Sociolinguistic Survey of Jarai in Ratanakiri, Cambodia

2007_02_Jarai_Survey_Report_v1.2.pdf5.47 MB
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This paper presents the report of a sociolinguistic survey of the Jarai variety spoken in Ratanakiri province, Cambodia. Jarai is one of the major “Montagnard” groups of the Vietnamese southern highlands. While Jarai numbers in Cambodia are much smaller, it is still one of the largest highland minority groups. This paper investigates the dialects used among the Jarai speakers in Ratanakiri province, their abilities in Khmer, and their attitudes towards language development. The data indicates that a minority of Jarai can speak some Khmer, but very few can read or write in either Khmer or Jarai. Nearly everyone interviewed expressed interest in learning to read and write Jarai. While many prefer the Roman script used by Jarai in Vietnam over the creation of a new Khmer-based script, most said that they would still be interested in learning a new script if it were made. There are only minor dialect differences between Jarai in Cambodia, but much greater differences with some varieties of Jarai spoken in Vietnam.
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Draft (posted 'as is' without peer review)
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Table of Contents 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Geography 1 1.2 Religion & culture 2 1.3 Language 3 1.4 Literature 4 1.5 History 5 2 Research purpose and questions 6 3 Methodology 7 3.1 Site selection 7 3.2 Word list 7 3.3 Sociolinguistic questionnaires 8 3.4 Fieldwork time line 10 3.5 Analysis: Criteria for answering the research questions 10 4 Results 10 4.1 Summary of Data 10 4.2 Khmer language abilities 10 4.3 Attitudes towards Khmer script 11 4.4 Attitudes towards language development in Jarai 13 4.5 Lexical Similarity 14 4.6 Speaker's perceptions of dialects 14 4.7 Accessibility for language development 15 5 Conclusions 15 5.1 Do Jarai speakers speak Khmer adequately? 15 5.2 Attitudes towards Khmer script 15 5.3 Attitudes towards language development 16 5.4 Jarai varieties 16 5.5 Language vitality 17 6 Recommendations 17 7 References 17 8 Appendixes 19 8.1 Jarai census data 19 8.2 Cambodian Ethno-linguistic Groups 21 8.3 Survey sites 22 8.4 Lexical similarity counting methodology 24 8.5 Sociolinguistic questionnaires 27 8.6 Word list 54 8.7 International Phonetic Alphabet (revised to 2005) 65
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language varieties
language attitude
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