This highly accessible introduction explores the core systems and subsystems of the languages of mainland Southeast Asia, applying the main concepts of language typology, phonology, morphology, syntax, sociolinguistics, language variation, and language contact, to this diverse language area. Written by a leading expert in the languages of this region, N. J. Enfield draws upon nearly a thousand data examples from over a hundred languages from Cambodia, China, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam to show the many ways in which these languages resemble each other, and differ from each other, in the context of what is known globally about the diversity of human language. The book highlights the diversity of the area's languages, with a special emphasis on the minority languages, which outnumber the national languages by nearly a hundred to one. The result is a welcome corrective to widespread beliefs about the nature of a 'typical' Southeast Asian language.
1. Context; 2. Typological overview; 3. Sounds and sound systems; 4. Word formation; 5. Reference and nominal syntax; 6. Predication and clausal syntax; 7. Postface.
N. J. Enfield is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Sydney. He is a leading expert on the languages of mainland Southeast Asia. His publications include A Grammar of Lao (2007), Dynamics of Human Diversity: The Case of Mainland Southeast Asia (2011), and Languages of Mainland Southeast Asia: The State of the Art (2015, with Bernard Comrie). He is working on a reference grammar of Kri, a Vietic language spoken in Laos.
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