Lexicon Valley

The Languages of Southeast Asia

Why are so many of the languages of Southeast Asia “like Chinese”?

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Episode Notes

As Chinese people spread out into regions throughout the Southeast Asian peninsula, so too did their language, which had a profound influence on the native tongues of neighboring peoples. Which explains why much of Vietnamese and Thai, for example, resembles Mandarin, with short syllables and abundant tones.

Podcast production by Mike Vuolo.

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About the Show

If you’ve ever had curious thoughts and questions about the ways we speak, read, and write, Lexicon Valley is the show for you. Hosted by linguist John McWhorter.

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