Karen, S’gaw

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A language of Myanmar

Alternate Names
Burmese Karen, Kanyaw, Kayinpyu, Kyetho, Paganyaw, Pchcknya, Pwakanyaw, S’gau, S’gaw, S’gaw Kayin, White Karen, Yang Khao
Population

1,280,000 in Myanmar (1983 census). Population total all countries: 1,480,000. L2 users: 80,000 in Myanmar (2013 SIL).

Location

Ayeyarwaddy delta area, Tanintharyi Region, the Pegu range between Irrawaddy and Sittang rivers; Kayin State east hills; Mon State. Delta dialect: Ayeyarwaddy delta area, Yangon, up to Mandalay; scattered in Kachin State, Shan State; Eastern dialect: south Kayin and Mon states, and Mawlamyine; Southern dialect: Tanintharyi Region.

Language Status

3 (Wider communication).S’gaw Karen used in the church domain for many Karen languages.

Dialects

Delta dialect of S’gaw Karen, Eastern dialect of S’gaw Karen (Pa’an), Southern dialect of Western Kayah (Dawei). Reportedly similar to Paku Karen [jkp].

Typology

SVO.

Language Use

Most communities vigiorous; some shift toward Burmese [mya]. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Burmese [mya], Pwo Eastern Karen [kjp], Pwo Western Karen [pwo]. Used as L2 by Bwe Karen [bwe], Eastern Kayah [eky], Geba Karen [kvq], Geko Karen [ghk], Kayan [pdu], Kayaw [kvl], Manumanaw [kxf], Mobwa Karen [jkm], Paku Karen [jkp], Western Kayah [kyu], Yintale [kvy].

Language Development
Some literacy classes. Magazines. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1853–1995.
Writing

Latin script [Latn], no longer in use. Myanmar (Burmese) script [Mymr].

Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian (Protestant), traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

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