Khmer language

KhmerCambodianKhmer (Cambodian)Old KhmerCentral KhmerkhmKhmer-languageKhmer scriptAngkorian Old KhmerCambodia
Khmer or Cambodian (natively ភាសាខ្មែរ phiəsaa khmae, or more formally ខេមរភាសា kheemaʾraʾ phiəsaa ) is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia.wikipedia
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Thai language

ThaiThai:Central Thai
The more colloquial registers have influenced, and have been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia. This has resulted in a distinct accent influenced by the surrounding tonal languages Lao and Thai, lexical differences, and phonemic differences in both vowels and distribution of consonants.
Over half of Thai vocabulary is derived from or borrowed from Pali, Sanskrit, Mon, and Old Khmer.

Khmer Empire

KhmerAngkorAngkorian
Outside of Cambodia, three distinct dialects are spoken by ethnic Khmers native to areas that were historically part of the Khmer Empire.
The Khmer Empire (Khmer: ចក្រភពខ្មែរ: Chakrphup Khmer or អាណាចក្រខ្មែរ Anachak Khmer), officially the Angkor Empire (Khmer: អាណាចក្រអង្គរ: Anachak Angkor), the predecessor state to modern Cambodia ("Kampuchea" or "Srok Khmer" to the Khmer people), was a Hindu-Buddhist empire in Southeast Asia.

Angkor

Angkor templesAngkor KingdomAngkor period
It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon–Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese, due to Old Khmer being the language of the historical empires of Chenla, Angkor and, presumably, their earlier predecessor state, Funan.
Angkor (អង្គរ, capital city) was the capital city of the Khmer Empire, which also recognized as Yasodharapura (Khmer: យសោធរបុរៈ; यशोधरपुर) and flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries.

Northern Khmer dialect

Northern Khmera dialect of the Khmer languageethnic Khmers
The Northern Khmer dialect is spoken by over a million Khmers in the southern regions of Northeast Thailand and is treated by some linguists as a separate language.
Northern Khmer, also called Surin Khmer (ខ្មែរសុរិន្ទ - Khmer Soren), is the dialect of the Khmer language spoken by approximately 1.4 million Khmer native to the Thai provinces of Surin, Sisaket, Buriram and Roi Et as well as those that have migrated from this region into Cambodia.

Mon language

MonMon-speakingPeguan
It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon–Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese, due to Old Khmer being the language of the historical empires of Chenla, Angkor and, presumably, their earlier predecessor state, Funan. Austroasiatic, which also includes Mon, Vietnamese and Munda, has been studied since 1856 and was first proposed as a language family in 1907.
Mon, like the related Khmer language, but unlike most languages in mainland Southeast Asia, is not tonal.

Middle Khmer

Khmer Krom, or Southern Khmer, is the first language of the Khmer of Vietnam while the Khmer living in the remote Cardamom mountains speak a very conservative dialect that still displays features of the Middle Khmer language.
Middle Khmer is the historical stage of the Khmer language as it existed between the 14th and 18th centuries, spanning the period between Old Khmer and the modern language.

Vietnamese language

VietnameseVietnamese nameVietnamese-language
The more colloquial registers have influenced, and have been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia. With approximately 16 million speakers, it is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese). Austroasiatic, which also includes Mon, Vietnamese and Munda, has been studied since 1856 and was first proposed as a language family in 1907.
Vietnamese was identified more than 150 years ago as part of the Mon–Khmer branch of the Austroasiatic language family (a family that also includes Khmer, spoken in Cambodia, as well as various tribal and regional languages, such as the Munda and Khasi languages spoken in eastern India, and others in southern China).

Funan

Funan EmpireFunaneseCambodia and Vietnam
It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon–Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese, due to Old Khmer being the language of the historical empires of Chenla, Angkor and, presumably, their earlier predecessor state, Funan.
Funan is known in the modern languages of the region as វ្នំ Vnom (Khmer) or នគរភ្នំ Nokor Phnom (Khmer), ฟูนาน (Funan) (Thai), and Phù Nam (Vietnamese), however, the name Funan is not found in any texts of local origin from the period, and it is not known what name the people of Funan gave to their polity.

