The sociolinguistics of choice in Malaysian business settings

Shanta Nair-Venugopal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

27 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Almost all institutional imperatives on training in large Malaysian business houses or corporations map onto English as the traditional normative language of choice. This paper, which is an ethnographic account of the sociolinguistics of code and style choice in the oral presentations of two such business organizations, reports on the ascendancy of localized forms and patterns of communication in the situated discourse of the workplace settings. This phenomenon clearly points to the localization of English as evidence for the acculturation of English by Malay and other languages in Malaysian workplace interactions. Aspects and features of Malaysian English (ME) as the localized variety are discussed and presented in relation to a critique on research to date on ME. The paper demonstrates that ME and other ways of speaking in these Malaysian corporate business contexts contrast with the norms of standard English usage. Thus the normative view of language choice and modelling for such contexts of areal communication, which have long been viewed as bastions of English language use in Malaysia, is being challenged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-52
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of the Sociology of Language
Issue number152
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

sociolinguistics
workplace
language
communication
acculturation
Malaysia
English language
speaking
corporation
discourse
interaction
evidence
Malaysian English
Communication
Language
Work Place

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Cite this

The sociolinguistics of choice in Malaysian business settings. / Nair-Venugopal, Shanta.

In: International Journal of the Sociology of Language, No. 152, 2001, p. 21-52.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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