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Documentation and Description of the Pakatan language spoken in Hoanh Son, Quang Binh province, Vietnam


Language Pakatan (ISO639-3:pkt), ,
Depositor Albert Badosa Roldós
Affiliation SOAS University of London / Universitat de Barcelona
Location Vietnam
Collection ID
Grant ID SG0609
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Forthcoming
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

Malieng, a variety of the Pakatan language is spoken in half a dozen villages in the Hoanh Son mountain range (Central Vietnam). This collection compilates both linguistics-focused data (elicitation sessions), different types of texts (narratives and procedural texts) and also data on traditional cultural practices (goat herding, mountain agriculture, etc.). It therefore encompasses not only linguistic scopes of the community, but also cultural, historical and sociological scopes.

The collection also includes translated and transcribed texts, a glossed text, a small dictionary and a short subtitled video. The main beneficiary from this collection is and should be the community itself. The collection can also be of use for the scientific community for research purposes.

The data was collected by the community members and Albert Badosa Roldós, a linguist working with them and also an investigator of their language.


Group represented

This collection focuses on the speakers of Pakatan located in the Hoanh Son range, in the province of Quang Binh, Vietnam. They are a sedentary ethnic group living in half a dozen villages scattered along the mountain range. Their subsistence is based on mountain agriculture and goat herding. Ethnic minorities in Vietnam face several problems, and the Vietic groups are not an exception. They face large poverty and illiteracy rates, early marriages, shortage of water and essential products, lack of education in their own culture and languages, etc. The study of the Vietic groups may help understanding the process of sedentarisation of ethnic minorities in South-East Asia and reconstruct ancient ways of life. It may also help understanding the cultural and linguistic history of the Vietnamese (Viet or Kinh) ethnic group.


Language information

The Pakatan language (.pkt) is spoken in Laos and Vietnam by less than a 1000 people. The variety spoken in Vietnam, which is the focus of this collection, is called Malieng and has no more than 200 speakers, who inhabit the Hoanh Son mountain range in the Quang Binh province, in Central Vietnam. Pakatan is a Vietic language, a subgroup of the Austroasiatic or Mon-Khmer linguistic family. Vietnamese is the only widespread and non-threatened or vanishing language of this subgroup, making the preservation and documentation of the Vietic languages (a small subgroup including a dozen languages) of utmost importance and urgence. Excepting Vietnamese, the other Vietic languages are not written and a large number of their speakers are illiterate and suffer from minorisation policies. Pakatan speakers are bilingual in Vietnamese and Pakatan, making Pakatan an endangered language. The historical Vietnamese dialect of the region has also a strong impact on Pakatan. Pakatan has not been documented yet, the only material documented are some word lists elicited in the late XXth century by prof. Tran Tri Doi and prof. Michel Ferlus.


Collection contents

The majority of bundles in this collection are audio-video recordings. There are also some additional audio-only recordings.
– 2 hours of video- and audio-recorded elicitation sessions
– 2 hours of audio-recorded elicitation sessions
– 1 hour of a video- and audio-recorded narrative text
– 1 hour of an audio-recorded narrative text
– 2 hours of video- and audio-recorded procedural texts
– 2 hours of video- and audio-recordings of traditional cultural practices
The collection also includes:
– 3 hours of translated and transcribed texts from the recordings aforementioned
– 1 hour of a glossed text from the transcriptions above
– 30′ of a subtitled video
– 1 small dictionary, with words in Pakatan, Vietnamese, French and English.


Acknowledgement and citation

Badosa Roldós, Albert. 2020. Documentation and Description of the Pakatan language spoken in Hoanh Son, Quang Binh province, Vietnam. Endangered Languages Archive. Accessed on [insert date here].

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