Language and Cultural Interconnectedness between Bruneian Malay and Sabah Malay Dialect: An Overview

By Saidatul Nornis Mahali.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

It is the assumption that Bruneian Malay language has been influenced by other languages
from the Borneo Island. According to Nothofer (1991), the multilingualism in Bruneian Malay is so
great that it qualifies to be regarded as supra-regional. For example, there exists linguistic evidence
that Bruneian Malay is still being used in interactions in Borneo. This is observed especially in basic
intra-ethnic social interaction in Sabah (Collins 1990). In fact, Bruneian Malay’s influence has reached
further then the Borneo regions. Bruneian Malay language has contributed many words to the
vocabulary of the ethnic people in the Borneo islands. A sociolinguistic history of languages in
Sabah, which used to be a region under Brunei sovereignty, demonstrates that the Bruneian Malay language is greatly
accepted. Based on these assumptions, this paper intends to examine Bruneian Malay language from
lexical aspects which have dominated Borneo and the sociolinguistic implications to explore further
the interconnectedness of language and culture’s impact upon one’s identity.

Keywords: Bruneian Malay Language, Borneo Island, Language and Culture, Basic Intra-ethnic Social Interaction

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp.227-244. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 802.743KB).

Dr. Saidatul Nornis Mahali

Senior Lecturer, Center for the Promotion of knowledge and Language Learning, University Malaysia Sabah, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Ph.D (linguistics). Currently a senior lecturer at the University Malaysia Sabah, Sabah, Malaysia. Her academic interests include cultural and language research among the indigenous groups in Sabah, with particular reference to the Bajau society in Sabah, Malaysia.


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