LINGUISTIC DIVERSITY IN BOOK AND JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS ON SARAWAK, 1810-2016
Main Article Content
This paper focuses on linguistic choice in book and journal publications on Sarawak. It is found that in general, English has lost its formerly quasi-monopoly in book publications on Sarawak in the period since the formation of Malaysia (1963-), in particular since the 1980s, although it is still of great importance. Malay has become an increasingly relevant language of book publications on Sarawak. There is also an interesting body of book publications in Chinese and Austronesian languages from Sarawak, including in Iban since the mid-2000s. Overall, there seems to be a rather stable equilibrium of languages since the early 2000s. In terms of academic journal articles on Sarawak as represented in the Malaysian Abstracting and Indexing database MyCite, a similarly stable equilibrium between English and Malay has been found. The specialised scholarly discourse on Sarawak in the examined contributions from the humanities and the social sciences is mostly conducted in Malay, not English, while a few publications in the social sciences and in all of the sciences, engineering, and medicine, are in English. This linguistic diversity in publications on Sarawak implies that scholars working on Sarawak should be fluent in more than one language.
Keywords: Sarawak, linguistic diversity, English, Malay, Chinese, Iban, humanities, social sciences
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