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Aspects of Malaysian English syntax

Baskaran, L.; (1987) Aspects of Malaysian English syntax. Doctoral thesis, University of London. Green open access

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Abstract

The thesis is a description of some of the basic elements in the syntax of meso-lectal Malaysian English (M.E.), that are different from that of Standard British English (S.B.E. or B.E.). What used to be considered as errors or learner's strategies are not necessarily so and a detailed examination of such elements shows that there is a systematic and rigid patterning in the syntax as such. After a description of the general sociolinguistic setting and the emergence of the concept of institutionalized varieties of English, vis-a-vis the non-native varieties, the first chapter briefly sumarises sane phonological as well as lexical features of M.E. The second chapter then discusses sane of the Noun Phrase elements such as the pluralisation of mass nouns (Individuation), article ellipsis and pronominal concord. The third chapter goes into the Verb Phrase features such as temporal distance (Remoteness Distinctions in Tense), the simplified modal system and the use of stative verbs in the progressive (Stativity and Progressivity). Clause structure elements are discussed in Chapter four, where it will be seen that the interrogative clauses (the wh-interrogative, yes-no interrogative and the alternative interrogative) have their differences in terms of word-order (no subject-operator inversion) and different tag elements. Similar to interrogative clausal features is one type of declarative clausal element where for the initially negated and the adverbially fronted declaratives, there is no subject-operator inversion in ME. The last element described in this chapter is copula ellipsis, followed by a summary of someof the other syntactic features in M.E. that need to be further researched on (such as adverbial positioning, ellipsis of the expletives it/there, substitution of such expletives with got and grammatical particles such as lah, man, what and one). The concluding fifth chapter summarises the main points of the core chapters (2,3,4) and also addresses sane of the relevant applied linguistic and socio-linguistic concerns.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Aspects of Malaysian English syntax
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Thesis digitised by British Library EThOS
UCL classification:UCL > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Psychology and Language Sciences (Division of) > Speech, Hearing and Phonetic Sciences

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