Previously unknown language discovered in Southeast Asia

Happy news for language lovers! From EurekAlert: Unknown language discovered in Southeast Asia.

A previously unknown language has been found in the Malay Peninsula by linguists from Lund University in Sweden. The language has been given the name Jedek. (…)

The language is an Aslian variety within the Austroasiatic language family and is spoken by 280 people who are settled hunter-gatherers in northern Peninsular Malaysia. (…)

The community in which Jedek is spoken is more gender-equal than Western societies, there is almost no interpersonal violence, they consciously encourage their children not to compete, and there are no laws or courts. There are no professions either, rather everyone has the skills that are required in a hunter-gatherer community. This way of life is reflected in the language. There are no indigenous words for occupations or for courts of law, and no indigenous verbs to denote ownership such as borrow, steal, buy or sell, but there is a rich vocabulary of words to describe exchanging and sharing. [continue]

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