The northern Mon-Khmer language Wa is a group of dialects spoken by about a million people on the China-Burma border. The Dictionary of Wa documents the lexicon of a digitised corpus comprising the majority of extant printed resources in the two closely related de facto standard Wa dialects.
Approximately 12,000 headwords and compounds are translated and explained in Burmese, Chinese and English, with some 7,000 example sentences, similarly translated. The dictionary is alphabetised in the Wa orthography officially adopted by the authorities in the Wa Special Region in Burma, a revised and improved version of the spelling first devised for translations of the Bible in the 1930s; headwords are given also in the spelling devised for Wa publications in China.
Justin Watkins has taught Burmese and linguistics at SOAS, University of London since 1999. His research focuses on the languages spoken in Burma/Myanmar, most recently Wa, Khumi and Sumtu.
'This dictionary is a major achievement, on multiple fronts. First, it will be welcomed by the speakers of the Wa language themselves, who until now have had only very limited dictionaries. It will also be welcomed by scholars of the Wa and related Mon-Khmer languages, and by all others seeking to understand the history and the rich heritage of the Wa people, as well as the situation of the Wa people today.
Justin Watkins, the main author and editor, and his collaborators and assistants in this effort are to be congratulated on this major milestone.'
Magnus Fiskesjö, Cornell University, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 78/01 (February 2015).
All interested in the linguistics and lexicography of Mon-Khmer and other languages of the mainland South-East Asian linguistic area, in particular minority and endangered languages.