Language attitudes towards own vernacular language and mandarin among Foochow and Hokkien speakers in Kuching

Puah, Yann Yann (2014) Language attitudes towards own vernacular language and mandarin among Foochow and Hokkien speakers in Kuching. Masters thesis, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, (UNIMAS).

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to examine language choice patterns in various domains and the attitudes of Foochow and Hokkien speakers in Kuching, Sarawak towards own vernacular language and Mandarin. The specific objectives of this research include language use of Foochow and Hokkien speakers in nine domains, the reasons of their language choices as well as status of language and its speakers. To find out whether the Foochow and Hokkien speakers’ attitudes towards Mandarin and their vernacular language are influenced by sociodemographic variables, gender, age and socio-economic status are the three variables included in this study. Matched-guise technique, survey and interview were used for data collection and 444 Chinese speakers were involved in this study. The findings showed that Bahasa Malaysia, English and Mandarin were used in more formal situations, such as in formal transaction, religion, government, education, employment and media domains while vernacular languages or Mandarin were spoken during informal transactions and in the friendship domain. The participants’ language use patterns at home were due to three factors: intermarriage, desire for intergenerational transmission of vernacular language, and children’s education whereas ethnicity of the interactants and formality of the situations were the other two factors that influenced the participants’ language choice outside home. As matched guise technique was used to elicit the language attitudes of a large number of participants indirectly, the paired t-tests results indicated that both Foochow and Hokkien participants showed positive attitudes towards Mandarin speakers. This was similar to the iii participants’ self-reported data where they rated Mandarin as having higher status and more usage than their vernacular language. When comparing the results for Foochow and Hokkien speakers, Hokkien has higher prestige than Foochow in Kuching, Sarawak due to the institutional support it receives. In this study, the functions of Hokkien are similar to Mandarin, not only for the Hokkien people but also for other Chinese sub-groups. Hence, Hokkien is considered as High language while Foochow is considered as Low language in Kuching for the Chinese speech community.

Item Type: E-Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Thesis (MA.) -- Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, 2015.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Language and culture, languages, unimas, university, universiti, Borneo, Malaysia, Sarawak, Kuching, Samarahan, ipta, education, Postgraduate, research, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Academic Faculties, Institutes and Centres > Centre for Language Studies (rebranded to FLSCS in 2015)
Depositing User: Karen Kornalius
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2015 08:17
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2015 08:17
URI: http://ir.unimas.my/id/eprint/9030

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