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Unformatted text preview: 2 nd November 2010 SEAS 1 – Lecture 12 Languages and Literary T raditions Language Issues • Spoken Languages : People usually speak more than one language depending on where they live. o Major I ndigenous Languages : Burmese, Thai, Lao, Khmer (mainland). Bahasa (Malaysia), Bahasa (Indonesia), Javanese (75 million speakers), Sundanese (25 million speakers), Tagalog (20 million speakers), Cebuano, Ilocano (8 million speakers). There are national and subnational languages. o M inor indigenous languages : languages spoken by fewer people. Indonesia has 200- 400 minor indigenous languages, Philippines has ~73 indigenous languages. Region with enormous richness of language traditions. Minor traditions die out over time as population shrink and when these people are exposed to more widely spoken languages. o M inor exogenous languages : Brought in from outside. Chinese (including dialects) brought in by migrants maybe between 5-8 million speakers. Dutch, English, French, Spanish are also languages that are left. o Surviving European languages : English and Spanish are the mainly surviving languages. There are still a few speakers of Portuguese in East Timor. In the former French Indochina, older people probably speak French due to their education and Dutch is found in Indonesia too but these languages are dying out. The French have tried to sustain their linguistic presence in SEA by trying to keep Vietnam linked to the French speaking global community. Francophone Summit was held in Vietnam where they discuss the value of French as a global language. French medical textbooks are sent to Vietnam and Cambodia but not many people speak French in the area any more. Dutch case law is relevant in terms of citing legal precedent in Indonesian court. Lawyers have a modest ability to read Dutch to interpret colonial legal texts. o Language hybridization : Residue of colonial impact. Vietnamese: somi/chemise, little terms that have entered into modern vernacular. Indonesian has many Dutch words in it. Singlish in Singapore is a hybridization of English, Malay, Chinese, etc. Singlish frowned upon in formal education in Singapore but is widely spoken in the country still. • Languages and Scripts : changed over time under various influences. Chinese characters, Sanskrit, Arabic alphabet, Roman alphabet. All of these script systems are introduced from major world cultures who had influence in SEA. You can trace the influences of these countries by tracing the scripts. Changed over time though, in Vietnam the Chinese character have morphed into Nom to Quocngun. Malaysia and Islamised world used Sanskrit under Indian influences but this changed to Arabic (Jawi). In mainland SEA, there is no shift away from Sanskrit, it is just altered to fit the local languages more....
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- Fall '09
- The Bible, Rama, indigenous languages, li terature, inor exogenous languages