Language Use

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  • Topic: English language, Language policy, Official language
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Namgay Thinley March 2002

CONTENTS ABSTRACT iii ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv ____________________________________________________________

________ 1. INTRODUCTION 1 Statement of the problem Purpose of the study 2. REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 2 Introduction Background information on language use in Thailand Language situation Standard Thai The present status of Thai Background information on language use in Bhutan Language situation Dzongkha The present status of Dzongkha Einer Haugen’s fourfold model of the stages in language planning Introduction Definition Selection Codification Implementation Elaboration 3. FIELD STUDY Methodology The sample Procedure 4. RESULTS Presentation Background information Language choice and attitude Language use Findings Thailand Bhutan 5. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS APPENDIXES Appendix 1: Questionnaire REFERENCES 9



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Language use in Thailand and Bhutan presents two different scenes. In Thailand, the national language, Standard Thai, is the majority language used in every domain. In Bhutan, the national language, Dzongkha, is the lingua franca for the country, but there is a recent trend toward using English as widely as Dzongkha, and usage of English in every domain is on the rise. Standard Thai usage is firmly rooted in Thai society through its prevalence in education, internal administration, the media, and publications. Dzongkha, on the other hand, is less often used by Bhutanese than Thai is used by Thais. At the same time, English is gaining popularity in Bhutan. This paper provides a study of the reasons for this difference in language use of Standard Thai in Thailand and Dzongkha in Bhutan. This paper is broadly divided into two parts: a literature review and a field study. The literature review describes the current status of use of Standard Thai and Dzongkha and then uses Einer Haugen’s fourfold model of language planning as a framework within which to compare the differences in language use and development. The field study is undertaken to verify the information revealed in the literature review and also to investigate the differences in language use in both countries and the choices and attitudes that the people of Thailand and Bhutan harbor toward their respective languages. The findings from the literature review and the field study are combined in the conclusion and a recommendation is made for possible actions to be undertaken to further the use of Dzongkha in Bhutan, taking into account the knowledge gained regarding the successful use of Standard Thai in Thailand.



This research was undertaken in partial fulfillment of the research methodology course I took at Thammasat University in Bangkok over a period of three months, from 20 December 2001 to 19 March 2002. The successful outcome of this paper has been possible through the gracious overall guidance of Dr. Deeyu Srinarawat (Chair, Department of Linguistics); advice on reference books and materials by Dr. Boonruang Chunsuvimol; practical help and the editing of this paper at every stage by Miss Leah M. Bateman; The office I work in, the Dzongkha Development Commission, through the Dzongkha Development Project, for granting me this opportunity to take the course; and the Linguistics Department of Thammasat University for providing me with this course, including special help by giving instructions in English and without charging tuition fees. I would also like to thank the respondents, undergraduate students from different faculties in Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, and Sherubtse College in Tashigang, Bhutan, for helping me by instantly answering the questionnaire.



______ 1. INTRODUCTION Statement of the problem There is an obvious difference between the way Standard Thai is used in Thailand and the way...
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