. Produces a high falling tone.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p464-465 [2] [Simmala] p13,28, 35, 36, 121, 161

U+0ECB LAO TONE MAI CATAWA

Lao tone mark, mai cat-ta-waː ໄນ້ຈັດຕະວາ

Used with any class 1 consonants. Produces a low rising tone.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p464-465 [2] [Simmala] p13,28, 35, 36, 121, 161

Digraphs

U+0EDC LAO HO NO

Lao class 2 consonant

n

A ligature representing a silent h followed by the consonant nɔ́ː nok. This sequence changes the consonant class of nɔ́ː nok to 2.

The sequence can also be written ຫນ.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462 [2] [Simmala] p176

U+0EDD LAO HO MO

Lao class 2 consonant

m

A ligature representing a silent h followed by the consonant mɔ́ː mɛ́ːw. This sequence changes the consonant class of mɔ́ː mɛ́ːw to 2.

The sequence can also be written ຫມ.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p462 [2] [Simmala] p176

Digits

U+0ED0 LAO DIGIT ZERO

Lao digit, sǔːn ສູນ

U+0ED1 LAO DIGIT ONE

Lao digit, nɯŋ ໜ່ຶງ

U+0ED2 LAO DIGIT TWO

Lao digit, sɔ̌ːŋ ສອງ

U+0ED3 LAO DIGIT THREE

Lao digit, sǎːm ລາມ

U+0ED4 LAO DIGIT FOUR

Lao digit, siː ລ່ີ

U+0ED5 LAO DIGIT FIVE

Lao digit, hàː ຫ້າ

U+0ED6 LAO DIGIT SIX

Lao digit, hǒk ຫົກ

U+0ED7 LAO DIGIT SEVEN

Lao digit, cět ເຈັດ

U+0ED8 LAO DIGIT EIGHT

Lao digit, pɛ̀ːt ແປດ

U+0ED9 LAO DIGIT NINE

Lao digit, kâw ເກ້ົາ

Expanded references

  1. [Daniels] Peter T. Daniels and William Bright, The World's Writing Systems, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-507993-0
  2. [Simmala] Buasawan Simmala, Benjawan Poomsan Becker, Lao for Beginners, Paiboon Publishing, ISBN 1-887521-28-34
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