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Linguistics Features Comparison of Southeast Asian Languages
Norma Pawestri

Bina Nusantara University


There are many languages from many different language families interacting in the Southeast Asia area. Hence, the features of languages in this area can also vary. Here, 7 linguistic features, namely 1) word order, 2) order of ad-position, 3) order of genitive, 4) order of adjective & noun, 5) order of demonstrative and noun, 6) order of numeral & 7) noun and order of relative clause among 5 languages in Southeast Asia area were compared. The 5 languages presented here are Hmong Mien, Thai, Vietnamese, Mandarin (Chinese), and Indonesian. First, each linguistics features will be presented in the focused languages in their own characteristics. Second, they will then be translated into their own script and third, they will be translated into the Latin alphabet but still in the focused languages. Fourth they will be translated roughly in English to make a gloss, and fifth the rough translation/gloss then to be translated into the English free translation, adjusted with English characteristics. From a genetic point of view, the languages in Southeast Asia are varied but they exhibit similarities in phonology, morphology, vocabulary, semantics and language usage. It is showed that these languages share both similarities and differences, but by seeing the characteristic of the features in these languages, we can see that overall, languages in the mainland to the insular area are identical. It can be seen from the word order, where all languages presented here show a similar pattern of Verb-Object. In several features such as order of ad-position, order of adjective & noun, order of demonstrative & noun and order of relative clause, almost all languages share the same pattern, except for Mandarin which shows different patterns in terms of these features, which potentially is due it-s geographical distance from the Southeast Asia area compares to other languages. The absence of major differences between these languages might confirm and lead us to the notion of these areas as a linguistic area

Keywords: Linguistic features, South-east Asia

Topic: International Conference of English Language Teaching, Literature & Linguistics


Conference: The 3rd International Conference on Sustainability and Innovation (ICoSI 2019)

Plain Format | Corresponding Author (Norma Pawestri)

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