Saturday, 25 April 2009

Khmer-Cambodian Language

Khmer or Cambodian, is the language of the Cambodian people and the official language of Cambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese), with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious registers, through the vehicles of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon-Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese. As a result of geographic proximity, the Khmer language has affected, and also been affected by; Thai, Lao, Vietnamese and Cham many of which all form a pseudo-sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia, since most contain high levels of Sanskrit and Pali influences.

Khmer has its own script, an abugida known in Khmer as Aksar Khmer.

Khmer differs from neighboring languages such as Thai, Lao and Vietnamese in that it is not a tonal language. All its main dialects that are mutually intelligible:

-Battambang, spoken in northern Cambodia.

-Phnom Penh, the capital dialect and is also spoken in surrounding provinces.

-Northern Khmer, also known as Khmer Surin, spoken by ethnic Khmer native to Northeast Thailand.

-Khmer Krom or Southern Khmer, spoken by the indigenous Khmer population of the Mekong Delta.

-Cardamom Khmer, an archaic form spoken by a small population in the Cardamom Mountains(Krâvanh Mountains) of western Cambodia.

History of Cambodian language

Linguistic study of the Khmer language divides its history into four periods. Pre-Angkorian Khmer, the language after its divergence from Proto-Mon-Khmer until the ninth century, is only known from words and phrases in Sanskrit texts of the era. Old Khmer (or Angkorian Khmer) is the language as it was spoken in the Khmer Empire from the 9th century until the weakening of the empire sometime in the 13th century. Old Khmer is attested by many primary sources and has been studied in depth by a few scholars, most notably Saveros Pou, Phillip Jenner and Heinz-Jürgen Pinnow. Following the end of the Khmer Empire the language lost the standardizing influence of being the language of government and accordingly underwent a turbulent period of change in morphology, phonology and lexicon. The language of this transition period, from about the 14th to 18th centuries, is referred to as Middle Khmer and saw borrowing from Thai, Lao and, to a lesser extent, Vietnamese. The changes during this period are so profound that the rules of Modern Khmer can not be applied to correctly understand the Old Khmer. The language became recognizable as the Modern Khmer spoken today in the 19th century.

Khmer is classified as a member of the Eastern branch of the Mon-Khmer language family, itself a subdivision of the larger Austro-Asiatic language group, which has representatives in a large swath of land from Northeast India down through Southeast Asia to the Malay Peninsula and its islands. As such, its closest relatives are the languages of the Pearic, Bahnaric, and Katuic families spoken by the hill tribes of the region. The Vietic languages have also been classified as belonging to this family.

If you like this post, please subscribe below,thanks!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

To Get Update All Posts About Cambodia, Please Subscribe here,Thanks!

3 comments:

Post a Comment

Random Posts