Year published :2012

Pages :896 pp.

Size :17x24 cm.

Rights :Southeast Asia

ISBN: 9780985661618

Iu‐Mienh – English Dictionary with Cultural Notes, An

by Herbert C. Purnell


Based on the language as spoken in Thailand and Laos, and written in the Iu‐Mienh community’s common Romanized script, this dictionary is the result of more than 20 years’ work. It is supported by a 1.3 million word corpus that ranges from oral narrative and formal prose to Internet blogs.


  • The largest Iu‐Mienh dictionary: 5,600 entries, 28,000 subentries, 5,000 example sentences, 4,500 notes on usage, register, and idiom
  • Thousands of informative culture notes on a wide variety of topics, including beliefs, clothing, cooking, courtship, marriage, ceremonies, embroidery, folklore, names, poetry, and riddles
  • Six appendices discuss numbers, names, kinship, the 60‐year cycle, references on the Iu‐Mienh, and sources for the computerized corpus

About the Author

Herbert C. Purnell is Professor Emeritus of Applied Linguistics and TESOL, Biola University. He has written on many aspects of Iu‐Mienh language, phonology, historical development, orthography, lexicography, and literary form.

What others are saying

“A magnificent dictionary; an enormous accomplishment; a lasting treasure of detailed information about Mienh culture and language... Every library will need to own it, and every specialist in Southeast Asian linguistics will need to consult it.”—Prof. Martha Ratliff, Wayne State University; author of Hmong‐Mienh Language History

“Naaiv buonv Iu‐Mienh–English Dictionary… tengx duqv siou liouh Iu‐Mienh fingx caux waac mingh hoz nqaang ziex doic. [This Iu‐Mien–English Dictionary… will aid in preserving the Iu‐Mienh language and culture for future generations.]” —Chiem‐Seng Yaangh, PhD., President, United Iu‐Mien Community, Inc. Sacramento, California

“A lifetime’s work, of tremendous use as a cultural resource for Mienh people. It has all the makings of a classic work and is likely to stand for decades as the standard reference work on the Mienh language.”—Assoc. Prof. Hjorleifur Jonsson, anthropologist, Arizona State University

Related files

  • Audio File: Saving the Mien language (Deutsche Welle Radio in Germany)

    How do you solve a dying language if it isn't even able to be written down? Herbert Purnell, a professor emeritus at Biola University in La Mirada, California, thinks he has the answer. He's trying to make sure that the Mien language survives. Report by: Melonie Magruder



Southeast Asia | Iu‐Mienh | dictionary

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