A sociolinguistic introduction to the Central Taic languages of Wenshan Prefecture, China

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Johnson, Eric C
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SIL Electronic Survey Reports 2010-027
114 pages

Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in China’s Yunnan province is home to over a million members of the official Zhuang nationality. Over half of these speak language varieties classified into the central branch of Tai languages. Though many of the languages of the southwestern branch of Tai (which includes Thai and Lao) have been extensively studied by Thai and other linguists, and the northern branch (which includes the government designated standard varieties for both the Zhuang and Bouyei nationalities) are the subject of numerous works by Chinese linguists, relatively few works focused on Central Tai languages are available. The aim of this work is to provide sociolinguistic data from the several Central Taic Zhuang languages of Wenshan prefecture, resulting from sociolinguistic field research conducted from 2005 to 2007.

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Table of Contents:
Abstract Acknowledgements 1 Introduction 1.1 The Taic Languages 1.2 The Central Taic Languages 1.3 Geography and Population 1.4 Ethnic History and Identity 1.5 Previous research 2 Intelligibility Research 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Previous Intelligibility Research 2.3 RTT Methodology 2.3.1 Overview of RTT Intelligibility Testing 2.3.2 Selection of Locations for RTT Recordings 2.3.3 Preparation of the RTT Recordings 2.3.4 Administering the RTT Intelligibility Tests 2.3.5 Potential Conflicting Variables 2.4 Intelligibility Testing Results 2.4.1 Nong Zhuang and Dai Zhuang: No Single Reference Dialect 2.4.2 Dai Zhuang Internal Intelligibility 2.4.3 Understanding of Guangxi Yang Zhuang among Yunnan’s Southern Zhuang 2.4.4 Nong Zhuang Internal Intelligibility 2.4.5 Min Zhuang comprehension of Nong Zhuang 2.4.6 Intelligibility with Central Tai languages of Vietnam 3 Language Use and Language Vitality 3.1 The Linguistic Milieu 3.2 Previous Language Use Research 3.3 Language Use Research Methodology 3.4 Nong Zhuang Language Use Datapoints 3.4.1 Kuaxi Village in Yanshan County 3.4.2 Xiao Milewan village in Wenshan County 3.4.3 Geji Village in Xichou County 3.4.4 Xinzhai Village in Maguan County 3.4.5 Jiangdong Village in Malipo County 3.4.6 Xiao Guangnan Village in Guangnan County 3.4.7 Xia Douyue Village in Guangnan County 3.4.8 Summary of Nong Zhuang Language Use Situation 3.5 Dai Zhuang Language Use Datapoints 3.5.1 Xiao Minghu Village, Wenshan County (Northern Dai Zhuang) 3.5.2 Laochangpo village, Maguan County (Southern Dai Zhuang) 3.5.3 Songshupo village, Guangnan County (Northeastern Dai Zhuang) 3.5.4 Niutouzhai and Shuichezhai villages, Wenshan County (Central Dai Zhuang) 3 3.5.5 Dai Zhuang Language Use Conclusions 3.6 The Min Zhuang village of Guixun-Anhe 3.7 Summary of the Wenshan Zhuang Language Use Situation 3.8 How Threatened or Endangered are the Central Taic Languages of Wenshan Prefecture? 3.8.1 Fishman’s “Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale” 3.8.2 Landweer’s “Eight Indicators of Linguistic Vitality” 3.8.3 UNESCO’s Language Vitality Assessment Factors 3.9 Language Use and Vitality Conclusion 4 Conclusion Appendix A: Maps Appendix B: Photographs of Yunnan Zhuang English Bibliography
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Language surveys
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