Soalan Menarik: Interesting Question

1. Cikgu X said Clementi Barat is Clementi West so which one shall I use?

Depending on whether you like to speak Malay, English or Anglicized Malay

2. Could the reason for the [r] being more pronounced in Indonesian than in Malay has to do with the English RP because the [r] is less pronounced in English?

William Labov at University of Pennsylvania had done a study on [r] e.g. I paRk my caR in the caR paRk

It was noticed that sounding the [r] becomes a fashionable way of speaking; a perceived reflex of high social status among speakers in New York.

The adolescents intentionally speak in this way.  Then the [R] sound runs out of fashion and it becomes not cool to do [r] in pronunciation.  Hence there is a decrease of [rrrrr]ing the word among New Yorkers then.

It is fashion to intentionally show an accent in speech…depending on the speech community of a locality at a particular point in time.

Remember the recently discarded fashion tak boleh tahan and the out of fashion Alamak. 

[you can test the [r] sounding effect with your own Malay and English dialogues and see what your peers or kins would say to you]

For Malay spoken in Singapore-Johor-Riau, we normally keep the [r] down…

kelakar [funny] often sounds like /kelaka/ vs. /kelakaR/

bakar [burn] often sounds like /baka/ vs. /bakaR/

tukar [change, exchange] often sounds like /tuka/ vs. /tukaR/

The [r] is emphasized in standard Malay pronunciation in line with speak according to the spelling.

The school-going students will follow the rule because the mother tongue marks are at stake in oral examination.

Learners may check the [r] sounds in Malay programmes by comparing news broadcasting with drama serials.


Terima kasih

Ra Ra ah ah ah…na na na na na na na na…


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