Fourth International Symposium on Languages and Linguistics, Pan-Asiatic Linguistics

Start Date :

8 Jan 1996

End Date:

10 Jan 1996

Co Host :

RILCA, Mahidol University

January 8-10, 1996
Bangkok, Thailand

Participants in the Fourth International Symposium on Languages and Linguistics, Pan-Asiatic Linguistics gathered from January 8 to 10, 1996 at the Royal River Hotel conveniently situated on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in the northwest corner of Bangkok (some participants quickly discovered that boat travel was the best way to beat Bangkok’s notorious traffic jams). The Symposium was organized and hosted by the Institute of Language and Cultural for Rural Development of Mahidol University at Salaya. In the Symposium’s Opening Ceremony, Prof. Suwilai Premsrirat, the chair of the Organizing Committee, presented a report on the Symposium and its history to the President of Mahidol University, Prof. Athasit Vejjajiva. Prof. Athasit then officially opened the Symposium in his welcoming speech to participants, observers, and students who numbered over 300 and represented more than 20 countries and territories, including Australia, Axerbaijan, Belgium, Britain, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Nepal, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the United States, Vietnam.

The Symposium was organized into two plenary sessions and a number of parallel sessions. The first plenary session held on the morning of the first day and moderated by Prof. Udom Warotamasikkhadit took as its teme, Directions for Future Research in East and Southeast Asian Linguistics. In their papers the two keynote speakers, Dr. Paul K. Benedict (Interphyla flow in Southeast Asia) and Prof. James A. Matisoff (Contact-induced change, genetic relationship, and scales of comparison), presented their views regarding some of the problems in the historical reconstruction of East and Southeast Asian languages. At the second plenary session which was chaired by Prof. Theraphan Luang Thongkum and held on the second day of the Symposium papers were presented by Prof. Bernard Comrie (The Unity of modifying clauses in Asian languages), Prof. David Bradley (Language policy and typology of scripts), Prof. Anthony Diller (Linguistic zero in Asia: from Panini to pro-drop), and Dr. Carolyn Miller (Application of typologies for language maintenance and loss to Southeast Asian linguistic minorities: the case of the Bru-So and Kadazan-Dusun language continua).

Because of the very large numver of papers scheduled for the Symposium, it was necessary to convene simultaneously four parallel sessions over three days. Topics of papers ran the gamut from A for adnominal modifiers in Thai to Z for zibun in Japanese. Both well-know and little-studied languages were discussed, including Ahom, Arabic, Asamiya dialects, Assamese, Bonggi, Bru-So, Burmese, Buyi, Cantonese, Chakma, Chaozhou, English, Iduh, Ilianen Manobo, Ilokano, Indian Pidgin English, Japanese, Kadazan0Dusun, Kammu, Khmer, Khmu, Korean, Lai, Lao, Malay, Mandarin, Manipuri dialects, Manipuri dialects, Meiteron, Nagamese, Newari, Paiwan, Pwo Karen, Saaroa, Sakhalin Nivhgu, Sinama, Singaporean English, So, Swedish, Tagalog, Tai Kammueng, Tai Pakae, Thai, Tibetan, Vietnamese, and Wu dialects.

On the evening of the first day of the Symposium, Khunying Dr. Suriya Ratanakul delivered a welcoming speech on behalf of the host institution and the President of Mahidol University to participants and guests at a stand-up buffet held on the terrace of the Royal River Hotel. During the reception entertainment was provided by dancers who wore traditional costumes of Thailand and performed traditional dances to the musical accompaniment of an orchestra playing traditional Thai instruments.

On the second day of the Symposium a business meeting was chaired by Prof. Suwilai for the purpose of transferring the organization of the fifth Symposium to an institution that was both willing and able to undertake the task. Prof. Bui Khanh The on behalf of the University of Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam accepted Prof. Suwilai’s invitation to host the next Symposium in four years time in the year 2000. During the business meeting participants engaged in a lively discussion about the desirability of renaming the Symposium. Recognizing that the Symposium’s unique theme has been Pan-Asiatic linguistics and that this has been its most appealing attribute, the business meeting decided that the name of the next Symposium should be changed to Pan-Asiatic Linguistics: the Fifth International Symposium and that the short form of the Symposium’s name should be PALS-V.

