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Author Leow, Rachel, author
Title Taming Babel : language in the making of Malaysia / Rachel Leow, University of Cambridge
Imprint Cambridge, United Kingdom : Cambridge University Press, 2016
book jacket
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 Ethnology Library  P119.32.M4 L46 2016    AVAILABLE    30520020837408
Descript xx, 261 pages : maps ; 24 cm
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Note "Taming Babel sheds new light on the role of language in the making of modern postcolonial Asian nations. Focusing on one of the most linguistically diverse territories in the British Empire, Rachel Leow explores the profound anxieties generated by a century of struggles to govern the polyglot subjects of British Malaya and postcolonial Malaysia. The book ranges across a series of key moments in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, in which British and Asian actors wrought quiet battles in the realm of language: in textbooks and language classrooms; in dictionaries, grammars and orthographies; in propaganda and psychological warfare; and in the very planning of language itself. Every attempt to tame Chinese and Malay languages resulted in failures of translation, competence, and governance, exposing both the deep fragility of a monoglot state in polyglot milieux, and the essential untameable nature of languages in motion"-- Provided by publisher
Includes bibliographical references and index
Part I. The Colonial State -- The technocrats : challenges of governance in a polyglot society -- The knowledge producers : taming sounds, scripts and selves -- Part II. Word Wars -- The lexicographers : dictionaries and the making of postwar politics -- The propagandists : public relations, psychological warfare and the making of the influential state -- Part III. The Postcolonial State -- The language planners : Dewan Bahasa in the invention and constriction of the postcolonial nation-state -- Postscript -- Appendices -- Glossary
Subject Language policy -- Malaysia -- History -- 19th century
Language policy -- Malaysia -- History -- 20th century
Multilingualism -- Political aspects -- Malaysia -- History
Malay language -- Political aspects -- Malaysia -- History
Chinese language -- Political aspects -- Malaysia -- History
Postcolonialism -- Malaysia -- History
Malaysia -- Politics and government -- 19th century
Malaysia -- Politics and government -- 20th century
HISTORY / Asia / Southeast Asia. bisacsh
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