1887
Volume 25, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238

Abstract

Literate Lahu, speakers of a Tibeto-Burman language in the ethnically and linguistically diverse uplands of Southeast Asia and southwest China, inscribe their language in an ecology of literacies shaped by the imbrication of a number of ideologies. As members of the larger category of chao khao or mountain people, the Lahu belong to a group which is persistently labeled as Other. (Laungaramsri 2001: 43-4). Lahu are also a people-without-writing (Pine 1999), despite the fact that at least three writing systems exist for Lahu, with a fourth in somewhat limited use and at least one other system in development. The ideological diversity of the entextualization of Lahu benefits seeing it within a particular historical and ecological context. This paper historicizes particular literacy practices within the context of the development of a particular form of written Lahu. It also traces the influence of a phenomenon termed "proprietary orthographies" which permeates the ecology of literacies in mainland Southeast Asia and, I argue, has a significant impact on Lahu language literacy practices. Focusing on a subtle issue of the representation of tone, and also drawing on self-reporting of literacy, as well as making use of Keane's concept of "semiotic ideologies", I argue that orthographies enjoy a complex form of indexicality in this region which differs in small, but important, ways from other areas.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/prag.25.4.05pin
2015-12-01
2019-09-21
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Ahmad, Rizwan
    (2011) Urdu in Devanagari: Shifting orthographic practices and Muslim identity in Delhi. Language in Society40.3: 259-284. doi: 10.1017/S0047404511000182
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404511000182 [Google Scholar]
  2. Anderson, Courtney
    (1956) To the golden shore: The life of Admiram Judson. New York: Little, Brown and Company.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Balhorn, Mark
    (1998) Paper representations of the non-standard voice. Visible Language32: 56–74.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Bourdieu, Pierre
    (1991) Language and Symbolic Power. G.R. a. M. Anderson , transl. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bradley, David
    (1979) Lahu Dialects. Canberra: Australian National University.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Brown, Becky
    (1993) The social consequences of writing in Louisiana French. Language in Society22.1: 67-101. doi: 10.1017/S0047404500016924
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0047404500016924 [Google Scholar]
  7. Chafe, Wallace , and Deborah Tannen
    (1987) The relation between written and spoken language. Annual Review of Anthropology16: 383-407. doi: 10.1146/annurev.an.16.100187.002123
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.an.16.100187.002123 [Google Scholar]
  8. Chamberlain, James R
    (1991) The Ram Khamhaeng Controversy: Collected Papers. Bangkok, Thailand: The Siam Society.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. Coulmas, Florian
    (1989) The Writing Systems of the World. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Dickinson, Jennifer
    . (this issue) Plastic letters: Alphabet mixing and ideologies of print in Ukrainian shop signs. Pragmatics25.4: 517-534.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Enwall, Joakim
    (2001) Di- and trigraphia among the A-Hmao in Yunnan province, China. International Journal of the Sociology of Language150: 95-107.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Errington, Joseph
    (2001) Colonial Linguistics. Annual Review of Anthropology30.1: 19-39. doi: 10.1146/annurev.anthro.30.1.19
    https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.anthro.30.1.19 [Google Scholar]
  13. Feingold, David
    (2000) The hell of good intentions: Some preliminary thoughts on opium in the political ecology of the trade in girls and women. In G. Evans , C. Hutton , and K.K. Eng (eds.), Where China Meets Southeast Asia: Social & Cultural Change in the Border Regions. New York: St. Martin's Press, pp. 183-221.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Fennigson, Jenina
    (1999) “A Broke-Up Mirror”: Representing Bajan in print. Cultural Anthropology14.1: 61-87. doi: 10.1525/can.1999.14.1.61
    https://doi.org/10.1525/can.1999.14.1.61 [Google Scholar]
  15. Gal, Susan
    (1991) Bartók's funeral: Representations of Europe in Hungarian political rhetoric. American Ethnologist28.3: 442-458.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Gal, Susan , and Kathryn Woolard
    (2001) Constructing languages and publics: Authority and representation. In S. Gal , and K. Woolard (eds.), Languages and publics: The making of authority. Manchester: St. Jerome Press, pp. 1-12.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Graff, Harvey J
    (1987) The Labyrinths of Literacy: Reflections on Literacy Past and Present. London: The Falmer Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Harrell, Stevan
    (1995) Cultural encounters on China's ethnic frontiers. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Heath, Shirley Brice
    (1983) Ways With Words: Language, life and work in communities and classroomsCambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Hoffman-Dilloway, Erika
    (2008) Metasemiotic regimentation in the standardization of Nepali Sign Language. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology18.2: 192-213. doi: 10.1111/j.1548‑1395.2008.00019.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1395.2008.00019.x [Google Scholar]
  21. Hunter, Cleda Beatrice
    (1946) The Contributions of J.H. Telford in the Christianizing of the Lahus of Burma, During the Period from 1924 to 1939. Master. Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. IWGIA
    (2004) The Indigenous World-2004. International Working Group for Indigenous Affairs. Copenhagen.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Irvine, Judith T. , and Susan Gal