In the afternoon of the final day of the Symposium Prof. Jerold Edmondson reviewed and summarized the three days of proceedings. Prof. Bui Khanh The then formally invited all the participants to come to Ho Chi Minh City in the year 2000 to participate in the fifth international symposium. Discussion was then thrown open to the floor so that any participants who so wanted could voice their own comments or criticisms about the Symposium. Several participants warmly thanked the Organizing Committee for its excellent organization, the attractive and comfortable hotel accommodations, beautiful floral arrangements, delicious meals, nicely bound books, and useful bags. One participant drew attention to the fact that although the Symposium was about Asian linguistics no ethnic Asians had been represented among scholars making up the plenary sessions. At the Symposium’s Closing Ceremony Prof. Orapan Matangkhasombut, VicePresident for International Relations of Mahidol University delivered a speech in which she officially closed the Fourth International Symposium on Languages and Linguistics, Pan-Asiatic Linguistics.

In addition to presentation of papers at the Symposium, exhibitions of interest to participants were to be found in the foyer outside the Symposium auditorium. Several publishers, including White Lotus Press, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Mahidol University, and Thammasat University, had set up tables with books for browsing and buying. People engaged in the Language Mapping Project of Thailand at the Research Institute for Language and Culture of Asia, Mahidol University at Salaya. Displayed some of the language maps they have produced with computer software. Representatives of Thailand’s NECTEC (National Electronic and Computer Technology Center) exhibited their new Thai-English dictionary and CD-ROM which is entitled Lexitron.

During the registration period the Symposium’s Organizing Committee distributed to each participant a handsomely produced four-volume set of symposium Proceedings (with a grand total of 1,578 pages!) which included most of the papers presented at the Symposium. The four volumes of Proceedings categorized the Symposium papers under three general subjects, each of which had several subdivisions, as follows: (1) Language Description (Phonetics and Phonology, Morphology, syntax and Semantics, Discourse Analysis); (2) Language Comparison (Historical Comparative Studies, Language Contact and Language Change, Typology and Universal of Languages, Dialectology); and (3) Language and Related Sciences (Computational Linguistics, Pragmatics, Sociolinguistics, English as a Second Language, Neurolinguistics, Ethnolinguistics, and Miscellaneous). The Organizing Committee is publishing a fifth and final volume of Proceedings which will contain the papers presented at the Symposium but received too late for inclusion in the four-volume set. The complete five-volume set of the Symposium’s Proceedings can be ordered from Prof. Suwilai Premsrirat, Research Institute for Language and Culture of Asia, Mahidol University at Salaya.

The contact address for PALS-V is as follows:
Prof. Bui Khanh The
Faculty of Oriental Studies
Centre for Vietnamese and Southeast Asian Studies
Ho Chi Minh City University
12 Dinh Tien Haong Street
Ho Chi Minh City

The following Symposium participants presented papers related to languages and linguistics of South, East, and Southeast Asia (n.b.: papers mainly concerned with English have not been listed). The names of authors and the titles of their papers are categorized by language family or linguistic topic. Within each category the authors’ names are arranged in alphabetical order by the first name (which may be either the given name or the surname, depending on the author’s language background).


  • David Gil. How to Speak Backwards in Tagalog
  • Ernesto Constantino, The Number Names in Philippine Languages
  • Hazel J. Wrigglesworth, The Function of Rhetorical Devices in Ilianen Manobo Formal Storytelling
  • Hein Steinhauer, Synchronic Metathesis and Apocope in Three Austronesian Languages of the Timor Area
  • Joseph DeChicchis, Changing SLA Targets in Taiwan: The Case of Paiwan and other Minorities
  • Josie Clausen, Adujunct Island Condition and Adverbial Clause in Ilokano
  • Jyh Wee Sew, Symbolisation in Malay: Evidence in Genre and Lexicon
  • Lawrence A. Reid, The Tasaday Tapes
  • Michael E. Boutin, Bonggi Clitics
  • Ramli Md. Salleh, Complementation in Malay
  • Robert E. Longacre, Focus in Philippine Languages and Some SimilarStructures in English
  • Stanley Starosta, The Position of Saaroa in the Grammatical Subgrouping of Formosan Languages
  • Videa P. De Guzman, Lexical Categories in Tagalog


  • Bao Zhiming, Teochow Tone Sandhi and the Representation of Tone
  • Beverly Hong-Fincher, Gender Markedness in Chinese
  • Imogen Y. Chen, Perfectivity and the Chinese Ba-Verbs
  • Matthew Y. Chen, Where does Chinese Stand on the Accent-Tone Continuum?
  • Richard Van Ness Simmons, The Grey Area between Mandarin and Wu Dialects: A Report on the Preliminary Mandarin-Wu Classification Survey
  • Rudolf Reinelt, Spetch Act Verbs: the Ddvelopmen of Chinese Characters
  • Stnhen Matthews, Ditaxia and Sybridization in Chinese Dialect Grammar
  • Thing Au Cheng, De l’avenir du contonnais
  • Tsang Wai Lan, GE-insertion as a Syntactic Variable in Hongkong Cantonese
  • Wang Qilong, Whether de is Needed or not: A Statistical Study of Adj. Attributes
  • Yung-O Biq, Grammatical Words and Discourse Markers in Chinese: A Corpus-based Investigation of Grammaticalization
  • Zhu Yunxia, An Analysis of Tongzhi’ or Circular Letter’ Genre in Chinese Business Communication

