Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Khmer voices: The preservation of a heritage language
by Kol, Thyda, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2013, 82; 1523211
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative study examines the heritage language experiences in the homes of two second generation Cambodian Americans living in California. By analyzing naturally occurring language interactions, this study investigates the motivating factors for Khmer language preservation and the functions that are reserved for Khmer conversations. Specific attention is given to exploring language ideologies and to the symbolic function of using Khmer. Analysis of the data indicated that different functions served as linguistic vehicles to˙ maintain the Khmer language, and symbolically serves˙to activate the Cambodian identity. More specifically, these speakers enact their Cambodian identity through the use of the Khmer language. Furthermore, interviews reveal the importance of the social context of forming a dual identity in a society that values cultural and linguistic unity. The data of this study can be seen as an avenue for studying Khmer as a heritage language.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Liang, Xiaoping
Commitee: Abbuhl, Rebekha, Sharifi, Amir
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Linguistics
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Linguistics, Asian American Studies
Publication Number: 1523211
ISBN: 978-1-303-20500-2
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