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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton October 2, 2019

Language policy and language planning in mainland Southeast Asia: Myanmar and Lisu

David Bradley
From the journal Linguistics Vanguard

Abstract

Most nations in mainland Southeast Asia and elsewhere have one national language as a focus of national identity and unity, supported by a language policy which promotes and develops this language. Indigenous and immigrant minority groups within each nation may be marginalized; their languages may become endangered. Some of the official national language policies and ethnic policies of mainland Southeast Asian nations aim to support both a national language and indigenous minority languages, but usually the real policy is less positive. It is possible to use sociolinguistic and educational strategies to maintain the linguistic heritage and diversity of a nation, develop bilingual skills among minority groups, and integrate minorities successfully into the nations where they live, but this requires commitment and effort from the minorities themselves and from government and other authorities. The main focus of this paper is two case studies: one of language policy and planning in Myanmar, whose language policy and planning has rarely been discussed before. The other is on the Lisu, a minority group in Myanmar and surrounding countries, who have been relatively successful in maintaining their language.

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Received: 2018-12-09
Accepted: 2019-07-23
Published Online: 2019-10-02

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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