Intergenerational transmission of the ethnic language : Hakka stops at Gen X

Ting, Su Hie (2018) Intergenerational transmission of the ethnic language : Hakka stops at Gen X. In: Grazer Linguistische Studien 89 = Graz Linguistic Studies 89. Multilingual Malaysian Chinese, S . Frühjahr Publishing, Austria, pp. 63-88.

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Abstract

The study investigated the intergenerational transmission of the Hakka language in Sarawak, an East Malaysian state located on Borneo Island. The specific aspects studied were the language for family communication and attitudes towards Hakka. For language choice patterns across generations, the case study involved two Hakka families spanning five to six generations (totalling 94 and 54 family members) and data were collected through interviews. For attitudes towards Hakka vis-à-vis Mandarin, the matched guise technique was employed. The language choice results showed that Hakka was the only language for family communication in the first three to four generations, starting from the patriarch who migrated from China to Sarawak. In both families, the generation presently in their thirties and forties no longer use Hakka for communication with their spouse and children, although they can speak Hakka. The main factor causing the shift away from Hakka in these families is mixed marriages and residence in non-Hakka dominant communities in urban centres. The results on language attitudes show that non-preference for Hakka is not due to negative attitudes. The 23 Hakka participants who responded to the semantic differential scale evaluated Hakka speakers as positively as Mandarin speakers on 14 traits. The findings indicate, however, that the intergenerational transmission of the Hakka language stops at Generation X and is not passed on to their children.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hakka, Malaysia, minority language, language loss, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, , research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Faculty of Language Studies & Communication Studies
Depositing User: Hie
Date Deposited: 02 Jan 2019 03:14
Last Modified: 02 Jan 2019 03:14
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/22959

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