Characteristics of Pu Peo: A language at risk of endangerment

Author: Nguyen Thu Quynh (Thai Nguyen University)
Speaker: Nguyen Thu Quynh
Topic: Language minorities and majorities
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2019 General Session


The Pu Peo population, consisting of approximately 687 people (census 2009) is considered to be one of smallest ethnic minority groups in Vietnam today. The research on Pu Peo language in Vietnam is very limited. This thus calls for research on language and society of the Pu Peo, and an extensive documentation and revitalization of the community.

For the current study, the researchers conducted fieldwork on the Pu Peo language, during the period 2015 to 2017. The materials gathered through fieldwork indicate high significance in determining the degree of closeness or relatedness between Pu Peo and other languages, and lead us to expose or at least derive a solution for preventing Pu Peo languages and cultural practices from endangerment.

The methods employed in this study and subsequent research include fieldwork, social linguistics, and data analysis by WINCECIL, PRAAT, ASAP.

This paper aims at two goals. Firstly, it aims to produce a general introduction to the phonetics, lexicon, and grammar of the Pu Peo language, based on a computerized database. Secondly, it aims to describe the Pu Peo language situation in Vietnam. This paper thus evaluates the risk degree of Pu Peo communities based on the risk system of UNESCO and then provides several solutions with which to act to begin to preserve the language.

Keywords: Pu Peo, Revitalization, Vietnam, Endangerment, Documentation