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Title: Beyond the ‘mother tongue’ speaker : a study on the relationships Singaporean Malay youths have with the Malay language.
Authors: Chong, Euvin Loong Jin.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Linguistics
Issue Date: 2013
Abstract: With the prevalent use of English in Singapore, it is increasingly a challenge for many young Singaporeans to connect with their ethnic languages. Nevertheless, the Malay community in Singapore has often been described as proud keepers of their ethnic language and identity. This study hopes to obtain a sense of whether this is indeed the case by investigating how a sample of Singaporean Malay youths’ (18-26 years) relationships with the Malay language are characterized by the areas of language expertise, language inheritance and language affiliation, and by examining the links between these areas. A survey was conducted with 50 participants reporting on their use of Malay across different activities and domains, and their perceptions towards Malay. The results indicate that their relationships with Malay are strongly and positively characterized by expertise, inheritance and affiliation. Follow-up interviews conducted with 10 participants indicate that high levels of expertise, though not absolutely essential, can increase a sense of both inheritance and affiliation, while a strong sense of inheritance can help to develop and increase affiliation. The overall results suggest that the transmission and cultivation of a sense of ethnic rootedness and belonging partly through the Malay language has been considerably successful in some of today’s younger generation of Malays, despite the prevalent use of English in all but a few domains.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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