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Language Choice and Language Alternation in Malaysian Courtrooms

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Abstract:

Malaysian courtrooms are bilingual in a relatively unusual
sense: both Malay (Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia),
which is the national language, and English, which was the
official language until the end of British rule in 1957,
have de jure standing. Submissions and witness
examinations may be performed in either language
without translation, and alternation between the two codes
is common, even within the same speech acts. This paper
will examine multifunctional motivations for code choice
on the part of courtroom participants and consider the
implications of code choice for language policy within the
legal domain, concentrating on issues such as language
disadvantage before the law, transparency of legal
processes, and professional discursive strategies.
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Association:
Name: The Law and Society Association
URL:
http://www.lawandsociety.org


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URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p236495_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Powell, Richard. "Language Choice and Language Alternation in Malaysian Courtrooms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Hilton Bonaventure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 27, 2008 <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p236495_index.html>

APA Citation:

Powell, R. , 2008-05-27 "Language Choice and Language Alternation in Malaysian Courtrooms" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the The Law and Society Association, Hilton Bonaventure, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2013-12-14 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p236495_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Abstract: Malaysian courtrooms are bilingual in a relatively unusual
sense: both Malay (Bahasa Melayu or Bahasa Malaysia),
which is the national language, and English, which was the
official language until the end of British rule in 1957,
have de jure standing. Submissions and witness
examinations may be performed in either language
without translation, and alternation between the two codes
is common, even within the same speech acts. This paper
will examine multifunctional motivations for code choice
on the part of courtroom participants and consider the
implications of code choice for language policy within the
legal domain, concentrating on issues such as language
disadvantage before the law, transparency of legal
processes, and professional discursive strategies.

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