Authored by: Wayne E. Wright

Handbook of Heritage, Community, and Native American Languages in the United States

Print publication date:  January  2014
Online publication date:  January  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415520669
eBook ISBN: 9780203122419
Adobe ISBN: 9781136332494


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Khmer is the national language of Cambodia and is a heritage language of Cambodian Americans in the United States. (Khmer and Cambodian are often used interchangeably to describe both the language and its speakers. In this chapter I use Khmer to refer to the language and Cambodian to refer to the people.) This chapter first provides a historic overview and demographics of the U.S. Cambodian population and then describes the relationship between Cambodian Americans and Cambodia. Next it describes patterns of English and Khmer language use and the support and media resources contributing to Khmer language maintenance. The chapter concludes with a discussion of future prospects for Khmer in the United States.

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