Diglossia and change from below in Eastern Cham
Diglossia canonically refers to language situations with unequal attitudes towards a formal ‘H’ variety, connected to writing, and a colloquial ‘L’ variety, connected to everyday speech. This paper claims that variation that arises as a marker of diglossia can become dissociated from it and persist in the L variety, if it is sufficiently orthogonal to the writing system. With a sociolinguistic survey (n = 30), this paper examines five variables that were markers of quasi-diglossia in Eastern Cham in previous decades. Three of the variables continue to be stereotypes or shibboleths of diglossia, while the other two no longer exhibit any correlation with diglossia: the spirantization of r and the labial coarticulation of ŋ. The latter were changes from below that decoupled from diglossia, because they were sufficiently opaque to Cham script.
Keywords: diglossia, formality, language contact, Austronesian, Southeast Asia, Vietnamese
Keywords: song biệt ngữ, nghi thức, tiếp xúc ngôn ngữ, Ngữ hệ Nam Đảo, Đông Nam Á, Tiếng Việt
Published online: 17 September 2018
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