Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 March 2021
This concludes our survey of the historical context and structural properties of the languages of mainland Southeast Asia. For a full picture of language in this area, a companion volume to this one would cover the sociology and anthropology of the languages and their speakers, with topics including multilingualism, registers and diglossia, language variation, ideologies of language, language shift and loss, language and identity, verbal art, naming practices, and much more. For now, we close with three points intended to offer some perspective on the picture of MSEA languages and their status that we have outlined in this book. The first point concerns the languages’ status in a global typology of language. The other two highlight the need for a nuanced understanding of the social context in which this dynamic area’s languages have diversified, and continue to develop.