An Austro-Asiatic language and a member of the Mon-Khmer group of languages, spoken by c. 8 million people mainly in Cambodia, where it is an official language, with some further speakers in Vietnam, Thailand and Laos; also called Cambodian.
Khmer was attested from the 7th century. Today the language is spoken in several mutually intelligible dialects, the most important ones being central (spoken in Cambodia) and northern (spoken in Thailand). Although Khmer is an uninflected language, it has a rich system of affixes for derivation. In contrast to Vietnamese and Chinese, it is also a nontonal language.
The language was originally spelt in a variant of Devanagari, a South Indian script, which has evolved into the present writing system.
CLASSIFICATION = Austro-Asiatic family, SCRIPT = Khmer