Lexical borrowing from Chinese languages in Malaysian English

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    23 Citations (Scopus)


    This paper explores how contact between English and Chinese has resulted in the incorporation of Chinese borrowings into the lexicon of Malaysian English (ME). Using a corpus‐based approach, this study analyses a comprehensive range of borrowed features extracted from the Malaysian English Newspaper Corpus (MEN Corpus). Based on the contexts of these features, the specific processes that shape the patterns of changes in ME are deduced. Haugen's analysis of lexical borrowing is employed in the description of the linguistic changes. It is proposed that the preservation of traditional Chinese culture and practices by a multilingual society that maintains a local variety of English has created the stimulus for this type of contact phenomenon. Borrowers are conditioned not only by their need to expand the communicative and expressive powers of English but also by their need to integrate the borrowed features into the linguistic system of the English language. The outcomes of this phenomenon, as represented in the relatively formal genre of newspaper English, are mainly loanwords, compound blends and loan translations, although some inflected and derived forms based on these borrowings are also observed. This paper demonstrates the potential of corpus‐based methods in the study of new Englishes from the perspective of contact linguistics
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)451-484
    JournalWorld Englishes
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2009


    Dive into the research topics of 'Lexical borrowing from Chinese languages in Malaysian English'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this