Phonetic system of Khang Quang Lam

Author: Nguyen Van Loi (Vietnam Institute of Lexicography and Encyclopedia)
Ta Quang Tung (Vietnam Institue of Linguistics)
Speaker: Nguyen Van Loi, Ta Quang Tung
Topic: Documenting Language
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


In ancient documents, Khang language was classified into Austroasiatic language family, Mon-Khmer block, North Mon-Khmer branch and Khmuic group. With a population of 13,840 (2009), habitating dispersedly in Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La of Vietnam; a part of the Khang are living Yunnan, China (Bu Mang “Mang”), Khang language are classified as an endangered language. Khang language includes many geographical language variations, in which Khang language variation in Quang Lam Commune, Muong Nhe District, Dien Bien Province is a geographical variant which has not been studied.Since many centuries (from the 12th century), Khang language has come into contact to Thai language (White Thai and Black Tai) in northwestern Vietnam. Due to language contact, Khang language has changed in both vocabulary, grammar. The phonetic system of dialects of Khang language are very different, reflecting the process of language change.

The report is based on the Lexical and Phonetic Computerized Database of Khang local variations, using the method of phonetico-phonological analysis of computerized database.The report presents the characteristics of the current Khang Quang Lam phonetic system (data surveyed in 2017), in comparison with the Khang Quang Lam phonetic system 25 years ago (data surveyed in 1990) and the phonetic system in other local groups in Lai Chau, Son La, Lao Cai – Vietnam and in Yunnan – China. From that, pointing out the ancient nature of Khang Quang Lam (Khang Quang Lam Phonetics System that preserves the features of the Proto Khmuic and Proto Mon-Khmer languages​). At the same time, indicating the phonetic tendency in Khang: 1- monosyllabisation; 2 – From non-tonal language to tonal language.

Keywords: Khang Quang Lam; Lexical and Phonetic Computerized Database; The method of phonetico-phonological analysis of computerized database; Monosyllabisation; The process of forming tones