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SIL Electronic Working Papers 2011-005

A Lexical and Phonological Comparison of the Central Taic Languages of Wenshan Prefecture, China: Getting More Out of Language Survey Wordlists Than Just Lexical Similarity Percentages

Author  Johnson, Eric C.
Abstract  Wenshan Zhuang and Miao Autonomous Prefecture in China‚Äôs Yunnan province is home to over a million members of the official Zhuang nationality. Over half of these speak language varieties classified into the central branch of Tai languages. The aim of the present work is to analyze wordlist data from the several Central Taic Zhuang languages of Wenshan prefecture from a historical and comparative perspective in order to identify phonological distinctives explaining the observed levels of mutual intelligibility among these lexically similar languages and also to consider ramifications for spelling conventions using the official Zhuang orthography. The data analyzed in this paper results from sociolinguistic field research conducted by the author from 2005 to 2007, as well as previously published sources.
  A Lexical and Phonological Comparison of the Central Taic Languages of Wenshan Prefecture, China: Getting More Out of Language Survey Wordlists Than Just Lexical Similarity Percentages
Published  2011
Languages  Zhuang, Dai [zhd]
Zhuang, Minz [zgm]
Zhuang, Nong [zhn]
Country  China
Subject  Phonological descriptions
Keywords  lexical comparison; phonological comparison; Central Taic; Zhuang