Randy J. LaPolla & Dory Poa
City University of Hong Kong
This volume is a collection of fully analyzed texts of the Mvtwang dialect of the Rawang language collected as part of fieldwork on the language. Rawang is a Tibeto-Burman language spoken by approximately fifty thousand people who live in northern Kachin State, Myanmar (Burma), particularly along the Mae Hka (‘Nmai Hka) and Maeli Hka (Mali Hka) river valleys just south and east of Tibet. The Mvtwang dialect is considered to be the most central of the many Rawang dialects spoken in Myanmar, and so has become a standard for writing and intergroup communication.
The texts include the Rawang creation and migration stories, other folk stories, and also dialogic procedural texts detailing how to weave cloth, how to prepare different traditional foods and how to make a bow and arrows. An introductory chapter gives a brief grammatical description of the language and introduces the Rawang orthography.
(The orthography uses the roman alphabet and a few other symbols; it was developed by American missionary Robert H. Morse in the 1960’s, and is commonly used by the Rawangs.) The texts are given in this orthography. They are first presented unanalyzed side-by-side with a free English translation, section by section. Then each section is presented again in the standard four-line format (as spoken/morphemic analysis/morpheme gloss/free translation).
ISBN 9783895867835. Languages of the World/Text Collections 18. 300 pp. 2001.