James P. Kirby
University of Edinburgh, UK
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Vietnamese, the official language of Vietnam, is spoken natively by over seventy-five million people in Vietnam and greater Southeast Asia as well as by some two million overseas, predominantly in France, Australia, and the United States. The genetic affiliation of Vietnamese has been at times the subject of considerable debate (Diffloth 1992). Scholars such as Tabard ( 1 838) maintained a relation to Chinese, while Maspero (1912), despite noting similarities to Mon-Khmer, argued for an affiliation with Tai. However, at least since the work of Haudricourt (1953), most scholars now agree that Vietnamese and related Vietic1 languages belong to the Mon-Khmer branch of the Austroasiatic family.

Vietnamese (Hanoi Vietnamese)