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Linguistic History And Affiliations Of Southeast Asia - Essay Example

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This paper covers the languages that have emerged from the South East and East of Asia, like Bahasa Indonesia, Thai, Vietnamese and Burmese. First, languages are known to be used as ‘language cultures’, it is imperative to define the broad area we will be studying…
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Linguistic History And Affiliations Of Southeast Asia
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Download file to see previous pages In light of the fact that in this part of the world, languages are known to be used as ‘language cultures’, it is imperative to define the broad area we will be studying. Moving South from North, the countries may be grouped as follows: (Goddard, 2005; p. 53)
In this context, let us discuss how many languages there are in this broad geographical area. While most people would not be able to come up a number more than twelve, the fact is that this would hold true if we're to talk only about national languages. These languages being the official medium of communication for spheres concerning governance, education, and media, may be divided into Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Tetum, and Portuguese in East Timor, Philipino or Tagalog, Burmese, Thai, Lao, Khmer, Vietnamese, Chinese (Modern Standard Chinese), Korean and Japanese.
But the truth is that, if we are to delve deeper into the matter, we will find that the total number of languages is a lot greater than most of us can imagine. This is owing to the inclusion of hundreds of minority languages spoken in the hills and jungles, as well as the languages of the same figure spoken in China, the Philippines, Indonesia, and various other countries of this area.
From a genetic point of view, the languages of East and Southeast Asia are much more varied than those of Europe or America. To determine how many language families there are in this area, we would have to set aside various complications and say that there are basically six broad families. These are Austronesian, Mon – Khmer, Tai – Kadai, Tibeto – Burman, Sinitic, and Hmong Mein. Apart from these, there are several major languages whose ancestry is unclear like Japanese and Korean. Further, loan words also form an integral part of these languages as linguistic echoes of past cultural contact, where the nature of the loan words can speak volumes of the kind of contact enjoyed. ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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