Linguistic Features of Malaysian Students’ Online Communicative Language in an Academic Setting: The Case of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Ciri-Ciri Linguistik Bahasa Komunikasi atas Talian Pelajar Malaysia dalam Suasana Akademik: Kes Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)

Fuzirah Hashim, Ahmad Aminuddin Soopar, Bahiyah Abdul Hamid


Social media have gained astounding worldwide growth and popularity and have become prominent in the life of many young people today. According to various research studies in the field of online social networks, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Whatsapp are greatly impacting the lives of youths. These sites have provided a platform whereby the young can create groups based on their common interests and build connections by updating various topics to discuss. However, with social media taking up such a large space in our lives, there is a concern as to whether it is impacting our communicative language; more importantly, our youth’s communicative language. In view of this phenomenon, this article is an attempt to add to the understanding of online communicative language used by youths in social media.  Specifically, it reports on the linguistic features of online communicative language used by youths in an academic setting in Facebook. This study employed two research tools, namely Virtual Ethnography and Content Analysis. Data collected was in the form of screen captures and snippets of conversations.  Content Analysis was employed to look into the occurrences of languages in contact in phenomena such as code mixing, code switching and borrowings of certain words from the first language-second language and vice versa. The findings of the study indicate that the language used by the participants on Facebook consists of a mixture of code switching, code mixing, fillers, emoticons, spelling modifications, foreign language words and colloquial Malaysian English. 

Keywords: Online communicative language; social networking space; Facebook; academic setting; linguistic features



Media sosial telah tumbuh dengan pesatnya di seluruh dunia dan popularitinya telah menyebabkan ia telah menjadi sebahagian daripada kehidupan anak muda masa kini.  Menurut pelbagai kajian penyelidikan di dalam bidang rangkaian sosial atas talian, laman media sosial seperti Facebook, Twitter dan Whatsapp begitu memberi impak kepada kehidupan golongan muda.  Laman-laman ini telah menyediakan satu platform di mana golongan belia boleh melibatkan diri dalam kumpulan yang mempunyai minat yang sama dari segi disiplin atau bidang dengan mengemaskini pelbagai topik untuk perbincangan atas talian.  Namun, disebabkan media sosial telah mengambil ruang yang besar dalam kehidupan kita, timbul kebimbangan mengenai impaknya terhadap bahasa komunikasi kita; terutamanya bahasa komunikasi belia kita.  Berdasarkan kepada fenomena ini, makalah ini merupakan satu usaha untuk menambahkan pemahaman bahasa komunikasi atas talian yang digunakan oleh belia di media sosial.  Secara khusus, makalah ini akan melaporkan tentang ciri-ciri linguistik bahasa komunikasi atas talian yang digunakan oleh belia dalam suasana akademik di Facebook. Kajian ini menggunakan dua kaedah penyelidikan, iaitu Etnografi Maya dan Analisis Kandungan. Data yang dikumpul adalah dalam bentuk tangkapan skrin dan coretan dalam perbualan. Analisis Kandungan digunakan untuk meneliti penggunaan bahasa dalam fenomena percampuran kod, penukaran kod dan pinjaman kata-kata tertentu daripada bahasa pertama-bahasa kedua dan sebaliknya.  Dapatan kajian menunjukkan bahawa bahasa yang digunakan oleh para peserta di Facebook terdiri daripada campuran daripada penukaran kod, campuran kod, kata-kata pengisi, emotikon, pengubahsuaian ejaan, perkataan bahasa asing dan bahasa pasar Bahasa Inggeris.  

Kata kunci: Bahasa komunikasi atas talian; ruangan rangkaian sosial;     Facebook; persekitaran akademik; ciri-ciri linguistik

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