Category Archives: Southeast Asian Languages (General)

Raman, S. & Tan, S. H. (2015) on Chinese Education in Malaysia

(Image from:

For those who are interested in the problems and challenges of Chinese education, here’s a recently published working paper on the Malaysian example:




Job Opportunity in the U.S.A.

(Image of Wisconsin-Madison from:

University of Wisconsin – Madison

The University of Wisconsin-Madison, as part of its initiative to re-envision the study of the languages, cultures, and societies of Asia, is seeking to hire a TransAsia / transdisciplinary scholar with expertise in at least one South or Southeast Asian language, beginning August, 2016. Rank and area of specialization are open. The tenure home will reside in the newly- forming Department of Asian Studies. Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate the ability to cross disciplinary and cultural borders in their research and teaching, and who have the vision and skills to build new academic programs. A tenured appointment requires a proven record of excellence in research and teaching at all levels. We are particularly interested in applicants whose work addresses pressing issues of the day, in areas including but not limited to: digital humanities; literary, media, or cultural studies; qualitative and fieldwork-based social sciences on themes such as poverty, health, migration, human rights, and the environment; or religious studies. Salary is competitive.

Qualified applicants should send a complete dossier (including letter of application, CV, sample publication or thesis chapter) and three letters of reference to:

Chair, Search Committee
Department of East Asian Languages and Literature
1208 Van Hise Hall
1220 Linden Drive
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706

To ensure full consideration, applications must be received by October 15, 2015.
Finalists cannot be guaranteed confidentially. A criminal background check will be required prior to employment. UW-Madison is an affirmative action, equal opportunity employer and encourages women and minorities to apply.

Fukushima (2015) on another perspective of politeness

(Image from

This journal article discusses fresh non-linguistics aspects and perspectives on politeness such as “attentiveness” and “heart”… Read more: fukushima-s-pr-2015-0011.pdf


While politeness has been researched mainly from the perspectives
of face and identity, this conceptual paper explores another understanding of
politeness through the consideration of attentiveness, namely, a demonstrator’s pre-emptive responses to a recipient’s verbal or non-verbal cues or situations surrounding a recipient and a demonstrator, which takes the form of offering.
In this paper, it is suggested that politeness can be construed in relation to the heart; and that behavioral (non-linguistic) politeness, an understudied area in the field, should be taken into account in politeness research. With the development of interpersonal pragmatics, there has been a growing need to investigate interpersonal relationships, and great importance is placed on evaluation in the discursive approach. As attentiveness is an interpersonal notion, which involves evaluation, the consideration of attentiveness meets these demands.
In the present paper, the concept of attentiveness is clarified and it is shown how attentiveness works by presenting the process of demonstration and evaluation of attentiveness.
Keywords: politeness, attentiveness, evaluation, heart


Farrelly & Olinga-Shannon (2015): Establishing Chinese Life in Myanmar

(Image from

This is a write-up on the life of the 2 million ethnic Chinese in Myanmar: their history, interaction with the non-Chinese as well as with China since 1985, economic situations and contributions, identities and sense of belonging. Read on: Chinese life Myanmar


Izadi (2015) on Persian honorifics and social practice


(Image from

A new article from JOP on  Persian honorifics

Im/politeness has recently been conceptualized in terms of evaluations that not only arise in social practice but also form a social
practice (Haugh, 2013; Kádár and Haugh, 2013). This necessitates the analysis of politeness to go beyond the analysis of language to the
analysis of social actions and meanings. This paper examines the role of Persian honorifics (the language which is conventionally
associated with politeness) in the im/politeness evaluations that arise in localized interactions. Conversation Analysis is used to analyze
two cases of honorifics-included social interactions in Persian. The implications for im/politeness theory are discussed in conclusion.
© 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


**Someone asked for Haugh’s (2013) journal article, “Im/politeness, social practice and the participation order”.  I have uploaded it again on this website. Kindly key in Haugh’s name in the search box on the (your) right column to access it.


Language planning; script reforms (4)

(Image of a Teochew temple from

I used to follow a “semi-phonetic” transcription convention several years ago when I presented a sociolinguistics paper on the Teochew in Vietnam. The transcription comprised a mixture of phonetic symbols and Roman letters.

I have realized that the Guangzhou Educational Administration standardized the transcription of Teochew as early as in the 1960s.  This transcription facilitates reading and comprehension among those who prefer to read Teochew in the Romanized form. There is another transcription method based on the Chinese script which is used by those who publish in the Chinese language.  For easier typing, I prefer the Romanized transcription.

I am posting materials on the Romanized transcription as well as a description of the dialect and of the difficulties encountered by the Teochew in their learning of Mandarin (Putonghua). The materials are extracted from 普通话  潮汕方言  常用字典 published by  广东人民出版社 in 1979.


Teochew vowels and consonants can be heard at:

(However, some sounds on the chart are not read so you might get confused trying to follow the chart!)