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English in Malaysia

Postcolonial and Beyond


Edited By Hajar Abdul Rahim and Shakila Abdul Manan

The main thrust of this edited book is the development of Malaysian English (ME) as a new variety of English from the 1950s to the first decade of the 21st century. The book comprises nine chapters on different aspects of the variety based on original research.
The journey ME has taken as a postcolonial variety is discussed in terms of its linguistic development within the current frameworks of World Englishes (WE), particularly with regard to the evolution of new Englishes. Thus, the book discusses a range of ME linguistic and development issues such as lexis, phonology, modality, discoursal features, linguistic style and variation based on a variety of spoken, written, formal, informal, literary and non-literary language data. The findings from the studies contribute new knowledge on how ME has developed and also importantly, the realities and prospects of the variety as a dynamic and rich New English.
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Miscommunication in Filipino-Malaysian Interactions: Intercultural Discourse in English: Francisco Perlas Dumanig / Maya Khemlani David



The emergence of varieties of English in many countries has led to the categorisation of English speakers in three groups of inner circle, outer circle and expanding circle (Kachru 1991). Speakers in the inner circle include native speakers such as people from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand while the outer circle includes a number of second language speakers of English such as those in India, Singapore, Philippines and other countries where English is used as a second language. The expanding circle includes speakers for whom English is a foreign language such as those in Japan, China, Korea and other countries. When two speakers of two different varieties of English try to communicate, miscommunication can occur. Speakers who come from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds may interpret a message differently. According to Samovar and Porter (2003) when communication involves interaction between people whose cultural perceptions and symbol systems are distinct, there is a possibility that the communication event will be altered. Although English is used, problems in communication still occur because speakers from different cultures possess dissimilar “taken‐for‐granteds” and such “taken‐for‐granteds” will result in complex language use and will cause miscommunication (Hopper 1981; Fitch 2012). In addition, speakers who come from different cultures have different discourse patterns and use different lexical, phonological, structural and pragmatic features. ← 253 | 254 →

Countries in the outer circle have developed their own varieties of English, known as the “New English” (Jenkins 2003)...

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