    (2000) Language ideology and linguistic differentiation. In Paul V. Kroskrity (ed.), Regimes of Language: Ideologies, Polities, and Identities. Santa Fe, New Mexico: School of American Research Press, pp. 35-84.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Jaffe, Alexandra
    (2009) Entextualization, mediazation and authentication: Orthographic choice in media transcripts. Text & Talk29.5: 571-594. doi: 10.1515/TEXT.2009.030
    https://doi.org/10.1515/TEXT.2009.030 [Google Scholar]
  25. Jaffe, Alexandra , and Shana Walton
    (2000) The voices people read: Orthography and the representation of non-standard speech. Journal of Sociolinguistics4.4: 561-587. doi: 10.1111/1467‑9481.00130
    https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9481.00130 [Google Scholar]
  26. Jones, Delmos J
    (1967) Cultural variation among six Lahu villages, Northern Thailand. Dissertation, Cornell University.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Keane, Webb
    (2003) Semiotics and the social analysis of material things. Language and Communication23: 409-425. doi: 10.1016/S0271‑5309(03)00010‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/S0271-5309(03)00010-7 [Google Scholar]
  28. Krairiksh, Piriya
    (1991) Towards a revised history of Sukhothai art: A reassessment of the inscription of King Ram Khamhaeng. In J.R. Chamberlain (ed.), The Ram Khamhaeng Controversy: Collected Papers. Bangkok: The Siam Society, pp. 53-160.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Krammerer, Cornelia Ann
    (1988) Territorial imperatives, Akha ethnic identity and Thailand’s national integration. In R. Rudieri , F. Pellizzi , and S. Tambiah (eds.), Ethnicities and Nations. Houston: University of Texas Press, pp. 277-291.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Levi-Strauss, Claude
    (1992) Tristes Tropiques. J.a.D. Wrightman , transl. New York: Viking Penguin.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Maybin, Janet
    (2007) Literacy under and over the desk: Oppositions and heterogeneity. Language and Education21.6: 515-530. doi: 10.2167/le720.0
    https://doi.org/10.2167/le720.0 [Google Scholar]
  32. Moerman, Michael
    (1968) Being Lue: Uses and abuses of ethnic identification. In J. Helm (ed.), Essays on the Problem of Tribe, Proceedings of the 1967 Annual Spring Meeting of the American Ethnological Society. Seattle: University of Washington Press, pp. 153-169.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Nishimoto, Yoichi
    (1998) Northern Thai Christian Lahu narratives of inferiority: A study of social experience. Master of Arts. Chiang Mai University.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. Pine, Judith M.S
    (1999) Lahu writing/writing Lahu: Literacy and the possession of writing. InGlobalization and the Asian Economic Crisis: Indigenous Responses, Coping Strategies, and Governance Reform in Southeast Asia. Vancouver, British Columbia: Institute of Asian Research, University of British Columbia, pp. 176-185.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. (2008) Landscapes of literacy: The view from a Lahu village. In Prasit Leepreecha , Kwanchewan Buadaeng , and Don McCaskill (eds.), Integration, Marginalization and Resistance: Ethnic Minorities of the Greater Mekong Subregion. Chiangmai, Thailand: Silkworm Books.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Pinkaew, Laungramsri
    (2001) Redefining Nature: Karen Ecological Knowledge and the Challenge to the Modern Conservation Paradigm. Thailand: Regional Center for Social Sciences and Sustainable Development: Chiang Mai.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Schieffelin, Bambi B. , and Rachelle Charlier Doucet
    (1994) The “real” Haitian Creole: Ideology, metalinguistics, and orthographic choice. American Ethnologist21.1: 176-200. doi: 10.1525/ae.1994.21.1.02a00090
    https://doi.org/10.1525/ae.1994.21.1.02a00090 [Google Scholar]
  38. Silverstein, Michael
    (1976) Shifters, linguistic categories, and cultural description. In Keigh Basso , and Henry Selby (eds.), Meaning in Anthropology. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, pp. 11-55.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Smalley, William A
    (1994) Linguistic Diversity and National Unity: Language Ecology in Thailand. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Smalley, William Allen , Chia Koua Vang , and Gnia Yee Yang
    (1990) Mother of Writing: The Origin and Development of a Hmong Messianic Script. P.T. Mitt Moua , transl. Chicago and London: The University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Sharp, Lauriston
    (1965) Philadelphia among the Lahu. In J.R.H. Lucien , M. Hanks , and Lauriston Sharp (eds.), Ethnographic Notes on Northern Thailand. Vol. Data Paper: Number 58. Ithaca: Cornell University Southeast Asia Program, pp. 84-96.
    [Google Scholar]
  42. Street, Brian V
    (1984) Literacy in Theory and Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. (1993) Cross-cultural approaches to the study of literacy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. (2003) What’s ‘new’ in New Literary Studies?: Critical approaches in theory and practice. Current Issues in Camparative Education5.2: 77-91.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Tapp, Nicholas
    (1989) The impact of missionary Christianity upon marginalized ethnic minorities: The case of the Hmong. Journal of Southeast Asian StudiesXX.1: 70-95. doi: 10.1017/S0022463400019858
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022463400019858 [Google Scholar]
  46. UNESCO
    (1984) Literacy Situation in Asia and the Pacific. Country Studies: Thailand. Bangkok: UNESCO.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Walker, Anthony R
    (2003) Merit and the Millenium: Routine and Crisis in the Ritual Lives of the Lahu People. New Delhi: Hindustan Publishing Corporation.
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/prag.25.4.05pin
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Entextualization , Lahu , Language ideology and Writing systems
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error