The Vitality of the Language and Culture of the Tibiya People of Sarawak

Norahim, Norazuna and Kayad, Florence G. (2013) The Vitality of the Language and Culture of the Tibiya People of Sarawak. [Working Paper] (Submitted)


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The disappearance of language normally follows from the disappearance of culture, and vice versa. Both are critical elements of group identity and the survival of a language is dependent on their continuous vitality. This paper presents preliminary findings of an exploratory study on a group of the Bidayuh people in Sarawak who are facing imminent resettlement due to development in the form of a dam. The Tibiya (also known as Biya) people who originally belong in the Upper Padawan area will be resettled in the Penrissen area. This could have an adverse effect on the linguistic and cultural heritage of the group. The current estimated population of the group is 2000 comprising 12 small villages of which 4 are affected by the dam. They will be uprooted from their original speech community and separated from the rest of the group into a linguistically new environment. The Tibiya group identifies themselves with the Biatah dialect while the dialect of the community around the resettlement area is Penrissen (Emperoh). With the reference to the Tibiya situation, this paper discusses the intricacy of the relationship between language and culture, and demonstrates how it may play a major role in determining the survival of the Tibuya dialect in the near future. This paper also considers other demographical factors that could change the language choice patterns of its community members.

Item Type: Working Paper
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language and culture, resettlement, group identity, language survival and vitality, 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 09:17
Last Modified: 25 Aug 2020 06:57

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