Computers and Linguistics:

  • Gwyn Williams and Yuphaphan Hoonchamlong, Internet Resources for SEA Linguistics

Historical Linguistics:

  • Ann Kumar, Does Japanese have an Austronesian Stratum?
  • Christopher I. Beckwith, The Morphological Argument for the Existence of Sino-Tibetan
  • James A. Matisoff, Contact-induced Chang, Genetiic Relationship, and Scales of Comparison
  • Paul K. Benedict, Interphyla Flow in Southeast Asia
  • Robert S. Bauer, Identifying the Tai Substratum in Cantonese

Korean and Japanese:

  • Anthony E. Backhouse, Proper Names in Japanese: What the Learner Needs to Know
  • Christian Cormo, From Syntax to Semantics: A Pronominal Approach to Valency in Japanese
  • Hyung-Soo Kim, Universal Phonological Processes in Koran: An Overview
  • Kazuhiko Fukushima, Thematic Proto-Rote and Zibun
  • Mechtild Tronnier, Speech Tempo and Speaker Age as a Factor of the Realisation Type of the Mora Nasal in Osaka Japanese
  • Yasuko Nagano-Madsen, Inter-Speaker Variations in the Production and Distribution of Devoiced Vowels in Japanese

Language Comparison:

  • Agneta M-L Svalberg and Hjh Fatimah Binti Hi Chuchu, Are English and Malay Worlds apart?- The Effects of Typological Distance on the Learning of Concepts
  • Alexander J. Sokolovsky, On the Function of Phoneme and Syllabeme in the Process of Transference of Information in the Isolating Languages of the Far East South East Asia
  • Amon Thavisak, Vowel Intrinstic Pitch in SEA Languages
  • Anthony Diller, Linguistic Zero in Asia: from Panini to Pro-Drop
  • Carolyn Miller, Application of Typologies for Language Maintenance and Loss To Southeast Asian Linguistic Minorities: the Case of the Bru-So and Kadazan-Dusun Language Continua
  • Christopher Court, The Consonant R” and Laryngeal Features
  • Comrie, Bernard, The Unity of Modifying clauses in Asian Languages
  • David Bradley, Language Policy and the Typology of Scripts
  • Denis Burnham, Di Webster and Elizabeth Francis, The Development of Tone Perception: Cross-Linguistics Aspects and The Effect of Linguistic Context
  • Donald L. Smith , The Adjective to Verb Continuum in Japanese and English
  • Isao Honda, Even/Also, Concessive (Conditional), and Indefinite Expressions In Asian Languages
  • Jerold A. Edmondson and Li Jinfang, The Language Corridor
  • Joakim Enwall, Chinese Hmu or Hmu Chinese? – Chinese Loanwords and Calques in the Hmu Newspaper Boad Leix Hmub Leix Gud
  • Lee-Wong Song Mei, Request Strategies Across Societal Structures in S.E. Asia
  • Raja Ram Mehrotra, Indian Pidgin English: Reduplication
  • Tong Youhua, “Ja…” or ” …ya” ?—A Comparative Study of Chinese and Swedish Feedback Systems
  • Varisa Osatananda, An Analysis of Tonal Assignment on Japanese Loanwords In Thai
  • Voravudhi Chirasombutti, Self-Reference in Japanese and Thai: A Comparative Study


  • Anthony Jukes and Ilia Pejros , A Katuic Cultural Reconstruction
  • Frank Proschan, A Survey of Khmuic and Palaungic Languages in Laos and Vietnam
  • Gerard Diffloth, Creaky Register in Iduh, a Khmuic Language
  • Hafikan Lundstrom and Jan-Olof Svantesson, Features of Kammu Music Terminology – A Music-Linguistic Study
  • Ilia Pejros, The Vietnamese Etymological Dictionary and ‘New’ Language Families (Project progress)
  • Naraset Pisitpanporn, Vertical Variation of Khmer Vowels
  • Nguyen Phu Phong, Negation in Vietnamese and in some of the Viet-Muong Languages
  • Thach Ngoc Minh, The Phenomenon of Syllabic Chang in the Kiengiang Dialect of Khmer


