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Title: Language Vitality among the Akha in Myanmar
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: Abstract: "The spread of telecommunications networks and the growth in cross-border trade and travel bring minority language communities in Myanmar into ever greater contact with external influences presenting those communities with new choices and new challenges for their language, culture and group identity. In this context, it is important for a community to be able to assess the vitality of their language at the present moment as well as the likely direction of movement in coming years. This paper describes a sociolinguistic study of language vitality of the Akha communities in Eastern Shan State, Myanmar. Fieldwork involved data collection in 18 Akha villages during Apr-Jul 2014. Factors including Age, Gender and Religious Affiliation were used in the research design. The Extended Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (EGIDS) (Lewis & Simons 2015:104-117) was used to characterise language vitality and the FAMED conditions (Lewis &Simons 2015:159-189) to assess the extent to which the current level of vitality is sustainable. Overall, Akha language vitality was assessed at EGIDS level 5: “the language is used orally by all generations and is effectively used in written form in parts of the community (Lewis & Simons 2010:110)”. The study found considerable dissimilarities among different villages, with religious affiliation a major predictor of literacy proficiency and usage. The role of the non-formal literacy program operating in Christian villages in sustaining the current level of vitality will be discussed.".....Paper delivered at the International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015.
Author/creator: Ah Suhn Ghoemeh
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (176K)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 11 August 2015