Pre­vi­ously-un­known lan­guage

Kuwait Times - - International -

KUALA LUMPUR: A pre­vi­ously-undis­cov­ered in­dige­nous lan­guage in Malaysia re­flects a way of life where the sexes en­joy great equal­ity and there is lit­tle violence, re­searchers have found, prompt­ing ac­tivists yes­ter­day to de­mand better pro­tec­tion for tribes­peo­ple. Lin­guists dis­cov­ered Jedek, which is spo­ken by only 280 peo­ple, dur­ing a pro­ject which saw them visit re­mote vil­lages to col­lect data from dif­fer­ent groups in the north­ern state of Ke­lan­tan. The team from Swe­den’s Lund Univer­sity were study­ing the pre­vi­ous­ly­known lan­guage of Ja­hai in a re­mote vil­lage sur­rounded by for­est-where peo­ple live in wooden houses on stilts-when they re­alised a large num­ber of peo­ple were speak­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent. Ni­clas Buren­hult, one of the re­searchers, said that an­thro­pol­o­gists had stud­ied the same hunter-gath­erer com­mu­nity in the past but the lin­guists asked dif­fer­ent ques­tions, lead­ing them to dis­cover the lan­guage.

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