The War-Jaintia in Bangladesh: a sociolinguistic survey

Statement of Responsibility:
Brightbill, Jeremy, Amy Kim and Seung Kim

The purpose of this sociolinguistic survey of War-Jaintia (or War as it is more commonly called in Bangladesh) was to gather information that would be used to plan a language development program for the War-Jaintia living in Bangladesh. Within Bangladesh the War-Jaintia (or W-J for short from here on) constitute the largest group of people who are ethnically and culturally Khasi. (The Pnars and Lyngngams are far fewer in number.) We wanted to know which language variety, if any, the W-J community want to develop in terms of literature production and literacy programs. We also wanted to know, from an objective linguistic point of view, the pros and cons of choosing any particular language variety.

To accomplish these goals, this sociolinguistic survey of W-J was carried out in four interrelated parts: (1) a study of the dialects of the language; (2) a language use, attitudes, and vitality study; (3) a bilingualism study; and (4) a study of literacy in standard Khasi. Figure 1 gives a summary of the sociolinguistic methods used in this survey.

153 pages
Dialect surveys
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