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Type: Thesis
Title: Language ecology and language planning in Chiang Rai Province, Thailand.
Author: Oupra, Simmee
Issue Date: 2009
School/Discipline: School of Humanities : Linguistics
Abstract: 'Language Ecology and Language Planning in Chiang Rai, Thailand' had three main aims: to study the language ecology and sub-ecologies of Chiang Rai province, to study the factors and forces that affect the language ecology, and to study language plans and language policies in Chiang Rai. This study employed two main frameworks: theoretical and methodological framework. The theoretical construct is based on a parameter rich linguistic theory, Ecolinguistics, where concepts and parameters from linguistics and non-linguistics disciplines are employed. The parameter rich theory assists immensely in the understanding of language as it believes that language is interconnected with the world and the world with language. The study was conducted using ethnography as the methodological framework due to it allowing a wide array of data collection methods which include document studies, observation, participant observation, recorded and unrecorded interviews, personal communications and field notes. Moreover, ethnography provided an opportunity to reflect on the researcher's multiple identities and in varying degrees as insider and outsider. Data collection was conducted in Chiang Rai and six villages in three districts; two districts in the Greater Mae Khong Subregion (G1-IS) area namely Chiang Khong and Chiang Saen; and one district in a special economic border zone area Maesai district. The districts were chosen based on economic influences while the six villages were randomly selected. The villages studied were Wiang Mok and Huay Kok villages in Chiang Khong district; Sop Ruak and Santhaat villages in Chiang Saen province; and Phamee and Payaang Chum in Maesai district. Data were also collected from stakeholders concerned in language planning namely government and nongovernment organizations. There were two main findings in accordance with the research aims. Firstly, it was found that the language ecology and sub-ecologies of Chiang Rai province and the villages were dynamic and multiplex. The dynamics and complexities of the ecology and sub-ecologies wee dependent on numerous interactions of different factors and forces. The factors were social educational, geographical, economic, and political/geopolitical. There were four main levels of forces: world level, national level, regional/provincial level, and home level. The interaction of forces could be positive, negative or neutral to the health of the language ecology. Secondly, with regards to language planning and policy, it was found that there was no explicit minority language policy or planning in Thailand. Two types of language policy were found in Chiang Rai and Thailand: a top-down policy and quasi-bottom up policy. Both policies were education related. The top-down policies were comprised of an implicit national language policy and an explicit foreign language policy, especially for English and Chinese. The quasi-bottom up policy was the only local policy found in Chiang Rai where a Chinese language curriculum was developed at the local level but with a national economic related strategic vision. The study also suggested that future language planning and policies in Thailand should take into account the findings of language ecology and sub-ecologies in Chiang Rai. Language plans should recognise the effect of those factors and forces that will affect other languages within the same ecology.
Advisor: Mühlhäusler, Peter
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Humanities, 2009
Subject: Language and languages Thailand.
Language obsolescence Thailand.
Keywords: language ecology; language planning; Lu; Chiang Rai; Thailand; linguistic ecology; Akha; Kammu; Northern Thai; Lamet; Yunnanese Chinese
Provenance: Copyright material removed from digital thesis. See print copy in University of Adelaide Library for full text.
Appears in Collections:Research Theses

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