- A member of the Austro-Asiatic group of languages widespread throughout Southeast Asia. Mon is closely related to Khmer (Cambodian) and thus is often referred to as a "MonKhmer language." Although there are about two million Mons in Burma today, many speak the Burmese (Myanmar) language rather than Mon. A literary language since the sixth century CE, its writing system is based on Indian scripts. Unlike Burmese, it does not have tones, and modern Mon has three dialects, centered on Moulmein (Mawlamyine)-Martaban (Mottama), Pegu (Bago), and Ye (Yay). Because of the "Burmanization" policies of the State Peace and Development Council, many Mon scholars fear the extinction of their language and its rich literary heritage. However, the school system administered by the New Mon State Party and monastery schools run by the Mon Sangha use Mon as the medium of instruction.
Historical Dictionary of Burma (Myanmar). Donald M. Seekins . 2014.
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