Universiti Putra Malaysia
Download Latest Complete Journal - JSSH Vol. 23 (S) Dec. 2015
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Abstract (Viewed: 4)This article examines Toni Morrison's Recitatif and Alice Walker's Everyday Use as post-colonial texts. Morrison's short story moves beyond the postcolonial aftermath to maintain pre-colonial cultural conventions. The discussion begins with how Recitatif is considered within the field of postcolonial studies, demonstrating such postcolonial concepts as diaspora, nativism and chromatism. The study also focuses on Alice Walker's short story Everyday Use, and discusses how various forms of Filiation/Affiliation and Synergy contribute to the conventions of precolonial culture. Everyday Use aims precisely at ethical propensity within colonial circumference. Thus, Walkerself-consciously illustrates the level of its pre-colonial features, which expose the colonisation dispersal of identity.Chromatisim, diaspora, fantasy, filiation, affiliation, nativism, postcolonialism, synergy
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Abstract (Viewed: 6)Translation of Iltifat is a major challenge for Qur'an translators and has attracted the attention of translation researchers and linguists, alike. Iltifat with its first- to third-person shifts in deictic reference is a remarkable style of the Holy Qur'an and is used to serve various pragmatic functions, such as implicatures. The aim of this paper is to examine the translation of the implicatures of Iltifat from Arabic to English. To achieve this aim, the implicatures of Iltifat shifts from first- to the third-person reference were extracted from the source text, the chapter of the Qur'an named surah al-Baqarah, with reference to a number of Qur'anic exegeses. In addition, the study attempted to identify the strategies used in the translation of Yusuf Ali (2008) for Iltifat in surah al-Baqarah. The analysis revealed that there are a number of implicatures of Iltifat from first- to the third-person reference which can be found in exegeses. However, these implicatures are not represented in the text for the readers of Yusuf Ali's translation. Translating implicatures from Iltifat requires intertextual cross checking from exegeses in order to attain the meanings of Iltifat that would otherwise be lost in translation.Iltifat, personal Iltifat, Qur'an, surah al-Baqarah, implicature, pragmatics, translation
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Abstract (Viewed: 6)Numerous studies attempting to establish a genetic cause for homosexuality have been conducted since the early 1990s that have not been proven to be either valid or reliable. To date, the quest to establish the existence of a single chromosome in humans that would identify a person's homosexual identity seems futile as there are no scientific findings or DNA test results that have proven that such a third gender can be biologically determined. Therefore, on the premise that homosexuality, like race, is related to nurture rather than nature in the great nature versus nurture debate, this paper focuses on analysing the minds of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) individuals by investigating the turning points to gaydom of several characters in selected short stories from the collection in Body 2Body - A Malaysian Queer Anthology by examining their feelings and decisions when they decide to adopt LGBT identity. This paper also discusses the processes that are involved in the transformation of the characters' sexual identity. In addition, with Freudian psychic zones in mind, this paper also tries to determine whether these characters' id, as opposed to their ego and superego, take control of their desires, or whether the tendency towards homosexuality exists naturally within them and is the reason they choose to become and remain part of the LGBT community.Gender studies, LGBT studies, psychoanalysis
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Abstract (Viewed: 3)On 11 September 2012, the Prime Minister unveiled the National Education Blueprint that laid the foundation for transforming the Malaysian education system. Among the issues addressed was the strengthening of the teaching and learning of the English language alongside the reinforcement of the learning of the national language. Attention was given to ensuring students' English language proficiency through an emphasis on bilingualism (Bahasa Malaysia and English), which is one of the six key "attributes" addressed in the blueprint. The blueprint currently invites comments and feedback from the public in order for it to be sensitive to local needs. In this context, the concept of bilingualism must be clearly established and explained as the degree of bilingual proficiency one achieves often depends on the wider societal attitudes towards the languages concerned. This paper aims to explore the context of bilingualism in Malaysia and to describe responses from an important segment of society, the teachers who contribute to achieving bilingualism among students who ultimately will constitute the workforce of the nation. As such, the policy and current practices have significant implications for any agenda to be successfully implemented in order to contribute meaningfully to local and international economies. The study traces the development of bilingualism and bilingual education in Malaysia. It also provides information on responses of language teachers who are seen to be policy implementers and stakeholders who can provide salient information on the effects related to language education policy.Bilingualism, Malaysian language education policy, local needs, English language, national language
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Abstract (Viewed: 4)A meeting is a planned communicative event where the participants' role is to achieve the discussed objectives. Business English (BE) is often used as the lingua franca for meetings. Studies on BE are becoming a growing interest but there are still limited readily available studies on business meetings, especially on those in the Malaysian context, and even fewer that describe rapport management in meetings. In a meeting, rapport is established when there is a shift in formality in the management of face, sociality rights and interactional goals. This may be the result of the display of the chairperson's power. BE, on the other hand, is used to achieve the communicative purposes that help to promote rapport. By reviewing past studies, this paper explores how the chairperson in local and other cultures establishes rapport through the use of politeness and other communicative strategies in conversational turn-taking. Conversational Analysis (CA) has been used widely to analyse audio and video recordings of meetings as it provides for microanalysis of such turn-taking. Past studies have shown that politeness, small talk, humour and the use of non-verbal expressions are elements of rapport management displayed by the chairperson.Rapport management, conversational analysis, chairperson, Business English
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Abstract (Viewed: 2)This study investigates the responses of Asian speakers towards impoliteness they received. Using conversations between participants of the reality TV show 'The Amazing Race Asia' from Season Two and Season Four ( Lau & White, 2007, 2010) as our data, we investigated how participants responded when their 'face' ( sense of dignity) was being threatened or attacked. We explored the response options proposed by Bousfield (2008) and applied them to this Asian context. Findings of the study indicate that most of the participants responded to impoliteness by denying responsibility by offering an account or explaining their respective mistakes in order to reduce face damage. Those who avoided argument tended to either accept the face-threatening act or remain silent. Additionally, obeying a command was a response found in the study, which may be included under response strategies of accepting a face-threatening act.Responses, impoliteness, face-threat, counter, offensive, defensive
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Abstract (Viewed: 3)Half of a Yellow Sun, written by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is a novel filled with notions of tragedy, strife and survival. This novel recounts the experiences of characters who lived in a country torn apart by a civil war resulting from political upheaval. This study elucidates the trauma concepts of acting out and working through as done by the main characters of this novel. Furthermore, it ascertains why the characters are traumatised, the effects of the trauma and whether they recover from such trauma. There are quite a few concepts related to trauma theory, which is the literary theory used here as it best suits this research study. However, the main focus of this study is the concepts of acting out and working through from Dominick LaCapra. A close reading of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's novel in the light of trauma theory provides insight into how to understand the horrors of trauma. People are often ignorant of the horrors of trauma and how it can affect a person, unless they undergo trauma themselves. Furthermore, since trauma theory has been largely linked to the medical rather than the literary field, it is viewed as a contemporary theory, unlike post-colonialism or feminism. Therefore, this study will be beneficial to literary students and people who conduct research in the same field of study.Trauma theory, Nigerian-Biafran War, Dominick Lacapra, acting out, working through
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Abstract (Viewed: 5)A grammaticality judgement test (GJT) is one of the many ways to measure language proficiency and knowledge of grammar. It was introduced to second language research in the mid 70s. GJT is premised on the assumption that being proficient in a language means having two types of language knowledge: receptive knowledge or language competence; and productive knowledge or language performance. GJT is meant to measure the former. In the test, learners judge and decide if a given item, usually taken out of context, is grammatical or not. Over the years, GJT has been used by researchers to collect data about specific grammatical features in testing hypotheses, and data collected by a GJT are said to be more representative of a learner's language competence than naturally occurring data. Collecting such data also allows the collection of negative evidence (ungrammatical samples) to be compared with production problems such as slips and incomplete sentences. Despite the usefulness of GJT, its application is riddled with controversies. Other than reliability issues, it has been debated that certain item formats are more reliable than others. Therefore, the present study seeks to determine if two different item formats correlate with the English language proficiency of 100 ESL undergraduates.Grammar, grammaticality judgment, grammaticality judgment test, item format, language competence, language performance
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Abstract (Viewed: 4)This present study aims to analyse the pragmatic competence in requests of Thai learners of Spanish by comparing the pragmatic competence performed by Thai learners of Spanish and Spanish native speakers. A multiple-choice discourse completion test (MDCT) in Spanish in different situations was employed to collect data from two groups of participants. The first group consisted of 30 fourth-year Thai students of Khon Kaen University majoring in Spanish while the second group had 30 Spanish native speakers. Making a request is one of the speech acts frequently used in everyday life. Requests are face-threatening acts because a speaker wants to convince a hearer to do something that is beneficial to the speaker. Different request strategies are employed in different cultures. In some cultures, performing a request increases the level of indirectness to protect a speaker's face while