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ItemDetecting Female and Male Language Features in Facebook Comments by Malaysian Millennial Users( 2023)This study examines gendered language use in Facebook comments by Malaysian millennial users. Textual analysis was conducted on 260 Facebook comments collected from 11 Facebook social pages. Sixty participants’ reasons for identifying the gender of the writers of 14 Facebook comments were also analyzed. The results showed that half of the participants could correctly guess the writers’ gender. The Facebook comments showed more frequent use of male than female language features. The male millennial users were inclined towards using Sexual References, Insults/Profanities, Directive/Autonomy, Strong Assertion, and Rhetorical Questions. The females, however, were inclined towards using Hedges, Polite and Emotionally Expressive Words, Interpersonally Orientation/Supportiveness, Questions, and Experience Sharing. From the participants’ perspective, male writing is short, direct, rude, negative, and crude, while female writing is lengthy, tentative, polite, positive, emotional, and reflects concern for others. The non-gender specific language features identified from textual analysis are Information Orientation, Apologies, Tag Questions, and Aligned Orientation, but different features were given by the participants (Questions, Rhetorical Questions, and Strong Assertion). The study also shows that Information Orientation, Self-Promotion, Sexual Reference, Opposed Orientation, Hedges, Apologies and Tag Questions may be falling into disuse among Malaysian millennials in Facebook comments. The findings suggest that language patterns used by Malaysian millennials deviate from conventional norms, with some comments displaying cross-gender language patterns. This indicates a blurring of conventional gender language norms in online interactions.
ItemSerial Verb Constructions in Papuan Malay: Forms, Functions and Indeterminacy( 2023)This paper describes serial verb constructions in Papuan Malay, an eastern Malay language, spoken in coastal West Papua, on the island of New Guinea. Papuan Malay employs serial verb constructions to encode complex events by means of verb sequences, or to express grammatical categories. However, the identification of Papuan Malay verb sequences as monoclausal serial verb constructions is often less than straightforward. This is due to the structure of Papuan Malay which is characterized by little productive morphology, no inflectional morphology, and the pervasive use of syntactic argument elision. In consequence, Papuan Malay multiverb constructions often have an indeterminate status; they could be interpreted as monoclausal serial verb constructions or as multiclausal chaining constructions with elided subject arguments. It is suggested here that the interpretation of such indeterminate verb sequences needs to be pragmatically inferred.