Khmer Krom

Khmerdelimitation of the Kingdom of CambodiaKampuchea Krom
Khmer Krom, or Southern Khmer, is the first language of the Khmer of Vietnam while the Khmer living in the remote Cardamom mountains speak a very conservative dialect that still displays features of the Middle Khmer language. Standard Cambodian Khmer is mutually intelligible with the others but a Khmer Krom speaker from Vietnam, for instance, may have great difficulty communicating with a Khmer native of Sisaket Province in Thailand.
In the Khmer language, Krom means "lower" or "below", as it refers to an area of 89000 km2 around modern day Ho Chi Minh City and the Mekong Delta, which used to be the southeasternmost territory of the Khmer Empire until its incorporation into Vietnam under the Nguyễn lords in the early 18th century.

Isan

northeastern Thailandnortheasternnortheast
The Northern Khmer dialect is spoken by over a million Khmers in the southern regions of Northeast Thailand and is treated by some linguists as a separate language.
Khmer, the language of Cambodia, is widely spoken in areas along the Cambodian border: Buriram, Surin, and Sisaket.

Khmer alphabet

KhmerKhmer scriptKhmer alphabet – Unicode
The language has been written in the Khmer script, an abugida descended from the Brahmi script via the southern Indian Pallava script, since at least the seventh century.
The Khmer alphabet or Khmer script is an abugida (alphasyllabary) script used to write the Khmer language (the official language of Cambodia).

Austroasiatic languages

AustroasiaticMon–KhmerAustroasiatic language
It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon–Khmer family, predating Mon and by a significant margin Vietnamese, due to Old Khmer being the language of the historical empires of Chenla, Angkor and, presumably, their earlier predecessor state, Funan. With approximately 16 million speakers, it is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese).
Of these languages, only Vietnamese, Khmer, and Mon have a long-established recorded history, and only Vietnamese and Khmer have official status as modern national languages (in Vietnam and Cambodia, respectively).

Munda languages

MundaMunda, Munda PatarMunda language
Austroasiatic, which also includes Mon, Vietnamese and Munda, has been studied since 1856 and was first proposed as a language family in 1907.
They constitute a branch of the Austroasiatic language family, which means they are related to languages such as Mon and Khmer languages and Vietnamese, as well as minority languages in Thailand and Laos and the minority Mangic languages of South China.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh, CambodiaChatomok eraPhnom Penh Municipality
Notable variations are found in speakers from Phnom Penh (Cambodia's capital city), the rural Battambang area, the areas of Northeast Thailand adjacent to Cambodia such as Surin province, the Cardamom Mountains, and southern Vietnam.
First recorded a century after it is said to have taken place, the legend of the founding of Phnom Penh tells of a local woman, Penh (commonly referred to as Daun Penh ("Grandmother Penh" or "Old Lady Penh") in Khmer), living at Chaktomuk, the future Phnom Penh.

Sprachbund

linguistic arealanguage areaareal
The more colloquial registers have influenced, and have been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese, and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia.
Similarly, the unrelated Khmer (Mon–Khmer), Cham (Austronesian) and Lao (Kadai) languages have almost identical vowel systems.

Minor syllable

sesquisyllabicsesquisyllablepre-syllable
Words are stressed on the final syllable, hence many words conform to the typical Mon–Khmer pattern of a stressed syllable preceded by a minor syllable.
The minor syllable may be of the form or, with a reduced vowel, as in colloquial Khmer, or of the form with no vowel at all, as in Mlabri "navel" (minor syllable ) and "underneath" (minor syllable ), and Khasi kyndon "rule" (minor syllable ), syrwet "sign" (minor syllable ), kylla "transform" (minor syllable ), symboh "seed" (minor syllable ) and tyngkai "conserve" (minor syllable ).

