The Use of Repetitive Structures among Malaysians

Nadarajan, Shanthi (2007) The Use of Repetitive Structures among Malaysians. The International Journal of Language Society and Culture.


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This paper examines the complexities of using English in a bilingual context. It looks at some common forms of repetitions and reduplications that exist among speakers of the Malay and Tamil languages in Malaysia which is easily transferred into their English discourse. While most proficient speakers of English generally recognize it as awkward and inaccurate word use, the message is generally understood and accepted due to the cross cultural mix of the society. Less proficient speakers are either unaware of the awkward structure or ambivalent to its usage. The first part of the article sets out to investigate the various forms of reduplications that exist in Malay and Tamil and how such forms are used in the learners’ discourse. The second part explains the semantic and syntactical organization that enables such forms to be repeated meaningfully. It further explores the reasons for people wanting to retain such repetitive structures despite realizing its inaccurateness and calls for some level of flexibility in the way English should be used in second language environments. The article has implications for both bilingual education and socio cultural identities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, UNIMAS
Uncontrolled Keywords: Reduplication, repetition, cultural identity, code mixing, language transfer, 2007, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, UNIMAS, universiti, university, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, IPTA, education, undergraduate, research
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Centre for Language Studies
Faculties, Institutes, Centres > Centre for Language Studies
Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Centre for Language Studies
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2014 02:46
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2015 05:04

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