Review of 'The Tai Languages of Assam - A Grammar and Texts', by Stephen Morey, Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, 2005

Post, Mark (2006) Review of 'The Tai Languages of Assam - A Grammar and Texts', by Stephen Morey, Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, 2005. Linguistics of the Tibeto-Burman Area , 29 (2). pp. 141-153.

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[Extract] The volume under review is the first ever large-scale description of the Tai languages of North East India, and treats the Assam-based Phake, Aiton and Khamyang varieties, as well as (to a limited extent) the Arunachali Tai variety Khamti and the basically extinct language Ahom. It is not simply "a grammar and texts", as the title proposes, but is rather a comprehensive documentation of a language or languages (I will return to this point), some features of which include an extensive literature review, a dialect survey, an explication of scripts and ceremonial-literary traditions, the current versions of three already very substantial dictionaries-in-progress (as well as a digitization of a previously unpublished dictionary by another author), a descriptive grammar, and a far larger body of fully analysed and annotated texts than is usually found in works of this kind, in addition to many helpful ancillary materials such as large colour photographs, detailed maps and consultant biographies. The sheer scale of Morey's presentation is made possible through the inclusion of an ingeniously conceived and designed CD-ROM, which not only contains the full text of the bound presentation (replete with numerous links and clickable cross-references), but includes sound files for nearly every example, and every text, to which the author makes reference, as well as numerous materials (such as the dictionaries and text analyses) which are simply too extensive to include in a printed work of acceptable size and cost. Morey's work thus not only easily takes its place at the forefront of North East Indian Tai studies, it paves the way, and provides much of the necessary data, for extensive future research in the area.

Item ID: 17866
Item Type: Article (Book Review)
ISSN: 0731-3500
Keywords: review, Stephen Morey, Tai, Phake, Aiton, Khamyang, Khamti, Ahom
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Date Deposited: 05 Oct 2011 04:18
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2004 Linguistics > 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture @ 100%
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