Incorporating structural diversity in the Malay grammar

Zaharani Ahmad, Nor Hashimah Jalaluddin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The underlying thesis of transformational generative grammar is that a grammar consists of a set of rules that governs the formation of linguistics structures and constructions. The rules are formulated based on regular patterns that are observable in the language under study. As a natural language, regularities in Malay are not homogeneous and uniform, and their realizations most often surface in various or diverse structures and constructions. Some of these structural variations are considered ungrammatical because their derivations are violating the standard rule prescribed by the grammar. Nevertheless, the so-called 'incorrect variants' are widely and productively used as attested in the corpus, and significantly has an impact on language learning. It has been reported that students are more inclined to use the 'incorrect variant' as compared to the standard one, and this accordingly affects their grade in the examinations (Nor Hashimah et al., 2004). The issue that arises here is that there is a disagreement between the rules prescribed in the school grammar and the language used by the community outside the school. This paper argues that structural diversity in the language must be recognized, and the regularity patterning the variant needs to be generalized and formalized into rule. If the formation of the so-called 'incorrect variant' is rule-governed, it must be accepted as well-formed and should be incorporated into the grammar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-34
Number of pages18
JournalGEMA Online Journal of Language Studies
Volume12
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012

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grammar
language
regularity
school
Grammar
linguistics
examination
Language
learning
community
student
Regularity

Keywords

  • Corpus
  • Diversity
  • Grammaticality
  • Redundancy
  • Rule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

Incorporating structural diversity in the Malay grammar. / Ahmad, Zaharani; Jalaluddin, Nor Hashimah.

In: GEMA Online Journal of Language Studies, Vol. 12, No. 1, 01.2012, p. 17-34.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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