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Linguistic Diversity and National Unity : Language Ecology in Thailand - William A. Smalley

Linguistic Diversity and National Unity

Language Ecology in Thailand

Paperback

Published: 15th June 1994
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Unlike other multi-ethnic nations, such as Myanmar and India, where official language policy has sparked bloody clashes, Thailand has maintained relative stability despite its eighty languages. In this study of the relations among politics, geography, and language, William A. Smalley shows how Thailand has maintained national unity through an elaborate social and linguistic hierarchy.
Smalley contends that because the people of Thailand perceive their social hierarchy as the normal order, Standard Thai, spoken by members of the higher levels of society, prevails as the uncontested national language. By examining the hierarchy of Thailand's diverse languages and dialects in light of Thai history, education, culture, and religion, Smalley shows how Thailand has been able to keep its many ethnic groups at peace.
"Linguistic Diversity and National Unity" explores the intricate relationship between language and power and the ways in which social and linguistic rank can be used to perpetuate order.

Tables Figures
Maps
Acknowledgments
Introduction: Thailand's Sociolinguistic Anomalies
Languages of the Nation as a Whole
The Languages of Thailand at Home and Abroad
Standard Thai: Variations about a Norm
Social Dimensions of Standard Thai
Multidimensional Varieties: Ranges and Media
Major Regional Languages
Kammuang (Northern Thai)
Lao (Northeastern Thai)
Paktay (Southern Thai) and Thaiklang (Central Thai)
Marginal Regional Languages
Tai Yai (Shan), Sgaw (Karen), Phlow (Karen), plus Non-regional Phlong (Karen)
Northern Khmer plus Non-marginal Kuy
Pattani Malay
Other Language Categories
Development and Displacement of Tai Languages and Dialects
Languages of Thai Towns and Cities: Chinese Languages
Marginal Languages in the Hierarchy: Mon, Pray, plus Non-marginal Mal
Marginal Languages Adapting to the Hierarchy: Hmong (Meo, Miao)
Enclave Languages
Trans-Language Issues
Writing and Education
Change and Development
Language and Ethnicity
Minority Problem as Thai Problem
Languages in the Hierarchy
Language Population Estimates
Symbols
Notes
References
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780226762890
ISBN-10: 0226762890
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 452
Published: 15th June 1994
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.0 x 15.3  x 2.49
Weight (kg): 0.61