From: Jitka Slezáková <slezakovajitkaseznam.cz>
Subject: The Variety of Vietnamese Czech as an Example of Transcultural Communication in the Czech Republic
E-mail this message to a friend
Institution: Charles University in Prague
Program: Linguistic Anthropology
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2007
Author: Jitka Slezáková
Dissertation Title: The Variety of Vietnamese Czech as an Example of Transcultural Communication in the Czech Republic
Subject Language(s): Czech (ces)
The subject of ethnic minorities represents an actual topic in today's
society. Vietnamese merchants were chosen as an example for several
reasons. They are one of the largest foreign minorities in the Czech
Republic, they are in everyday contact with the Czechs and their native
language is typologically completely different from the language of their
The aim of my project was to create a corpus, which would provide data for
linguistic description, analysis and sociolinguistic characterization of
the outcome of such a specific contact situation in the Czech Republic.
More accurately, in which way the typological differences are reflected in
Vietnamese Czech. Sources of particular morphological as well as phonetic
features are detected and explained. In particular, I deal with the
question whether the Vietnamese Czech could be regarded as an autonomous
language code (pidgin or creole) or rather as a case of an incomplete
second language acquisition (SLA) process. For this purpose, the text is
divided into three sections.
In Part I, the Vietnamese Czech is classified within the scope of contact
linguistics, whereas possible linguistic results of the contact are
introduced. A depiction of Vietnamese communicative situation is provided
by comparing the conditions before and after the political change in 1989.
Special attention is paid to linguistic analysis in subsequent two
sections. Part II deals with the Vietnamese Czech as a specific case of SLA
and methodology of this field is applied. Specifically, it was desirable to
examine the individual variability of language proficiency from the
viewpoint of mastering the Czech target language. On the contrary, Part III
focuses on unifying characteristics and stabilization of the Vietnamese
Czech as necessary conditions for creating a new sovereign language.
The data are based on a survey conducted among the Vietnamese merchants in
several cities with large residing Vietnamese communities (Praha, Cheb, and
Jihlava). Border regions were excluded for the expected influence of other
languages (German). While questioned individuals were chosen randomly in
Praha and Cheb, the entire community was mapped in Jihlava. The sample
includes 37 different speakers of all important social categories: sex, age
and length of stay in the Czech Republic. Interviews were digitally
recorded and subsequently transcribed according to the Czech version of the
International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). The total length of the transcribed
text is about 12 hours. Personal experiences and statements from a Czech
informant (a former spokesperson of the Vietnamese community in Jihlava)
are added to the official data concerning the numbers of Vietnamese
immigrants in the Czech Republic.
Summary: Although Vietnamese Czech resembles in several linguistic features
a pidgin at first glance, it has to be characterized - after more elaborate
analysis - as a specific case of second language acquisition.
Sociolinguistic facts give support to this statement. The collected data
also build up an inexhaustible base for further research.
This Year the LINGUIST List hopes to raise $60,000. This money will go to help keep
the List running by supporting all of our Student Editors for the coming year.
See below for donation instructions, and don't forget to check out our Fund Drive
2008 LINGUIST List Circus and join us on our many shows!
There are many ways to donate to LINGUIST!
You can donate right now using our secure credit card form at
Alternatively you can also pledge right now and pay later. To do so, go to:
For all information on donating and pledging, including information on how to
donate by check, money order, or wire transfer, please visit:
The LINGUIST List is under the umbrella of Eastern Michigan University and as such
can receive donations through the EMU Foundation, which is a registered 501(c)
Non Profit organization. Our Federal Tax number is 38-6005986. These donations
can be offset against your federal and sometimes your state tax return (U.S. tax
payers only). For more information visit the IRS Web-Site, or contact your
Many companies also offer a gift matching program, such that they will match any
gift you make to a non-profit organization. Normally this entails your contacting
your human resources department and sending us a form that the EMU Foundation fills
in and returns to your employer. This is generally a simple administrative procedure
that doubles the value of your gift to LINGUIST, without costing you an extra penny.
Please take a moment to check if your company operates such a program.
Thank you very much for your support of LINGUIST!
Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue