Language Policy from Functions to National Ethos: Consensus of Malay Linguist Experts
Malaysia's language policy has declared Malay as the national and official language. However, in facing the uncertain future, measures are taken where some of the language ethos; the value codes regulating the social life of multiracial Malaysians should be implemented accurately. This study discusses six ethos of Malay language which are: (i) Malay as the national language, (ii) Malay to shape national identity, (iii) Malay to foster patriotism, (iv) Malay to nurture nationalism, (v) Malay as the symbol of national dignity, and (vi) Malay as the national image. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods was implemented in this study using the Delphi technique. 10 experts in the field of Malay linguistics were selected as informants. In the first round, the study was conducted through interviews to gather views regarding the ethos of Malay language. Next, the consensus among experts is obtained through Median Calculation and Inter-Quarter Range (JAK). The results found are 30 elements which consists of 5 main elements for each of the six themes presented. The featured themes are Malay as the national language, as a symbol of national identity, to foster patriotism, to nurture nationalism, to represent national dignity and as a symbol of the national image. Overall, six themes and 30 elements were proposed and agreed upon by ten experts from Malay linguistics. This is important as a framework of reference to ensure the continuity of the national ideas and strengthen the present national language policy.
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