Subject–verb–object

SVOsubject-verb-objectSVO word order
General word order is subject–verb–object, and modifiers follow the word they modify.
Languages regarded as SVO include: Albanian, Arabic dialects, Assyrian, Bosnian, Chinese, English, Estonian, Finnish (but see below), French, Ganda, Greek, Hausa, Icelandic (with the V2 restriction), Igbo, Italian, Javanese, Kashubian, Khmer, Latvian, Macedonian, Malay (Malaysian and Indonesian), Modern Hebrew, Polish, Portuguese, Quiche, Reo Rapa, Romanian, Rotuman, Russian (but see below), Serbian, Croatian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swahili, Thai and Lao, Ukrainian (but see below), Vietnamese, Yoruba and Zulu.

Consonant cluster

consonant clustersclusterscluster
The script's form and use has evolved over the centuries; its modern features include subscripted versions of consonants used to write clusters and a division of consonants into two series with different inherent vowels.
Like most Mon–Khmer languages, Khmer permits only initial consonant clusters with up to three consonants in a row per syllable.

Saveros Pou

Old Khmer is attested by many primary sources and has been studied in depth by a few scholars, most notably Saveros Pou, Phillip Jenner and Heinz-Jürgen Pinnow.
Saveros Pou (in Khmer, ពៅ សាវរស, transliterated Bau Sāvaras), also known around 1970 under the name Saveros Lewitz, is a French linguist of Cambodian origin.

French Indochina

IndochinaFrench colonial ruleFrench colonial period
In 1887 Cambodia was fully integrated into French Indochina, which brought in a French-speaking aristocracy.
French Indochina (previously spelled as French Indo-China) (French: Indochine française; Vietnamese: Đông Dương thuộc Pháp/東洋屬法(Pháp(French)-Ấn Độ(India)-Trung Quốc(China)), frequently abbreviated to Đông Pháp; Khmer: សហភាពឥណ្ឌូចិន; Lao: ສະຫະພັນອິນດູຈີນ; Chinese: 法属印度支那/Fàshǔ Yìndù zhīnà), officially known as the Indochinese Union (French: Union indochinoise; Vietnamese: Liên bang Đông Dương) after 1887 and the Indochinese Federation (French: Fédération indochinoise) after 1947, was a grouping of French colonial territories in Southeast Asia.

Battambang Province

BattambangBătdâmbâng Province, Cambodia
Notable variations are found in speakers from Phnom Penh (Cambodia's capital city), the rural Battambang area, the areas of Northeast Thailand adjacent to Cambodia such as Surin province, the Cardamom Mountains, and southern Vietnam.
Battambang literally means "Loss of Staff" in Khmer, referring to the local legend of Preah Bat Dambang Kranhoung.

Isan language

IsanIsan dialectdialect of Lao
This has resulted in a distinct accent influenced by the surrounding tonal languages Lao and Thai, lexical differences, and phonemic differences in both vowels and distribution of consonants.
Thai, Isan and Lao share most of their basic vocabulary as well as a large corpus of shared Sanskrit, Pali, and Khmer loanwords in academic language.

Tone (linguistics)

tonetonal languagetones
Khmer differs from neighboring languages such as Thai, Burmese, Lao and Vietnamese in that it is not a tonal language.
Austroasiatic (such as Khmer and Mon) and Austronesian (such as Malay Javanese, Tagalog, and Maori) languages are mostly non tonal with the rare exception of Austroasiatic languages like Vietnamese, and Austronesian languages like Cèmuhî and Tsat.

Sisaket Province

SisaketSi Sa KetSisaket, Thailand
Standard Cambodian Khmer is mutually intelligible with the others but a Khmer Krom speaker from Vietnam, for instance, may have great difficulty communicating with a Khmer native of Sisaket Province in Thailand.
In the 2000 census it was reported that 26.2% of the population are capable of speaking Khmer.

Chuon Nath

Many native scholars in the early 20th century, led by a monk named Chuon Nath, resisted the French and Thai influences on their language.
Amongst his achievements is his effort in conservation of the Khmer language in the form of the Khmer dictionary.