ELL: To M. McDaniel
akha at LOXINFO.CO.TH
Fri Aug 24 07:29:30 UTC 2001
Both of these addresses come from SIL.
Summer Institute of Linguistics.
"Now that I have a link that works I can see what others were referring to."
Can you explain what you mean?
The Italian Catholics developed a script around 1917 for the Akha. I have
seen publications which were made in 1923 although there are some that are
earlier and I think that the library at Keng Tung would have copies or the
Vatican might have copies.
The Catholics did not publish many books. A catechism, maybe a song book,
prayer book or two.
Two years ago they published a New Testament.
I am told they are working on the Old Testament also.
Paul Lewis made a different script.
It was for protestants, not catholics.
In the early 1990's a number of Akha complained to me that the main protestant
organizations in Thailand would not allow them to gain Akha New Testaments
because they were not part of the mainstream. They had Akha churches and did
not want to follow the pattern of OMF or the American Baptists. They could
not get Bibles through any of these Thailand US affiliated organizations,
these organizations claimed it was copyrighted and would not allow them to
The price was also high I was told.
As a result the Akha asked me if I could help work on a script and help get
Bibles published in this script so that they could have access.
I agreed that I would help.
The Akha told me that they had significant problems with both the Catholic
script and the Protestant script and would like something different.
I did keyboard entry and the Akha worked on the script for seven years.
Groups from both the Burma side and Thai side worked on the script together
trying to sort out a number of problems which they finally succeeded in doing.
At that time they assembled and I published on their behalf the book in its
rough draft that is located on the web.
They are making one more correction of spellings before we do a press
We have set no date for this yet.
Numerous Akha have complained that the religious proprietary scripts have been
used to divide their people and have not been used for the promotion or
preservation of their culture.
NO religious organization has made any attempt to answer their concern
regarding this matter.
Basically they do as they wish.
The Akha now have numerous prototypes of this book and find that the script
system is very fast and very easy to read and that it also is very useful if
one is trying to learn english.
The Akha who learn english are better able to communicate their human rights
needs to outsiders.
Peter_Constable at SIL.ORG wrote:
> Now that I have a link that works I can see what others were referring to.
> Can you tell us a little about the development of this orthography and the
> history of literacy and linguistic work?
> - Peter
> Peter Constable
> Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
> 7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
> Tel: +1 972 708 7485
> E-mail: <peter_constable at sil.org>
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