in others, speakers need to reduce the level of indirectness to save the hearer's face or to show a close relationship between the speaker and hearer. Despite many differences between Thai and Spanish cultures, no study about pragmatic competence in requests focusing on Thai learners of Spanish has been conducted. It is necessary for Thai learners of Spanish to have pragmatic competence by learning the appropriate politeness strategies in Spanish to avoid communication failures or misunderstanding. The findings of this study suggest that in formal situations, requests performed by Thai learners of Spanish significantly differ from requests performed by native Spanish speakers. On the contrary, requests performed by two groups of participants are rather similar in informal situations. The results of this study can show cultural differences between the Thai and Spanish languages.Politeness strategies, requests, Thai learners of Spanish, pragmatic competence
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Abstract (Viewed: 6)This paper explores the oral communication behaviour of speakers involved in life insurance sales meetings. It is often argued that speakers adjust their speech to "accommodate" the person they are addressing. This situation may be more prominent in sales talk, which is acknowledged as goal-orientated interaction with a specific structure, roles and patterns of language use. Using the communication accommodation theory (CAT), the authors attempt to show that the sellers (life insurance agents) and buyers (also known as prospects) of life insurance will use different accommodation strategies to ensure a sale or to reject a sale. Analysis of data from sales meetings provides some insights into the discourse of life insurance sales meeting conversations and management, including employment of accommodation strategies in the sales meetings. This paper addresses the role of speech accommodation by sellers and buyers of life insurance as seen in two life insurance sales meetings conducted in a specific region of Malaysia. The participants of the meetings were bilingual speakers of Malay, English and Chinese, and the competency level of spoken English differed from one participant to the other. The paper discusses the extent to which the participants used convergent and divergent strategies throughout the meetings to accommodate linguistic differences and difficulties, including the extent to which both the sellers and buyers of the life insurance were aware of the need to adjust their language according to the needs of their listeners in order to achieve the communicative purpose.Communication accommodation, convergence, divergence, sales talk, insurance agents, buyers
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Abstract (Viewed: 4)The question of "Who has the power?" is often central in environmental politics, since power serves as a crucial mediation through which conflicts related to environmental problems are resolved (or not resolved). In this paper, the author analyses how power relations are unpacked in Yang-May Ooi's The Flame Tree (1998) and what effects these relations have on land that is threatened by an environmentally-destructive project. Environmental politics within a society is usually carried out based on the political system that exists. In the case of Malaysia, it is within a semi-democracy that environmental politics takes place, which is characterised by liberal democracy (such as competitive elections, citizen participation and civil liberties) as well as authoritarian rule (dominant political ruling parties and strong interventionist states). This analysis compares and contrasts the novel with the Marxist theory of power, which is referred to in this paper as "power over" or the various ways that power is wielded in order to maintain the status quo. The author argues that although Ooi seems to subscribe to this traditional concept of power, representing the state, the capitalists and their ideologies as "having" power, she also undermines that "having" by constructing notions of "power to" – power that refers to an individual and/or a social group's sense of worth, values, knowledge and potential to shape the course of actions and decisions related to the land – in order to create more equitable relations and structures of power. Ooi also presents this notion of "power to" as "problematic": demonstrating how "power to" is often constricted by the forces of "power over", as well as how the realisation of "power to" essentially hinges on paying more attention to ideological rather than coercive domination.Environmental politics, power, Malaysia, Yang-May Ooi, The Flame Tree
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Abstract (Viewed: 8)This study compares the rhetorical characteristics of editorials of two different newspapers: The New York Times (NYT) and the New Straits Times (NST) in terms of the functions and occurrences of their rhetorical moves and steps. To realise the objectives, 240 selected editorials (NYT: n=120; NST: n=120) were subjected to content analysis. The analysis was conducted based on a composite framework of Bhatia's (1993), Gunesekar's (1989), Ansary and Babaii's (2005), and So's (2005) models. The analysis showed a typical rhetorical structure for editorials that includes obligatory and optional moves and steps. Variations in the use of the moves and their steps were also observed in both newspapers. Additionally, based on the functions of the moves, it was found that NYT and NST editorials have differing writing stances. To conclude, findings of this study may heighten the awareness of ESP learners on the importance of using appropriate rhetorical moves in achieving a persuasive stance in the writing of editorials. Furthermore, the results of the study may also be an invaluable resource for ESP instructors to tap into for their teaching of successful editorial writing.Genre analysis, rhetorical structure, newspaper editorial, contrastive analysis

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