IIUM Repository

Nativisation and acceptability in Malaysian English

Wahid, Ridwan (2013) Nativisation and acceptability in Malaysian English. In: The 17th English in Southeast Asia Conference (ESEA 2013), 4-6 Dec 2013, Kuala Lumpur. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF (Nativisation and acceptability in Malaysian English)
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (378kB) | Request a copy
[img] PDF (Nativisation and acceptability in Malaysian English)
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (476kB) | Request a copy


Malaysian English (ME) grammar is said to contain unique, local features that exist alongside exonormative counterparts. Such usages are often regarded as errors by prescriptivists although their widespread use especially through the basilect and mesolect may prompt some descriptivists to label them as innovations instead. Probably due to the lack of codification, the distinction between ‘error’ and ‘innovation’ with regard to nativised features is even less clear among speakers of ME themselves. This paper aims to prove that the blurring of this distinction characterises much of the ME that is used by some of its most dedicated speakers. It presents findings from a survey of acceptability of 11 deviant grammatical items adapted from Bautista (2004) and 28 divided usages adapted from Lee (2001). In contrast to previous studies that relied on speaker proficiency as an indicator of nativisation, this survey targets a group of two contrastive speakers: English majors and non-English majors. The two groups are differentiated based on the extent of their use of English at present and in the future; collectively English majors tend to use more English in their studies and future workplaces than non-English majors. Although use of a language and proficiency in that language may be interrelated, the former can be usefully isolated so that its effect on nativisation can be studied. The paper will show that English majors tend to have more liberal attitudes towards nativised grammatical features than non-English majors, suggesting that increased use by some speakers of ME may contribute to a higher degree of nativisation of this variety. Both groups will be shown to be equally receptive to both prescribed and proscribed items of the divided usages, implying that the putative ungrammaticality of those items is a non-issue to the majority of ME speakers..

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Speech/Talk)
Additional Information: 4582/34673
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Kulliyyahs/Centres/Divisions/Institutes (Can select more than one option. Press CONTROL button): Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences > Department of English Language & Literature
Depositing User: Dr Ridwan Wahid
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2014 15:28
Last Modified: 07 Aug 2014 14:32
URI: http://irep.iium.edu.my/id/eprint/34673

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year