Profiles of Malaysian Malay standard accent and identity values

Idris Aman, Rosniah Mustaffa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper discusses the profiles of the standard accent of Malay language in Malaysia. The discussions are linked with the issues of identity and integration values. For this purpose, five phonological variables which had been identified as relevant in these regards were chosen and analysed, namely, the final syllable open-ended vowel (a) such as in saya 'I', the final syllable close-ended vowel (i) such as in bilik 'room' and (u) such as in duduk 'sit', the initial (r) such as in rumah 'home', and the post-vocalic (r) such as in pasar 'market'. The pronunciation of these variables by the informants in four formal speech styles, which had been specially designed, was recorded. A total of 125 informants from four cities were involved in this study. The profile of accent was examined from five social variables. These include the informants' socio-economic status, gender, age, geographical location and native or non-native speaker factor. The study reveals that the notion of the national standard accent of Malaysian Malay - at some point - has been demonstrated by the informants and this is applicable through all the five social variables, within two patterns of phonological variables. Firstly, the phonological variables of (i), (u), and (r)1 were used prominently as standard accent, and secondly, (a) and (r)2 were used alternately between the standard and non-standard accents. The findings illustrate the existence and the growth of national identity and integration values, where the informants were able to accommodate their accent to the standard variation in the formal context of the study. In this sense, they are also inclined to identify themselves more with the national identity as compared to the local identity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-202
Number of pages24
JournalPertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities
Volume21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013

Fingerprint

Values
national identity
national integration
Malaysia
Accent
Informants
gender
market
language
economics
National Identity
National identity
Non-native Speakers
Local Identity
Open Vowels
Socioeconomic Status
Speech Style
Language
Factors
Socioeconomic status

Keywords

  • Identity
  • Integration
  • Malay language
  • Phonological variables
  • Social variables
  • Speech styles
  • Standard accents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Profiles of Malaysian Malay standard accent and identity values. / Aman, Idris; Mustaffa, Rosniah.

In: Pertanika Journal of Social Science and Humanities, Vol. 21, No. 1, 03.2013, p. 179-202.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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