John Haiman | Macalester College St. Paul
ISBN 9789027238160 | EUR 115.00 | USD 173.00
ISBN 9789027238238 | EUR 33.00 | USD 49.95
ISBN 9789027285027 | EUR 115.00/33.00*
| USD 173.00/49.95*
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Cambodian is in many respects a typical Southeast Asian language, whose syntax at least on first acquaintance seems to approximate that of any SVO pidgin. On closer acquaintance, however, because of the richness of its idioms, the language seems to be a forbiddingly alien form of “Desesperanto” – a language of which one can read a page and understand every word individually, and have no inkling of what the page was all about. Like many of the languages of its genetic (Austroasiatic) family, its basic root vocabulary seems to consist largely of sesquisyllabic or iambic words, although there are an enormous number of unassimilated borrowings from Indic languages (which seem to play the same role in Cambodian that Latinate borrowings do in English). Morphologically, Cambodian has a fairly elaborate system of derivational affixes, and it is possible that the genesis of many of the most common of these affixes is related to (and undoes) the constant reduction of unstressed initial syllables in sesquisyllabic words. Again like many of the languages of Southeast Asia, Cambodian exhibits in its lexicon a penchant for symmetrical decorative compounding, a phenomenon which is so marginally attested in Western languages that the phenomenon has received little attention in the typological literature.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“An impressive collection of data that will surely interest specialists, “Cambodian” will also hopefully inspire a new generation of scholars to take up the linguistic challenges of the Khmer language.”

Main BIC Subject

CF/2GRH: Linguistics/Cambodian (Khmer)

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2011025124