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ERIC Number: EJ932714
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 18
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
Resilience Linguistics, Orthography and the Gong
Bradley, David
Language and Education, v25 n4 p349-360 2011
The Gong are a minority group of western Thailand whose language has been in decline for over a century. In the 1920s, the first report of the language predicted its imminent demise. Since then, it has contacted to two villages outside its traditional territory. The language there is under threat, particularly since the 1970s with roads, schools, electricity, Buddhist temples and in-movement of Thai speakers. We have been working with the Gong since 1977. In 1982, we devised an orthography based on Thai. Since the mid-1980s, with support from the Thailand Research Fund and assistance from a Thai university, villagers have been trained and assisted to document their traditional activities, both nonlinguistic and linguistic. However, no children have learned the language in the home for nearly 40 years. The youngest fully fluent speakers are now in their 60s, with semispeakers of varying degrees of fluency down to the age of 40 and somewhat younger people with limited active or passive knowledge. Language revitalization is difficult, even with an orthography, teaching materials and community goodwill. This is a test for resilience linguistics, a new paradigm based on resilience thinking that attempts to empower and assist communities in their language and culture maintenance. (Contains 4 notes and 3 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Thailand