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Title: Samre Grammar
Authors: Ploykaew, Pornsawan
Keywords: Austro-Asiatic Languages
Mon-Khmer Languages
Samre - Grammar
Issue Date: 2001
Publisher: Mahidol University
Abstract: This dissertation is a description of Samre, a language in the Pearic branch of the Mon Khmer (Austroasiatic) subfamily which is an endangered language. At the moment there are only few Samre speakers and most of them are over 55 years old. The objective of this study is to describe Samre grammar which includes phonology, morphology and syntax. The study fills the gap in the linguistic study of Pearic languages and provides a linguistic basis for the revitalization of this seriously endangered language if the native speakers wish. The data was gathered from the Samre speakers during field work at Ban Ma-muang and Ban Nonsi in Amphoe Bo-rai, Trat Province from October, 1998 to March, 1999 and rechecked again in March 2000. The tagmemic model is applied in analyzing the linguistic data (David Thomas, 1993). From the study, although Samre is a Mon-Khmer language, the description reveals that Samre is heavily influenced by Thai. For example, half of the 3,000 basic vocabulary items used by the Samre speakers are Thai loan words, especially most of the grammatical words. The contrastive pitch or tone is used as primary distinctive feature while the breathy voice quality is optionally used as a secondary feature. There are only about twenty Samre speakers. The children learn Thai in school and speak only Thai. Among the Samre speakers, both Thai and Samre are used, but Thai is more frequent. Besides, their attitude towards their ethnic language is rather negative. The description of Samre and the sociolinguistic contexts, indicates that Samre is in the most serious stage of endangerment (Fishman, 1991), where reversing language shift seems to be hopeless. It may be assumed that in about twenty years if nothing is done, when the current speakers die, the Samre language in Thailand will be lost.
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