- 07 Jun, 2007
Andrew, I believe I get your point, but this is not all there is to it, right?
Thanks for these signs.
They not only give you the sort of marginalia that make you actually been there, but they are also a great language learning tool. In fact, I was told this Southeast Language learning resources site is planning a repository of signs for just this purpose:
Also I was struck by the Tai Lue script on one sign. It looks like the new revised script that I heard about (somehow associated with SIL), not the older script that you find on palm leaf manuscripts that you also find on contemporary music video CDs. I was wondering to what extent two orthographies are actually used in Sipsongpanna, the Tai Lue heartland?
The script that you can see on the signs was developed by the prefectural government in the middle-1950s to be used as the official script in the area, reportedly as a means of improving education (unlike the old, the new Tai is a standard script), but you can tell that it was also aimed at isolating the Lue in China from Tai communities in Northern Thailand, Myanmar-Burma and Laos using the same script, as well as reducing the influence of the Sangha in Sipsong Panna. Nowadays, and in spite of a hiatus when the old script was made official again (between 1987 and 1996, I think), the new script is the only Tai script taught at schools, and only for a few hours a week during the first years of elementary school -in relation to transitional bilingual education, actually. Of course the Sangha, and music groups related to them, keep on using the old script, and this all partly expalins why the cultural situation among the Tai in Sipsong Panna is such a mess -a triumph for the CCP, on the other hand.
The people at SIL have developed fonts for the use of the new script, I believe there is no further connection
[…] few days ago I posted several images of Sipsongpanna, taken during my recent (brief) visit there. My selection of images […]
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