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Southern Luo (Lwo)
RegionSouth Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and the DRC
EthnicityLuo peoples
Native speakers
8.8 million (2001–2009)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-2luo
ISO 639-3Variously:
adh – Adhola
kdi – Kumam
luo – Dholuo
alz – Alur
laj – Lango
ach – Acholi

Southern Luo is a dialect cluster of Uganda and neighboring countries. Although Southern Luo dialects are mutually intelligible,[citation needed] there are six ethnically and culturally distinct varieties which are considered to be separate languages socially.[citation needed]

Proto-Southern Luo has been reconstructed by Blount & Curley (1970).[2]


The Southern Luo dialects are classified within the Glottolog database as follows:[3]


  1. ^ Adhola at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Kumam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Dholuo at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Alur at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Lango at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Acholi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Blount, Ben and Curley, Richard T. 1970. The Southern Luo Languages: A Glottochronological Reconstruction. Journal of African Languages 9: 1-18.
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian (2023-07-10). "Glottolog 4.8 - Southern Lwoo". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. doi:10.5281/zenodo.7398962. Archived from the original on 2023-11-21. Retrieved 2023-11-20.