Sedang
Native toVietnam and Laos
RegionKon Tum, Quảng Nam, Quảng Ngãi, Dak Lak(Vietnam)
EthnicitySedang people
Native speakers
98,000 (2007)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3sed
Glottologseda1262
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Sedang is an Austro-Asiatic language spoken in eastern Laos and Kon Tum Province in south central Vietnam. The Sedang language has the most speakers of any of the languages of the North Bahnaric language group, a group of languages known for their range of vowel phonations.

Phonology

Consonants

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive prenasalized ᵐb ⁿd ᶮdʑ ᵑɡ  
unaspirated p t k ʔ
aspirated tɕʰ
Fricative voiceless f s x h
voiced v z ɣ
Approximant w l j

Vowels

  Front Central Back
High i   u
Upper Mid e   o
Lower Mid ɛ   ɔ
Low   a  

Diphthongs

  Front Glide Central Glide Back Glide
/i/ Nucleus iɛ̯, ḭɛ̯ iə̯, ḭə̯, ĩə̯̃, ḭ̃ə̯̃ io̯, ĩõ̯
/u/ Nucleus   uə̯, ṵə̯, ũə̯̃, ṵ̃ə̯̃ uo̯, ṵo̯
/e/ Nucleus   eə̯, ḛə̯, ẽə̯̃, ḛ̃ə̯̃ eo̯, ḛo̯, ḛ̃o̯
/o/ Nucleus oɛ̯, o̰ɛ̯ oə̯, o̰ə̯, õə̯̃  

Sedang itself has 24 pure vowels: 7 vowel qualities, all of which may be plain ([a]), nasalized ([ã]), and creaky ([a̰]) and three of which /i a o/ may be both nasal and creaky ([ã̰]). While it does not have the length distinctions of other North Bahnaric languages, it has more diphthongs, between 33 and 55 vowel sounds all together. (The above set yields 50.) Sedang is thus sometimes claimed to have the largest vowel inventory in the world. However, other Bahnaric languages have more vowel qualities (Bahnar, for example, has 9) in addition to phonemic vowel length so the language with the record depends closely on how the languages are described and distinct vowels are defined.

References

  1. ^ Sedang at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Smith, Kenneth D. (1975). Phonology and Syntax of Sedang, A Vietnam Mon-Khmer Language. University of Pennsylvania. pp. 62–64.

Further reading