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Laparoscopic Endoscopic Surgical Science The Role of Human Agents for Language Maintenance of a Chinese Community in Malaysia [ALRJournal]
ALRJournal. 2019; 3(5): 1-18 | DOI: 10.14744/alrj.2019.73745

The Role of Human Agents for Language Maintenance of a Chinese Community in Malaysia

Teresa Wai See Ong
School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia

Language planning and policy plays a vital role in language maintenance and language shift studies. In this study, the purpose was to examine the role of human agents in Chinese community language maintenance in Malaysia, specifically in Penang, due to its long history of being a Chinese settlement. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 46 participants from three groups. Haugenís (1972) 10 ecological questions were employed to assist in data analysis. The findings showed that at the macro level, the Penang Government, the official actors did not play an important role in maintaining Chinese community languages in Penang, while at the meso and micro levels, the Chinese community in Penang and individual parents, the community-based and grassroots actors put in many efforts to ensure that the younger generation continues to learn and speak Chinese community languages. This study contributes to a deep understanding of the roles played and efforts made by three groups of human agents, macro, meso, and micro, in Chinese community language maintenance at three levels of organisation in Penang and that they differ due to socioeconomic pressure.

Keywords: Language maintenance, language planning and policy, human agents, Chinese community languages, Malaysia

Teresa Wai See Ong. The Role of Human Agents for Language Maintenance of a Chinese Community in Malaysia. ALRJournal. 2019; 3(5): 1-18

Corresponding Author: Teresa Wai See Ong, Malaysia
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