Code-Mixing of English in the Entertainment News of Chinese Newspapers in Malaysia

Lau Su Kia, Xiongyong Cheng, Tan Kooi Yee, Choo Wee Ling

Abstract


Code-mixing occurs when lexical items and grammatical features of two or more languages exist in the same sentence (Muysken, 2000). Code-mixing is a phenomenon that often ensues in Malaysia’s multilingual society, which produces mixed languages or rojak language. It has already been found that the phenomenon of code-mixing not only exists in conversations among language users in Malaysia but also occurs in sentences used in the entertainment news of Malaysian Chinese dailies. As such, this study concerns the identification of the features of English lexical items that were code-mixed into Chinese entertainment news from the linguistic perspective. A maximum of 1,000 sentences that were code-mixed in Chinese entertainment news were collected from (a) China Press, (b) Mun Sang Poh, and (c) Guang Ming Daily from January to May, 2007. The features of English words and abbreviations that were code-mixed were analysed and discussed qualitatively. In order to achieve the objective of the current study, the questionnaire survey was also administered to 200 respondents to find out their opinions on the features of some English lexical items code-mixed into the sentences of Chinese entertainment news. It was identified that English abbreviations such as “CD”, “DVD”, “MV”, “SMS”, “KTV”, “VIP”, and “DJ” were inserted into Chinese entertainment news, making the sentences simpler and easier to understand. In addition, English adjectives such as “high”, “cool”, “in”, and “hot” were inserted to generate a sense of stylishness and to put forth some sense of modernity. Another interesting highspot from the findings of the study is the incorrect usage of English grammar, such as “sweet sweet”, “high high”, and “cute-cute” in Chinese entertainment news. This form of reduplication is grammatically correct in the Chinese language, and somehow, it is applied in Chinese entertainment news through the reduplication of English words. Certain English nouns and verbs change their functions to adjectives when they are code-mixed into Chinese entertainment news. Besides, English words frequently code-mixed in conversations are also used in Chinese entertainment news. As well, entertainment artists are often quoted during interviews, which brings about the popularity of code-mixing in Chinese entertainment news.

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International Journal of English Linguistics   ISSN 1923-869X (Print)   ISSN 1923-8703 (Online)

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