[Dissertation] Register in Eastern Cham: Phonological, phonetic and Sociolinguistic approach

Marc Brunelle August 2005

Cornell University

m11688_vmThe Chamic language family is often cited as a test case for contact linguistics. Although Chamic languages are Austronesian, they are claimed to have converged with Mon-Khmer languages and adopted features from their closest neighbors. A good example of such a convergence is the realization of phonological register in Cham dialects. In many Southeast Asian languages, the loss of the voicing contrast in onsets has led to the development of two registers, bundles of features that initially included pitch, voice quality, vowel quality and durational differences and that are typically realized on rimes. While Cambodian Cham realizes register mainly through vowel quality, just like Khmer, the registers of the Cham dialect spoken in southcentral Vietnam (Eastern Cham) are claimed to have evolved into tone, a property that plays a central role in Vietnamese phonology. This dissertation evaluates the hypothesis that contact with Vietnamese is responsible for the recent evolution of Eastern Cham register by exploring the nature of the sound system of Eastern Cham from phonetic, phonological and sociolinguistic perspectives.

Access the full paper here: http://aix1.uottawa.ca/~mbrunell/Eastern%20Cham%20register.pdf


Cham Maritime Technology: Basket-Hulled Boats

David G. Sox, aka Che Sah Binu
Independent Champa Scholar


Basket-hulled boats appear to be unique to Central Vietnam, and their present-day geographic distribution is congruent with the historic culture area of the primarily Austronesianspeaking Champa from modern Quang Binh to Binh Thuan. It is believed that no modern Cham population in mainland Southeast Asia still regularly uses boats for transportation or fishing, but the Vietnamese of Central Vietnam traditionally used a large variety of hand-made row- sail- boats with sewn planked upper hulls and flexible hull bottoms. The flexible hull bottoms consisted of woven strips of bamboo that have been caulked with various substances including buffalo dung, tree resin, flaked malaleuca leucadendron cork, coconut husk fibers, and/or ground bamboo. The wovenbamboo basket-hulled boats ranged from small circular coracles (thúng) to ocean-going sailing boats with a capacity of 100 tons or more of cargo. This unique boat technology appears to be an indigenous independent development peculiar to the Austronesian-speaking Cham people that could date back several millennia. However, all evidence of attributing the origin of the boat technology to the Cham is circumstantial. There is much research that could be done to illuminate the Cham connection to traditional boat technology in Vietnam. The following research questions are suggested: (1) conduct additional maritime archaeology to find early historic or prehistoric examples of basket-hulled boats; (2) search the large body of Cham-language manuscripts for descriptions of boat and fishing techniques; (3) complete the planned inventory/ethnology of boats in Vietnam that was proposed by the British Museum; (4) determine why this geographically unique distribution of boat architecture did not spread outside Central Vietnam; and (5) determine if the Cham population of sailors and fishermen historic were the same as the Cham population that were primarily farmers.

Please click here to view the full paper: Basket Hulled Boats of Ancient Champa

The Mon – Khmer Substrate in Chamic: Chamic, Bahnaric and Katuic contact

Paul Sidwell

Centre for Research in Computational Linguistics (Bangkok) & Australian National University <paulsidwell@yahoo.com>

Austroasiatic-en.svgThe publication of Thurgood’s (1999, henceforth “Thurgood”) comparative-historical study of the Chamic languages puts the field of historical Chamic studies on a very solid foundation, yet also raises many new and important questions in relation to the history of language contact in Mainland Southeast Asia. Recent advances in the phonological and lexical reconstruction of Bahnaric and Katuic (Sidwell 2002, Sidwell & Jacq 2003, Sidwell 2005)1 have clarified the internal genetic classifications of these groups, allowing inferences to be made about their historical locations and contacts with Proto-Chamic (henceforth “PC”). Comparison with the PC lexicon strongly suggests an ancient Sprachbund involving especially strong PC influence upon North and Central Bahnaric, but rather less direct contact with Katuic. The source of a substantial proportion of the apparently MK stratum in PC remains a mystery, and may well have been an extinct language (or languages) spoken in areas now home to Katuic or Bahnaric speakers. Continue reading

Religious architecture and irrigation in the plain of Phan Rang

William A Southworth

Curator of Southeast Asian Art, Rijksmuseum

64-1The plain of Phan Rang was formerly the centre of a Cham polity or kingdom known as Pāuraga. This kingdom remained partly independent until the early 19th century (Po Dharma 1987), while the Phan Rang area (Fig. 5.1) is still the main demographic focus of the modern Cham ethnic minority in central Vietnam (Nakamura 1999). Two ancient brick temples remain in use today. The temple of Po Klaong Girai (Fig. 5.2) is situated on the crest of a hill rising 50 metres above the surrounding plain, on the left bank of the Dinh River; close to the main railway line and the modern settlement of Tháp Chàm named after it (Parmentier 1909:81–95). The earliest inscription found at this site (Finot 1903:643–6, 1915:39–49) records a date of 972 in the śaka era (circa 1050 CE),1 but the present temple was probably only completed in the late 13th century.2 The river-mouth port at Đông Hi and the main market at Phan Rang may also date back to this period.3 Continue reading

Văn minh Champa qua lăng kính khảo cổ học

Dougald J.W. O ‘Reilly

Người Chăm là một sắc dân riêng biệt về mặt chủng tộc được nhận thấy nhiều nơi trên nước Việt Nam và Căm Bốt hiện đại.  Người Chăm nói một ngôn ngữ thuộc nhóm ngôn ngữ Nam Á (Austronesian).  Đa số ngôn ngữ dòng Austronesian được tìm thấy ở vùng đảo Đông Nam Á và khắp Thái Bình Dương.  Trong khung cảnh này người Chăm mang nét độc đáo, và khả năng của họ để tồn tại ở Đông Nam Á là nhờ phần nào ở sức mạnh kinh tế và chính trị thời ban sơ của họ.

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