Nattamon Rojanakul

Research Institute for Languages and Cultures of Asia, Mahidol University, Thailand




Some Syntactical Characteristics of Chong Language


Chong, is an endangered language in Thailand. It is a member of the Pearic branch of the Mon-Khmer group in the Austroasiatic Family. Chong speakers are mainly found in the mountainous area of Khao Khitchakut district in Chanthaburi province. This study focuses on a description of the general characteristics of Chong syntax which includes word formations, phrases, clauses and sentences. Chong word order in clauses and sentences is similar to that in other Mon-Khmer and Thai languages, that is S-V-O order. There are some Mon-Khmer features in Chong as found in noun phrases and affixation. The negation form is distinctive and rarely influenced by Thai. Negative words are usually placed in the final position of the clause. Chong words can be formed by affixation, compounding, reduplication, and onomatopoeia. A few prefixes and an infix is not productive. The Chong infix might be extinct by the loss of presyllable in some dialects. Many Thai loanwords are found in my data and some may be compound to Chong to create new words. Chong has been greatly influenced from the dominant Thai. Chong syntax reveals both its own as well as Thai syntactic characteristics and original characteristics have become more like Thai.