Volume 3, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2452-1949
  • E-ISSN: 2452-2147
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This paper aims to illustrate the relationship between documentary linguistics and ethnographic discourse analysis and to explore how language and cultural practices are connected in order to understand the linguistic practices and Black Tai death ritual as a key site of engagement. The Black Tai death ritual is selected in order to present the determined efforts made in maintaining Black Tai ethnic identity through cultural practices.

Nexus analysis is introduced and deployed in this research to present the significance of Black Tai’s key communicative activity and social actions involved. In the analysis, the Black Tai death ritual is investigated. The study shows that documentary linguistics makes a noteworthy contribution to understanding the Black Tai’s linguistic and cultural heritage. It reveals that although death rituals are practiced in much the same way as they were in the past, there have inevitably been some significant changes depending on the locations, with specific adaptations and adopted elements based on the surrounding cultures (i.e., Thai culture and religious beliefs) and socio-economic conditions. Black Tai communities are at a settled stage of their death ritual practices by integrating certain aspects of Buddhism into their rituals.

In order to construct a modern Black Tai identity among generations, younger generation engagement is challenging but it is essential for the inter-transmission of death rituals. With this dynamic cultural practice, the Black Tai are a good example of an adaptive and diverse ethnic group.


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