Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow

Volume 9 : 6 June 2009
ISSN 1930-2940

Managing Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Editors: B. Mallikarjun, Ph.D.
         Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
         B. A. Sharada, Ph.D.
         A. R. Fatihi, Ph.D.
         Lakhan Gusain, Ph.D.
         K. Karunakaran, Ph.D.
         Jennifer Marie Bayer, Ph.D.



  • We seek your support to meet the expenses relating to the formatting of articles and books, maintaining and running the journal through hosting, correrspondences, etc.Please write to the Editor in his e-mail address to find out how you can support this journal.
  • Also please use the AMAZON link to buy your books. Even the smallest contribution will go a long way in supporting this journal. Thank you. Thirumalai, Editor.

In Association with




  • E-mail your articles and book-length reports in Microsoft Word to
  • Contributors from South Asia may send their articles to
    B. Mallikarjun,
    Central Institute of Indian Languages,
    Mysore 570006, India
    or e-mail to
  • Your articles and booklength reports should be written following the APA, MLA, LSA, or IJDL Stylesheet.
  • The Editorial Board has the right to accept, reject, or suggest modifications to the articles submitted for publication, and to make suitable stylistic adjustments. High quality, academic integrity, ethics and morals are expected from the authors and discussants.

Copyright © 2008
M. S. Thirumalai


A Review of
Language Choices and Discourse of Malaysian Families:
Case Studies of Families in Kuala Lumpur

edited by Maya Khemlani David

M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.

Review of Maya Khemlani David edited Language Choices

Maya Khemlani David, ed. Language Choices and Discourse of Malaysian Families: Case Studies of Families in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. SIRD, Petalling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, 2006.

Structure of This Book

This book is divided into two parts. The first part deals with language choices and the second part deals with discourse norms in Malaysian homes. In total, there are nine chapters, besides a very interesting preface-cum-survey on the themes dealt with by the editor Maya Khemlani David.

Each of these chapters is written by a different scholar, clearly well versed in the subject dealt with by them. There is also a very encouraging Foreword by Dr. Azirah Hashim, Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics, herself a leading scholar in Malay literature and linguistics.

A Fascinating Book from a Pluralistic Nation

This is a fascinating book, which focuses on family and communication in a pluralistic nation with a dominant Muslim majority. Importance of the study of family communication processes cannot be exaggerated in any society. Language choices adopted by the members of a family help unite the family and give it a distinct identity even as it helps the family to integrate itself into the mainstream of the larger community. Discourse norms within the family establish spheres of influence, ranking, and decision-making processes.

Islam has specific code of requirements relating to family issues, including marriage, child rearing, communication among the members of a family and across families. While such written codes are not consciously pursued in the Hindu and Chinese societies, these societies have longstanding traditions that command obedience to the conventions and traditional wisdom. Christianity offers grace as an important basis on which all relations between members of a household and members across households are expected to be followed, patterned after the Creator's abiding grace for all His creation.

Immense Possibilities for Practical Applications

Study of language choices in these communities helps also business corporations, especially those who are involved in the production and distribution of consumer products. Governmental and non-governmental agencies also benefit by such empirical studies in developing their policies and programs. For example, in India, the utter failure of the sterilization part of the family planning programmes in the early period of its implementation was largely due to the failure of these programs to gauge adequately the validity of their suggestions for Hindu and Muslim families.

Visual designs for a product to be launched in any market will benefit by an understanding of the family communication issues. The way a product is described and presented following family norms of choices will help easy acceptance of the product in the market. As age and educational level of targeted consumers become very important for expanding the consumer market, understanding the communication processes in various groups is very helpful for the success of any product. Often, marketing agencies may go by their so-called intuitive feelings which may not be necessarily identical to the current market of consumers. Descriptive profiles of families and networks of communications always help in every kind of planning.

In other words, books such as the one under review have many practical applications. Both the authors and the editor have done a very competent work through their description and explanation of the processes involved. They build up a picture of the home domain in a number of important communities in multilingual, multiethnic and multireligious Malaysian society so that a comprehensive picture of the public domain may be drawn for application purposes.

This is only the beginning part of the article. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO READ THE ARTICLE IN PRINTER-FRIENDLY VERSION.

Crosstalk and Communication Breakdown in Professional Interactions in English | Phonological, Grammatical and Lexical Interference in Adult Multilingual Speakers | Politeness Strategies in Yemeni Arabic Requests | Unravelling Urdu Idioms | The Roots of Linguistic Reorganization of Indian States - The Experience of Orissa as a Linguistic Province in the British Raj | Characteristic Indian Attitudes in Nissim Ezekiel's Poetry | Teaching Language through Literary Texts in the ESL Classroom | The Semantics of Haroti Postpositional-Interrogating Simple Sentences | The Politics of Survival in the Novels of Margaret Atwood - A Doctoral Dissertation | Teaching Technical Jargon through Word Formation to the Students of Engineering and Technology | Indian Spirituality and Twice-Born Nature - A Study of Eliot's Approach to World | Discourse Choices in Pluralistic Nations - A Review of Maya Khemlani David-edited Language Choices and Discourse of Malaysian Families | Exploring the Effectiveness of World Wide Web
to Improve the Communication Skills of Management Students - A Pilot Study

M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
C/o. St. John's Matriculation School
Malayan Street
Tenkasi 627 811
Tamilnadu, India

Sam Mohanlal, Ph.D.
Faculty of Malaysian Languages
University of Malaya
Kuala Lumpur
  • Send your articles
    as an attachment
    to your e-mail to
  • Please ensure that your name, academic degrees, institutional affiliation and institutional address, and your e-mail address are all given in the first page of your article. Also include a declaration that your article or work submitted for publication in LANGUAGE IN INDIA is an original work by you and that you have duly acknolwedged the work or works of others you either cited or used in writing your articles, etc. Remember that by maintaining academic integrity we not only do the right thing but also help the growth, development and recognition of Indian scholarship.