Word Familiarity and Lexical Change : The Case of Sarawak Malay Dialect

Radina, Mohamad Deli and Rosnah, Mustafa and Monaliza, Sarbini-Zin (2012) Word Familiarity and Lexical Change : The Case of Sarawak Malay Dialect. Centre for Language Studies, 1 (2). pp. 17-23. ISSN 2180-2726

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Abstract

This preliminary study looks at the familiarity rating of words in Sarawak Malay Dialect (SMD). Although familiarity ratings of language items are usually utilised in psycholinguistic research, they can be very useful for studies in the area of language change. The aim of this study is twofold: (1) to compare the perceptive familiarity rating of Sarawak Malay words; and (2) to document Sarawak Malay words that are undergoing lexical change. Fifty SMD words were used in this study consisting of those with meanings that can be considered as medium to high in frequency for everyday speech. Questionnaires were designed using a 5- point Likert-type scale to rate word familiarity and distributed to 15 participants who were native SMD speakers between the ages of 20 and 25. Across word items, more than one third were found to be rated as less familiar and unknown and thus were not actively used in daily conversations. There were also a number of words perceived as familiar to highly familiar but were not widely used in everyday speech. Evidently, it is crucial to document and preserve these SMD words as they are fast becoming passive vocabulary for the young and may eventually be lost in their lexicon.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Word familiarity, Sarawak Malay dialect, language change, passive vocabulary, UNIMAS, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, IPTA, education, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works

P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Centre for Language Studies (rebranded to FLSCS in 2015)
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2013 02:28
Last Modified: 03 Jan 2017 06:17
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/160

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