Contact of Dialect Clusters: The Malay Peninsula and Sumatera

DOI: 10.4236/ojml.2015.55040   PDF   HTML   XML   4,081 Downloads   4,692 Views   Citations


Contact between speakers of clusters of Malay dialects of the Malay Peninsula and Sumatera has been going on from historical times until today. This study discusses contacts as reflected in the literary genres of the syair and the hikayat. A research was conducted on a real life situation of the contact of the Bengkulu dialect cluster of Sumatera and that of the southern peninsula Malay dialect in a Bengkulu settler community in the latter region, to assess the receptivity of the speakers of the minority settler community of the norms of the host region. The findings showed that although there was adaptation on the part of the minority community, it did not come readily. Norms that determine the preferred use and usage of language, as well as the social pragmatics of adaptation are the motivating factors for acceptance. Stability of the minority as part of a larger community leads to uninhibited awareness of the traditions of the (former’s) parent community, which in turn motivates a regeneration of erstwhile practices.

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Omar, A. , Jaafar, S. and Mat, S. (2015) Contact of Dialect Clusters: The Malay Peninsula and Sumatera. Open Journal of Modern Linguistics, 5, 459-469. doi: 10.4236/ojml.2015.55040.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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