Cultural China in Discursive Transformation
  • ISSN 0957-6851
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9838
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Chinese people can be found in most continents and history has shown that they migrate in the early days to seek better livelihoods. Of the many places they have set foot on, Malaya was one country which not only saw the marriage of Princess Hang Li Po of the Ming Dynasty to the sultan of Malacca in the 16th century but also the birth of mixed marriages between local Malays and Chinese who had come with the marriage entourage. Subsequently, others came to work as miners, actors, writers, bankers and various occupations. Malaysian Chinese are the descendants of these migrants. For some reason, literature often associate migrant Chinese with Confucian values like filial piety, respect for elders, benevolence and humility. To some extent this is probably true because Chinese children are taught these virtues through the way they should talk and behave with others. Nevertheless, times have changed. Young people today are exposed to more challenges, new cultures, new experiences and new opportunities. Directly or indirectly, these have an impact on their behaviour and how they talk. Yang Kuo-Shu (1986), Michael Harris Bond and Hwang Kwang-kuo (1986) look at various studies and models of Chinese Social Behaviour. Their findings indicate that the social behaviours of the Chinese have evolved over the years. Adding on to this is the contribution of this paper which discusses the behaviour of young male Malaysian Chinese speakers as shown through their speech. Using participant observation as an approach, spontaneous data of male children interacting with their elders were manually recorded and transcribed. Focussing on politeness, their utterances were then analysed based on the intended functions and the linguistic forms used. Analysis of data suggests that the speakers are direct and less reserved in their speech norms.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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