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Code Switching in Malaysia


Maya Khemlani David, James McLellan, Shameem Rafik-Galea and Abdullah

Code switching seems to be natural for most multilingual speakers because they can switch from different languages freely depending on what is available in their linguistic repertoire. This collection of studies aims to bring current Malaysian code switching and language alternation research to the attention of a worldwide readership. In so doing we attempt to follow the path taken by our late friend, colleague and mentor, Professor Rodolfo Jacobson. The approach and conceptual framework adopted by the contributors in this volume tends to focus more towards the functional rather than the purely linguistic or grammatical. Research into Malaysian code switching demonstrates the need to seek out ways of merging these approaches, rather than keeping them separate, and several of the chapters in this volume attempt such a merger of approaches and methods.
Contents: Maya Khemlani David/Kuang Ching Hei/James McLellan/Fatimah Hashim: Functions of code switching in the family domain in Malaysia – Jariah Mohd Jan: Code switching for power wielding: Children’s discourse in a Malay family – James McLellan/Rosalind Nojeg: Lexical choice and 3-way code switching in Bau-Jagoi Bidayuh discourse – Maya Khemlani David/Caesar Dealwis: Language Choice, Code switching and Language Shift: The Telegus of Kuching – Kamisah Ariffin: The interaction of language, topic and speakers: Code switching in classroom discourse – Maya Khemlani David/Lim Chin Chye: Language choices of Malaysian youth in and out of the classroom – Paramasivam Muthusamy/M. Rajantheran: Communicative functions of code switching among Tamil undergraduates – Karen Kow Yip Cheng: Code switching in the language classroom: A pedagogical tool? – Richard Powell: Language alternation in Malaysian courtrooms and comparisons with other common law jurisdictions – Maya Khemlani David/David Yoong Soon Chye: Code switching in eldercare – Hadina Habil/Shameem Rafik-Galea: Code switching in organisational email discourse – Maya Khemlani David/James McLellan/Kuang Ching Hei/Ain Nadzimah Abdullah: Code switching practices in newspaper headlines in Malaysia: A 50-year comparative study and lexical analysis – James McLellan: Keeping the beast in its cage: Compartmentalization of English in the Malay world.