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Language Revitalization

Insights from Thailand


Edited By Suwilai Premsrirat and David Hirsh

This volume reports on programs to revitalize and maintain languages of Thailand, with a particular focus on small enclave languages and school-based revitalization programs. Issues of language status, cultural heritage and identity are explored. The approximately 70 languages of Thailand belong to five language families: Tai (24), Austroasiatic (23), Austronesian (3), Sino-Tibetan (18) and Hmong-Mien (2). Currently, fifteen of these languages are classified as seriously endangered. This volume discusses language revitalization efforts involving six Mon-Khmer groups (Maniq, Chong, Nyah Kur, So, Mlabri, Lavue); four Thai-related groups (Phetburi western central Thai, Phutai, Lao, Nyaw); two Austronesian groups (Moklen, Patani Malay); and one Tibeto-Burman group (Bisu). The book provides a framework and model for future developments in revitalizing Thailand’s indigenous languages.

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