Language choice in the Malaysia-Thailand border

A domain-based analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper aims to identify the lingua franca at the border of Malaysia-Thailand via the domain concept introduced by Fishman (1972). This concept proposes several domains such as family, business, neighbourhood, friendship, work and religion, which can be used as the basis for studies on language choice in multilingual communities such as the Malaysia-Thailand community. This study focuses on business, family and tourism domains because the Malaysia-Thailand border, i.e. Rantau Panjang and Golok are popular shopping destinations. Data for the research were collected through questionnaires distributed to respondents in the Malaysia-Thailand border. Findings of the research show that respondents from Malaysia use different languages when they communicate with those from Thailand. The respondents in the 20-40 age range are more inclined to choose Kelantanese Malay dialect, Thai language or Chinese. However, older respondents (above 40 years) choose only Kelantanese Malay dialect. These results show that language choice at the Malaysia-Thailand border is influenced by the age of the respondents. The findings also show that respondents from Malaysia and Thailand are more inclined to choose Kelantanese Malay dialect in family domain. This shows that Kelantanese Malay dialect functions as the lingua franca at the Malaysia-Thailand border as opposed to Thai language. In other words, the Thai respondents have assimilated with the Malay community at the Malaysia-Thailand border.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-182
Number of pages14
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume21
Issue numberSUPPL
Publication statusPublished - May 2013

Fingerprint

Thailand
Malaysia
language
dialect
family business
community
Language Choice
Language
friendship
Tourism
Religion
questionnaire

Keywords

  • Border
  • Domain
  • Language choice
  • Lingua franca
  • Malaysia-Thailand

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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title = "Language choice in the Malaysia-Thailand border: A domain-based analysis",
abstract = "This paper aims to identify the lingua franca at the border of Malaysia-Thailand via the domain concept introduced by Fishman (1972). This concept proposes several domains such as family, business, neighbourhood, friendship, work and religion, which can be used as the basis for studies on language choice in multilingual communities such as the Malaysia-Thailand community. This study focuses on business, family and tourism domains because the Malaysia-Thailand border, i.e. Rantau Panjang and Golok are popular shopping destinations. Data for the research were collected through questionnaires distributed to respondents in the Malaysia-Thailand border. Findings of the research show that respondents from Malaysia use different languages when they communicate with those from Thailand. The respondents in the 20-40 age range are more inclined to choose Kelantanese Malay dialect, Thai language or Chinese. However, older respondents (above 40 years) choose only Kelantanese Malay dialect. These results show that language choice at the Malaysia-Thailand border is influenced by the age of the respondents. The findings also show that respondents from Malaysia and Thailand are more inclined to choose Kelantanese Malay dialect in family domain. This shows that Kelantanese Malay dialect functions as the lingua franca at the Malaysia-Thailand border as opposed to Thai language. In other words, the Thai respondents have assimilated with the Malay community at the Malaysia-Thailand border.",
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