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Language as an Ethic Denominator in Southern Thailand : A Case Study of Yala Province

Munirah , Yamirudeng (2011) Language as an Ethic Denominator in Southern Thailand : A Case Study of Yala Province. PhD. thesis, Universiti Utara Malaysia.

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Abstract

In the context of language contact in Thailand, ethnic minority languages are prone to change, attrition, and loss. Therefore, the general aim of this study is to explain why, how and to what extent does language as an ethnic denominator play a vital role in determining the preservation of ethnic identity among the Malay Muslims of southern Thailand. The study is based on a qualitative research approach and theories of ethnicity and sociolinguistics; it employs in-depth interviews with 38 Malay Muslims who reside in Yala; they were divided into two main groups: the elites and the public masses. Two factors have been identified regarding language and ethnicity. First, the minority language is seen as a relevant ethno-cultural marker and its usage is limited within specific contexts such as family, relatives and religion. Second, the minority language is preserved in combination with Thai, making many Malay Muslims bilingual. In both cases native language is considered as a significant unifying value and cultural marker for the group. This study serves the need for studies that analyze language as an essential component of nationalism, and not merely as a means of communication. In addition to contributing to knowledge in the mentioned areas, by examining the case of Malay Muslims, general factors that influence ethnic identity maintenance will provide a more scientific basis for decision-making related to linguistic policies and language planning that will permit linguistic pluralism and coexistence rather than assimilationist or monolinguistic policies currently in force in Thailand

Item Type: Thesis (PhD.)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology.
P Language and Literature > PL Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
Divisions: College of Law, Government and International Studies (COLGIS)
Depositing User: Mr. Badrulsaman Hamid
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2013 04:40
Last Modified: 26 Apr 2016 02:47
URI: http://etd.uum.edu.my/id/eprint/3404

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