  • Bui Khan The, Problems of Language Contact in Vietnam (The main features of language changes in Vietnam)
  • Consuelo J. Paz, The Nationalization of a Language
  • Pranee Chokkajitsumpun, Everyday Literacy in One Family of Ethnic Chinese In Bangkok
  • Wilai M. Rasmee-Pongudom, The Benefits of Code-Switching in the Interviews of Camboian Refugees in Dunedin, New Zealand


  • Amara Prasithrathsint, Stylistic Differentiation of /kaan/ and /khwaam/ Nominalization in Standard Thaii
  • Apiluck Tumtavitikul, The Mid Central Vowel [ ‘] in Thai
  • Arthur S. Abramson, The Stability of the Thai Three-Way Voicing Distinction in Conversation
  • Boonruang Chunsuvimol, Social Variation of (l) in Thai
  • Charunun Chanla, Jaruk Rajsombat, Kobkul Sukka, Monta Chaihiranwattang,
  • Prasitchai Aksonnit and Rossakon Kesaard, Thai Syllables: Citation Vs Speech Form
  • Chayada Authapaiboon, A Comparison of Infant Directed Speech and Adult Directed Speech in Thai
  • David House and Jan-Olof Svantesson, Tonal Timing and Vowel Onset Characteristics in Thai
  • Dong Cooper, How do Thais Tell Letters Apart?
  • George Bedell, Clitic Climbing in Lai
  • Jack Gandour, Siripong Potisuk and Mary Harper, Effects of Stress on Vowel Length in Thai
  • Kalaya Tingsabadh and Darance Deeprasert, Tones in Standard Thai Connected Speech
  • Kirk Roger Person, Thailand’s “Straight-Talking” Monk: A Discourse Analysis of the Hortatory Speech of Phra Phayom Kalayano
  • Kitima Indrambarya, On Impersonal Verbs in Thai
  • Kiyoko Takahashi and Kingkarn Thepkanjana, Negation in Thai Serial Verb Constructions: A Pragramatic Study
  • Lev N. Morev, Diathesis in the Tai Languages
  • Luo Yongxian, Word Families in Tai: A Preliminary Account
  • Nittaya Chaimanee, Communicative Pauses in Thai
  • Peter Freeouf, Foreign Language Compoundsin Thai: Evudence for Morphological and Structural Influence
  • Peter Ross, Sound, Metaphor and Shape in Tai
  • Pojanee Siriaksornsa, The Origin and Development of kra – and ka – words in Thai
  • Prapa Sookgasem, The Predicative-Adjective Constructions in Thai
  • Preeya Ingkaphirom Horie and Shoichi Iwasaki, Register and Pragmatic Particles in Thai Conversation
  • Raju Boruah, The Kinship Terms Used by the Ahoms of North East India
  • Ruengdet Pankhuenkhat, A Comparativ Phonology of Tai Pakae and Tai Kammueng
  • Saranya Savetamalya, Verbal Relative Clauses as Adnominal Modifiers in Thai
  • Shri Sarat KR Phukan, Tai Elements in the Place Names of Assam
  • Siripong Potisuk and Mary Harper, CDG: An Alternative Formalism for Parsing Written and Spoken Thai
  • Supriya Wilawan, Another Look at Double Object Constructions in Thai
  • Tasanalai Burapacheep, A Comparative Study of chak and r n in Thai
  • Wilaiwan Khanittanan, The Changing Noun Phrase in Written Thai
  • Zhou Guoyan, Linguistic and Historical Explanation of the Names for the Buyi, a Group of Tai People in South west China


  • Audra Philips, Dialect Comparison Among the Pwo Karen of Central Thailand
  • Dipankar Moral, Consonant Gemination and Compensatory Lengthening in Asamiya Dialects: Contemporary Standard and Central Assam Dialects
  • Jyotiprakash Tamuli, Classfiers in Assanese
  • M.S. Ningomba, Manipuri Dialects
  • Myung-Hee Kim, A Case Grammar Explanation of Tibetan Relativization
  • P. Madhubala, Morphophonemic Changes in Meteiron Compounding
  • Randy J. LaPolla and Jackson T.-S. Sunm, Middle Voice Marking in Tibeto-Burman
  • Siddhartha Ganguli and Sakya Prasad Talukdar, A Linguistic Description of Chakma Language
  • Theraphan L. Thongkum and Amon Thavisak, Register or Tone?: A Case Study of Spoke Burmese

Reported by Robert S. BAUER
Department of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University