Journal of Social and Political
ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)
ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)
Published: 26 March 2021
Investigation of the Language Usage of Hmong Ethnic People in the Northwest (Tây Bắc) Region of Vietnam - A Case Study in Bắc Yên, Sơn La province
Trung Kien Nguyen
Tay Bac University, Vietnam
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Keywords: Northwest Vietnam, Hmong People, Language, Ethnic Minority
The linguistics research in general and in particular, sociolinguistic study of ethnic minorities in Vietnam is a fascinating topic, but is also a very complicated subject in term of some typical reasons. The complication of the subject is originated from the objective reasons such as natural conditions, social and economic conditions and some other subjective reasons which belong to subjective of languages-the ethnic minorities. Hence, when considering the language scenarios of the ethnic minorities in general and the status of using language of ethnic people in particular, the selection of research subject and survey area are very important. Discussing on this subject, author Van Khang Nguyen in his work “Social linguistics” has speculated that: “first of all, one can see that the key point of the perception when investigating language from the perspective of sociolinguistics is the sociability and the variability of language.” The birth of language is the development need of human society and the development of the human society leads to the development of language which aims to meet the need of communication. Therefore, when studying language, the sociolinguistics always set the relationship between social transformations with the language usage. In our case study, the Hmong people in Bắc Yên district is an ethnic group with many typical characteristics for Hmong in Sơn La province as well as in the Northwest region of Vietnam. Currently, the language of Hmong people in Bắc Yên raises quite topical questions. For example, it is important to understand how Hmong people use their native language, national language and foreign language at the same time in their daily activities. How do Hmong people use Hmong writing system in their communication situation? What is their attitude with their language? The above-mentioned questions urged us to carry out a case study on the language usage status of Hmong people in the Northwest Vietnam.
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