Linguistic right to use own language in public and private domains: The case of Sarawak, Malaysia

Ting , Su Hie (2010) Linguistic right to use own language in public and private domains: The case of Sarawak, Malaysia. In: Applied Linguistics Association of Australia (ALAA) Congress., University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.. (Unpublished)


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This paper offers a Malaysian perspective on the linguistic rights of various speech communities to use their language in public and private domains in a multilingual society. The paper opens with an overview of related literature which shows that by virtue of the national language policy which enforces the use of Bahasa Malaysia as the official language in government-related domains, the dominant Malay speech community is attributed the rig4t to use the colloquial variety and regional dialects of the Malay language in public domains that are not regulated by language policies. While the minority speech communities have the right to use their vernacular language in private domains such as the family and friendship domains, the y,ounger generation is shifting towards standardised languages. A survey of 66 teenage secondary school students in Sarawak revealed that Malay languages and Mandarin Chinese are common languages of daily communication with family and peers for Malay and Chinese students respectively. The findings on surrendering oflinguistic rights to speak in one's own language are discussed in the context of the role of the school in homogenizing language use, threat of the global status of English on the national language, influx of immigrant labour and rural~urban migration.

Item Type: Proceeding (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, UNIMAS, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, research, Linguistic right, languages
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Centre for Language Studies (rebranded to FLSCS in 2015)
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2014 06:25
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2015 00:37

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