Language policies and its impact on societal multilingualism in Sarawak

Norahim, Norazuna (2013) Language policies and its impact on societal multilingualism in Sarawak. [Working Paper] (Submitted)


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The policy of having a single common language to symbolise national identity and to forge unity among various groups in multi-ethnic nations has been seen by some as marginalising the rights of minority communities to their language. It is also commonly reported in the literature as the main factor for language shift. Nonetheless, micro investigations conducted on language choice patterns of these communities concluded otherwise. This paper discusses the impact of Malaysia's language policies on societal bilingualism and language choice patterns of its community members. Using Sarawak as a case study, the paper argues that the consequences of the policy are not necessarily threatening lesser languages. In fact, it is suggested that, the policy has created greater assimilation and integration among its members. The discussion in this paper is drawn from several qualitative studies conducted on communities in the south-western part of Sarawak, namely the Bidayuh community and Iban-Malay community in Sebuyau.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language policies, societal multilingualism, national identity, multi-ethnic nations, minority communities, language shift, language choice patterns, societal bilingualism, Bidayuh community, Iban-Malay community, Sebuyau, 2013, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, UNIMAS, universiti, university, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, IPTA, education, undergraduate, research
Subjects: A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
A General Works > AC Collections. Series. Collected works
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Centre for Language Studies (rebranded to FLSCS in 2015)
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2013 09:09
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2020 06:56

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