|Region||Pursat Province, Chantaburi|
|Ethnicity||2,000 Chong (2007)|
|Thai, Khmer, |
Chong (invented in 2010)
Chong (Thai: ภาษาชอง, also spelled Chawng, Shong, Xong) is an endangered language spoken in eastern Thailand and formerly in Cambodia by the Chong. It is a Western Pearic language in the Mon–Khmer language family. Chong is currently the focus of a language revitalization project in Thailand.
The Chong language is marked by its unusual four-way contrast in register. Its grammar has not been extensively studied, but it is unrelated to the Thai language which is in the Tai–Kadai language family. Chong had no written form until 2000, when researchers at Mahidol University used a simplified version of standard Thai characters to create a Chong writing system, after which the first teaching materials in the language appeared. Chong is currently considered to be at stage 7 in Joshua Fishman's Graded Intergenerational Disruption Scale (GIDS), where stage 8 is the closest to extinction.
Chong is actually two languages, Western Chong, and Central Chong or Samre. The Western Chong community in Thailand is primarily located in and around Chanthaburi.
Central Chong includes the Kasong dialect of Trat. (See that article for details.)
While the language spoken in Thailand has been studied recently, the Chong language in Cambodia has not been investigated yet. David Bradley (2007) reports no remaining speakers.
Main article: Pearic languages
A number of Pearic languages are called "Chong", and they all do not constitute a single language. Chong proper consists of the majority of varieties which Sidwell (2009) labeled "Western Chong". This includes the main dialect around Chanthaburi Province (mostly in southern Khao Khitchakut District and western Pong Nam Ron District). on the Thai–Cambodian border. These should not be confused with the variety called "Chong" in Trat Province of western Thailand, nor with "Kasong" Chong, both of which were classified as "Central Chong" along with Samre, and so should perhaps be considered dialects of Samre rather than of Chong. Similarly, the languages called "Chung" in Kanchanaburi Province and in Cambodia are dialects of Sa'och, and were classified as "Southern Chong" along with Suoi.
The Western Chong dialects (Chong proper) are as follows:
Isara Choosri (2002) lists the following dialects of Chong spoken in Chanthaburi Province.
The Central Chong dialects are,
|Stop||p pʰ b||t tʰ d||c cʰ||k kʰ||ʔ|
|Close||i, iː||ɨ, ɨː||u, uː|
|Close-Mid||e, eː||ə, əː||o, oː|
|Open-mid||ɛ, ɛː||ɔ, ɔː|
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