A thorough description of the Saek language, containing a 551 page glossary with around ten thousand lexical iterms as well as more than 300 pages of texts and translations


Little research had been conducted on Saek, a Tai-family language spoken by the Saek people of Laos and Thailand, until the preeminent linguist William J. Gedney began his exhaustive study of it in the 1960s. Never before published, Gedney’s field data on Saek are collected here, including a 550-page glossary and 450 pages of Saek oral literature presented in free translation and linear glosses. The volume concludes with two important, previously unpublished Gedney papers, “Saek Final-L: Archaism or Innovation?” and “The Twelve Year Names in Saek.”While William J. Gedney’s “The Saek Language” offers a particularly rich vein of primary data to specialists in comparative Tai, its texts—ranging from oral histories and descriptions of Saek life to folktales—are also of value to historians, anthropologists, and folklorists. Introductions contextualize the linguistic data for more general readers.

William J. Gedney was Professor of Linguistics at the University of Michigan. Thomas John Hudak is Professor Emeritus of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. He focuses on the linguistics and literature of Southea