This paper reports a study on the vitality of the fishing lexicon in Loloan Malay. The study was aimed at finding the nature and pattern of domain change, its intergenerational transmission, and its significance for overall ethnolinguistic vitality. The data were collected from a representative group of fishermen through tests that were complemented by interviews. A simple quantitative analysis was undertaken to discover patterns of change, and the ethnographic method was also used to augment the analysis. This study contributes to the sociolinguistic research on language vitality, contact-induced change, and the endangerment of minority languages. The findings reveal a surprising paradox. Although it is still considered to have high cultural importance, the fishing domain is critically endangered. It is argued that the low vitality of the fishing domain does not affect the vitality of the Loloan Malay language in general. The reason is that the linguistic ideology that underpins the group identity of Loloan Malay at the macro-societal level is not tied to fishing, but rather, to religion. This paper also discusses the complexity of the variables involved in domain change, particularly the extra-linguistic factors that contribute to the changes in the fishing domain due to modern socioeconomic and technological progress.
|Journal||Language Documentation and Conservation|
|Publication status||Published - 2019|