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Malaysian English

Language Contact and Change

Series:

Siew Imm Tan

Malaysian English: Language Contact and Change is a corpus-based study of contemporary Malaysian English. Based on linguistic features extracted from the Malaysian English Newspaper Corpus, this study demonstrates the diverse ways in which Malaysian English has changed as a result of contact with Malay and Chinese languages. The interactions between groups of speakers who are dominant in English and those who are dominant in Malay or Chinese have resulted in wide-ranging changes in Malaysian English. Multilingual individuals who juggle several languages in their daily communications have also shaped the structure of this variety. This volume suggests that variation and change in Malaysian English are the results of both the communal acquisition and the maintenance of English by a multilingual community.

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2.1: Enrolment in English-medium schools, Federated Malay States (percentage)................................................................................................. 33 3.1: Major English-language newspapers in Malaysia, 2000 ............................ 41 3.2: Number of issues sampled according to day of week................................. 44 3.3: Extracts of the alphabetical word list from the MEN Corpus..................... 48 4.1: Classification of lexical changes resulting from the process of borrowing .................................................................................................... 59 4.2: Classification of lexical changes resulting from the process of creation.... 61 4.3: Distribution of features borrowed from Malay........................................... 64 4.4: Distribution of features borrowed from Chinese ........................................ 70 4.5: Semantic modification of Malay loanwords in Malaysian English............ 75 6.1: Contact-induced change in Malaysian English: Maintenance versus group SLA................................................................................................. 136

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