Lexical innovation processes of youth netspeak on Malay twitter posts

Nur Nashatul Nasuha Nazman, and Su-Hie Ting, and Kee-Man Chuah, (2023) Lexical innovation processes of youth netspeak on Malay twitter posts. GEMA ; Online Journal of Language Studies, 23 (1). pp. 40-59. ISSN 1675-8021


Official URL: https://ejournal.ukm.my/gema/issue/view/1578


The formation of neologisms in Malay has not been extensively studied and therefore has yet to be fully understood. The current study examined the lexical innovation processes in Twitter posts in Malay. A 25,679-word corpus was compiled from 2,000 tweets of 200 Malaysian Twitter users in their twenties. The textual analysis performed through AntConc software identified “ni” (this) and “nk” (want) as the top two neologisms, and these words constituted 45.8% of the corpus. Most of the neologisms are formed through clipping (65%) and pseudo-elliptical construction (26%), while blending (7%) and elongation (2%) are minor word formation processes. The clipping affects vowels (28%) more than consonants (9%), whether it is deletion, replacement, or addition. The pseudo-elliptical constructions involve letters of the alphabet and phonological adjustments to vowels and consonants. On vowel changes, the results show that there is a simplification of diphthongs to monophthongs, and a movement towards vowels in the middle position [e] or [o]. As for consonant changes, there is a shift in the place of articulation towards bilabial consonants [p], [m], and [w] and words containing [h] and [r] are likely to be dropped or replaced. The changes in the spelling are a result of changes in the spoken discourse. The findings suggest that exploring the phonological rules can explain pseudo-elliptical constructions, leading to a better framework on morphology and phonology to understand formation of neologisms in social media discourse.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Social media; Twitter; Neologisms; Non-standard words; Malay
Journal:GEMA ; Online Journal of Language Studies
ID Code:21594
Deposited By: Noor Marina Yusof
Deposited On:16 May 2023 01:46
Last Modified:16 May 2023 01:46

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