Item description for The History And Development Of The Shan Scripts by Sai Kam Mong...
The earliest reference to Syam or Shan is found in a Pagan inscription from A.D. 1120. From these early beginnings, Sai Kam Mong explores the history of the Shan people and their close relationship with Burma and northern Thailand, to provide a backdrop for the focus of his research: the development of the Shan scripts.
The book explores the possible origins of the Shan alphabet, citing the wide-ranging opinions of many scholars, and then delves into a careful analysis of the successive stages of the Shan script, from the earliest forms of Lik Hto Ngouk, through Lik Tou Moan and Hkun scripts, noting the problems and idiosyncrasies of each. In addition, it examines the spelling and handling of Pali words within religious writings in each of these scripts and in the Yuan script. Excerpts from early manuscripts are presented as evidence.
In the final section, Sai Kam Mong considers the shortcomings of the early Shan scripts and presents the various modern scripts that have been proposed as alternatives, namely Mai Sung Lik Tai, the Shan Council Script, the Common Shan Script, the Hsipaw Script, and the Shan Commission Script. He concludes with a report outlining policy issues in teaching the Shan language over the past fifty years and the resulting erosion of Shan language identity. Appendixes give explanations of Shan writing culture, the grammar and vocabulary of early Shan, and Shan poetry, in addition to an extensive bibliography. This volume will prove to be an indispensable linguistic reference on the developments in form and usage of the various shan scripts.
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Studio: University of Washington Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1" Width: 5.75" Height: 9" Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Release Date Mar 30, 2005
Publisher University of Washington Press
ISBN 9749575504 ISBN13 9789749575505
Reviews - What do customers think about The History And Development Of The Shan Scripts?
"The History And Development Of The Shan Scripts" - good, bad, and ugly May 25, 2006
Sai Kam Mong's book provides access in English to a set of materials that is amazingly valuable and a great step in the grammatology of the Shan peoples.
However, the research and conclusions drawn about the earlier stages of the writing system(s), especially that of the lik htou ngok (square/'bean sprout') writing is faulty with erroneous conclusions that would have been better served with deeper and broader research.
Too, while the greatly amassed data on the later stages of the script are prolific and extremely worthwhile, the organization and presentation leave much to be desired.
However, all in all, the book is an amazing resource to be had... but taken with a grain of salt.
evolution and survival of this Southeast Asian language May 1, 2005
The Shan language is one of those which, like endangered animal species, is in danger of extinction. It is the language of a distinct ethnic group from the middle of Southeast Asia, roughly the northern part of Burma and neighboring part of China. But this group has been dispersed by the currents of history and encroachments of modernity. Mong is a specialist in the history of the Shan people and their language. He follows the development of the Shan language primarily through its manuscripts from the probable origins of the Shan alphabet to the present-day threats to its survival. The language mostly developed naturally, but at times its adherents had to devise strategies to keep it from fading away. Parts of the book are passages, sometimes fairly lengthy ones, in the Shan language, especially where the author analyzes changes in it during different stages of its development. But these passages can be glossed over by the large majority not knowing Shan to nonetheless still comprehend this book on this historically and culturally significant, yet now fragile Southeast Asian language.