Sound Strategy for a Shifting Malay?
Jyh Wee Sew
CHIJ ST Theresa's Convent
California Linguistic Notes, Volume XXXII No. 2 Spring, 2007
In the latest compilation of an Indonesian-English Dictionary (Stevens and Schmidgall-Tellings 2004: 720), pawagam 'cinema', a common Malay word, is observed as a lexical entry of Malay origin into the Indonesian lexicon for the first time. The coinage is a composition of the initial syllables of the compound word panggung 'hall' and wayang gambar 'film'. This coining strategy is very much a Malayan way of dealing with new references not found in the lexicon that operates at the sub-word level. The truncation of words and the combination of syllabic units are congruent with the formation of words with phonaestheme (Firth 1970, Blust 1988, Sew 1997). To meet the needs of lexical expansion and semantic extension, this discussion suggests phonaesthemes as an option for constructing new Malay concepts in corpus planning and as an answer to supplying techno jargon for native languages like Malay in the face of globalisation.

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