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Article Released Wed-19th-July-2006 21:59 GMT
Contact: Prof Murtedza Mohamed Institution: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
 Study of language use in Borneo

A preliminary study in the trends of language use among Malay families in Kuching, Sarawak and a case study of language use with the younger generation in Foochow families

A preliminary study in the trends of language use among Malay families in Kuching, Sarawak.
Mahanita Mahadhir

Having access to education and financial stability, Malays have now gained upward social mobility. Many are now living in urban areas where they are exposed to various elements of which would have effects in determining their language choices. This paper investigates the choice of languages used by Malay families in their daily communication (in settings such as home, neighbourhood, workplace and mosque) and the reasons underlying their choices. Moreover, some of these Malay families have inter-married with other races and thus, usage of other languages is also evident in these families. The major themes that emerge from the interviews showed that Standard Malay and English are used for formal domains and Sarawakian Malay is still used in a variety of informal domains.

A case study of language use with the younger generation in Foochow families
Dr Ting Su Hie

This paper examines the language situation among the Foochows in the Malaysian state of Sarawak within the framework of theories on functional differentiation of languages and language maintenance and shift. The case study investigates language and cultural maintenance in Foochow families to explore the push and pull factors that influence the choice of language for communication with the younger generation in the family. The interview data offer insight into the language behaviour of a relatively large ethnolinguistic group known for its strong sense of identity and clannish relationship when they are living outside of their traditional 'home-ground'. There is evidence of the perception that one could be Foochow without speaking Foochow, and this along with other socio-economic factors, contributes to the speeding up of inter-generational language shift in the family.

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Keywords associated to this article: language; Malay; Foochow
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