Language choice of the Foochows in Sarawak, Malaysia

Ting, Su-Hie and Sussex, Roland D. (2002) Language choice of the Foochows in Sarawak, Malaysia. Multilingua, 21 1: 1-15. doi:10.1515/mult.2002.003

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Author Ting, Su-Hie
Sussex, Roland D.
Title Language choice of the Foochows in Sarawak, Malaysia
Journal name Multilingua   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0167-8507
Publication date 2002
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1515/mult.2002.003
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 21
Issue 1
Start page 1
End page 15
Total pages 15
Editor Watts, R. J.
Place of publication Berlin, Germany
Publisher De Gruyter Mouton
Collection year 2002
Language eng
Abstract This paper investigates the factors affecting the language choices of the Chinese Foochows of Sarawak, focusing in particular on how the use of the Foochow dialect vis-a`-vis English and other languages might potentially result in a shift in language allegiance away from Foochow. In the context of Sarawak, the Foochows are a substantial, cohesive and homogeneous Chinese ethnic group with a distinctive language and ethnic identity. One would predict that they would engage in extensive language maintenance behaviour. Instead, Foochows living in non-Foochow dominant areas do not seem to have sufficient attachment to the language to transmit it to the next generation. Is this because the Foochows consider that accommodating to communicative norms is more important than preserving their native language as an inherent symbol of their ethnic identity? Or is it the result of the Foochows’ insecurity about the prestige of the dialect and the status of the Foochow people? These issues of accommodation and language allegiance are discussed, based on interview and questionnaire data from 11 Foochow participants. This data set is part of a larger study on the language use of different ethnic groups in multilingual organisational settings in Sarawak.
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Tue, 14 Aug 2007, 18:53:39 EST