Language

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Cambodian Khmer by John Haiman

Cambodian is in many respects a typical Southeast Asian language, whose syntax at least on first acquaintance seems to approximate that of any SVO pidgin. On closer acquaintance, however, because of the richness of its idioms, the language seems to be a forbiddingly alien form of “Desesperanto” – a language of which one can read a page and understand every word individually, and have no inkling of what the page was all about.

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Introduction to Cambodian by Judith M. Jacob

Originally published in 1968 and here reprinted with corrections, this complete introduction to spoken and written Cambodian can also be used as a comprehensive guide to grammar and usage. It includes a phonetic description of the language's sounds, for those with phonetic training, and for others, a series of comparisons with English and French. Gathered chiefly in Cambodia, the material can be followed entirely in transcription, or worked through in the orthography, and includes exercises and a full vocabulary.

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