Volume 38, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0731-3500
  • E-ISSN: 2214-5907
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This paper aims to discuss the vitality and endangerment of Lalo, a Lolo-Burmese language spoken in Yunnan province in southwest China. Analysis of the data collected during the survey of the use of the Lalo language in Xiaowan area shows that this minority language is definitely endangered. The comparison of the use of language between Nuosu Yi areas and Lalo Yi areas indicates that the endangerment of the Lalo language is related to interruption of intergenerational mother tongue transmission within families and dwindling use of Lalo in the domains of education, media and work. The following five suggestions are proposed for further discussion on preservation and revitalization of the Lalo language: (1) the Lalo language preservation and revitalization programs could be combined with protection of the intangible heritage in Lalo-speaking areas; (2) the Lalo language needs to be comprehensively documented and systematically researched; (3) language teaching and learning materials as well as resources about Lalo culture should be provided using a newly-developed orthography; (4) multilingualism and cultural diversity should be the principle of language development in Lalo-speaking areas; and (5) the preservation and revitalization of Lalo language could be promoted with appropriate policies and adequate financial support as well as widespread support of all parties concerned, especially the speech communities themselves.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): endangerment; Lalo; minority languages; preservation; revitalization
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