Journal of Universal Language
Sejong University Language Research Institue

Orthographic Reforms of Standard Malay Online: Towards Better Pronunciation and Construction of a Cross-language Environment

Mohd Zaidi Abd Rozan1, Yoshiki Mikami1
1Nagaoka University of Technology

Copyright ⓒ 2016, Sejong University Language Research Institue. This is an Open-Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Published Online: Jan 01, 2017


The widespread use of communication tools on the Internet has provided greater possibilities as well as increased flexibility for orthographic reforms. As a result, spellings have been established that are closely matched to ‘written speech’, which emulate verbal expression plus the elegant addition of letters from foreign languages. This study will look in particular at Evolutionized Malay (EM), which is cultivated on the Internet. Our analysis of EM reveals two principal functions: 1) EM words performed better in displaying pronunciation properties and 2) EM words are able to form an environment we termed as Cross Language Environment (CLE). It may be that these roles hold a greater degree of attraction and motivates toward higher interaction within a cyberspace community. Surveys on the frequency of the occurrence of EM in the cyberspace of Malaysia are shown based on web forums and blogs pages. It is fascinating to see that EM has quite a substantial number of users throughout Malaysian cyberspace.

Keywords: Orthographic Reforms; Standard Malay (SM); Evolutionized Malay (EM); Cross Language Environment (CLE); pronunciation



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