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LINGUIST List 16.1373

Fri Apr 29 2005

Diss: Lang Description/Phonetics: Jacq: 'A ...'

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        1.    Pascale Jacq, A Description of Jruq (Loven): a Mon-Khmer language of the Lao PDR

Message 1: A Description of Jruq (Loven): a Mon-Khmer language of the Lao PDR
Date: 29-Apr-2005
From: Pascale Jacq <pascale.jacqanu.edu.au>
Subject: A Description of Jruq (Loven): a Mon-Khmer language of the Lao PDR

Institution: Australian National University
Program: School of Language Studies, Faculty of Arts
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2001

Author: Pascale Jacq

Dissertation Title: A Description of Jruq (Loven): a Mon-Khmer language of the Lao PDR

Linguistic Field(s): Language Description

Subject Language(s): Laven (LBO)
Language Family(ies): Eastern Mon-Khmer

Dissertation Director:
Avery Andrews
Anthony Diller
Michel Ferlus
Harold Koch

Dissertation Abstract:

This thesis is a description of Jruq (a.k.a Boloven, Lawen), a Mon-Khmer
language of mainland Southeast Asia. It is a minority language spoken in
the Champassak, Attapeu and Saravane provinces of the Lao People's
Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). The investigation is based predominantly on
the data I collected during four intensive fieldwork trips between 1997 and

Jruq has not been studied thoroughly by linguists, and as a result there is
very little literature available on it, mostly some wordlists, some very
basic grammatical information and a small amount of text. This thesis is an
attempt at a more complete and systematic description, within the limits of
a Masters thesis. The range of topics covered include phonetics, phonology,
morphology and syntax. Special attention is given to some particular
features of Jruq which are typologically unusual, or otherwise noteworthy,
these include:

- the phonation-type distinctions among initial consonants (this is treated
as a phonological rather than phonetic distinction)
- the distinction of active rather than passive articulators in determining
the major places of consonant articulation,
- word and syllable structure, and my proposal to treat the phonological
word as basically monosyllabic,
- the interesting system of prefixation which is now no longer productive,
and has been partly obscured by phonological changes to the language,
- the complex Tense, Aspect and Mood system unusual for other Mon-Khmer
- the indigenous 'Khom' script, previously not described in detail in the

Chapter 1 is a basic introduction to the Jruq language and speakers,
describing Jruq's broad linguistic affiliation and an ethnographic account
of the Jruq as a distinct language community.

Chapter 2 is a detailed description of the sounds of Jruq. Of particular
interest are the phonetic distinctions between laryngeal settings for all
consonants. I provide spectrographic and instrumental analyses of my field
recordings to illustrate these sounds. Chapter 3 is a phonological
treatment of the sounds discussed in Chapter 2. An analysis of word and
syllable structure is given which best accounts for the highly restricted
segments in particular positions of the word.

Chapter 4 examines the natural word classes in Jruq determined by syntactic
criteria. Chapter 5 describes Jruq phrase types which are explained using
Phrase structure rules and illustrated with Tree diagrams. Chapter 6
describes the Sentence types which are determined by sentence-level
intonation patterns (plus the use of various Particles).
The thesis also includes various appendices. Appendix I is a lexicon of
1500 Jru' words I recorded. These are sorted by initial consonant and I
have included phonetic transcriptions of their pronunciation as I heard
them. Appendix II is a brief description of the 'Khom' (Kommadam) script
which was devised by the Jruq King, Ong Kommadam in the 1930's. Appendix
III comprises five glossed and translated Jruq texts. These include a
monologue by Mr. Lin about his experiences during the US bombing of Paksong
in 1971; a recipe for making 'Sukiyaki' by Miss Toi; a description of the
traditional Jruq 'welcoming ceremony', by Mr. Ching; the 'Bulbul' song by
Miss Toi and myself; and a short description by Mr. Lin of traditional
burial practices.

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