Journal of Modern Languages <p>Founded in 1983 as <em>Jurnal Bahasa Moden</em>, The <strong><em>Journal of Modern Languages</em> </strong>(<strong>JML</strong>) is now an international peer-reviewed, open access journal published by the Faculty of Languages and Linguistics at Universiti Malaya in Malaysia. It is devoted to publishing manuscripts that contribute to current understandings of central issues in the broad field of language studies. JML encourages interdisciplinary approaches to language research and acts as a reference for those interested in modern language studies.</p> <p><strong>Focus and Scope:</strong> JML welcomes papers in (but not restricted to) the following areas:</p> <ul> <li>Applied Linguistics (preferably beyond language learning and teaching)</li> <li>Corpus Linguistics</li> <li>Descriptive Linguistics</li> <li>Discourse Studies</li> <li>Phonetics and Phonology</li> <li>Psycholinguistics</li> <li>Sociolinguistics</li> <li>Translation and Interpretation Studies</li> </ul> <p> </p> <p><strong>Print ISSN: </strong>1675-526X</p> <p><strong>Online ISSN:</strong> 2462-1986</p> <p><strong>Frequency:</strong> Twice a year</p> <p><strong>Page charges:</strong> None</p> <p><strong>Publisher:</strong> University of Malaya</p> <p><strong>Publication type:</strong> Online</p> Universiti Malaya en-US Journal of Modern Languages 1675-526X Young Speakers of a Heritage Language: Hakka Speakers in Vienna <p>Increased global migratory mobility lead to ‘superdiverse’ societies especially in urban agglomerations, with many family languages. Overseas Chinese, frequently in a secon­dary migration, reached European countries and established their own close-knit communities. A smaller portion of the Hakka community from Calcutta settled in Vienna (Austria) showing an interesting layering of identities as Chinese, Hakkas, Indians, Austrians -- with family ties to Toronto and other places. While the first generation of migrants is typically restrained by the linguistic barrier of the literate national language which is practically inaccessible to adult newcomers, their offspring is firmly embedded in the new culture, and therefore presents a last generation of speakers of the heritage language. In a series of qualitative interviews, young Hakka speakers from the (Austrian) Indian Hakka community were queried about their linguistic and identitarian situation, as well as their linguistic competence in Hakka, in the context of our global research on overseas Hakka usage. The young speakers effortlessly shifted from Hakka to German at kindergarten age, keeping Hakka as means of communication inside the family; some had to act as family translators when growing older. The Hakka language is held in high esteem but is being used and perceived strictly as a family language. Contrary to the older generation, there are no strong ties to other Hakka speakers, let alone a wider Hakka community. Hakka identity and family origin relate back to India and often globally spread-out families with whom English is the best means of communication. A Chinese ancestry is a fact without much influence on the lives. The linguistic competence in Hakka is restricted to their own dialect and familial matters, as is typical of ‘weak speakers’ of a declining minority language. The language shift to German, higher education, and their emancipation from the ‘ethnic’ profession of running Chinese restaurants are indications of the full integration of the next generation into the local culture.</p> Ralf Vollmann Tek Wooi Soon Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Modern Languages 2024-07-04 2024-07-04 34 1 3 31 10.22452/jml.vol34no1.2 The Connection between Pronouns and Distorted Thinking: Depressed Selves in an Online Depression Community <p>Limited studies have investigated the presence of cognitive distortion and emotional disturbance in online depression narratives. Additionally, the intricate relationships between the expression of depressive emotions, the construction of the depressed self and the manifestation of cognitive thinking lack an intuitively perceived connection. This study explores the affective cognition of a group of young individuals who shared their depressive emotions on the ‘Zoufan’ Weibo page. A set of 2000 comments was selected and coded, which revealed a prevalence of negative emotions within the community. Pronouns, a pivotal discursive resource and a cue for studying identity work, were further mapped with the top 10 negative emotions. Exploratory analyses revealed the four most salient distorted thinking patterns: self-isolating thinking, self-blaming thinking, absolutist thinking, and catastrophic thinking. The implication of this study lies in assisting both the public and Internet users in recognizing pronouns as nuanced emotional and cognitive cues of online depression narratives.</p> Yating Chen Charity Lee Pei Soo Ang Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Modern Languages 2024-07-04 2024-07-04 34 1 32 53 10.22452/jml.vol34no1.3 Multimodal Representations of Rural-Urban Divide on Reality TV: The Case of X-Change <p>China, as the most populous developing nation globally, may exhibit the greatest urban-rural disparity compared to other developing nations. Perspectives on the rural-urban divide persist despite the significant political, economic, and social upheaval that have occurred in Mainland China over the past century. Drawing on Mackay’s (2015) multimodal legitimation framework, this study examined how urban and rural were constructed and (de)legitimized by a series of multimodal resources, including visual, verbal, and audio modes. Using a critical discourse analysis perspective through a multimodal legitimation approach, this study explored how <em>X-Change</em> portrayed and influenced current Chinese perceptions of reality, with a specific focus on how these programmes depicted China’s urban-rural divide. The findings revealed that both the urban and rural were multimodally constructed and (de)legitimized as a paradox. However, this study also found a reproduction of urban hegemonic discourse via the interplay of various semiotic resources and (de)legitimation strategies, suggesting that the urban very much forms the center of society in the context of contemporary China. These findings contribute to existing scholarship on the rural-urban divide in Chinese Reality Television (RTV).</p> Zhili Lin Surinderpal Kaur Charity Lee Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Modern Languages 2024-07-04 2024-07-04 34 1 54 77 10.22452/jml.vol34no1.4 The Prevailing Issue of Native Speakerism: A Critical Discourse Analysis of ELT Institutions’ Websites <p>The English language teaching (ELT) industry has been expanding in China, and at present there are private online ELT institutions which provide English lessons which focus mainly on communication skills. The official websites of these institutions not only provide information about the programmes offered but also communicate their English language teaching pedagogical beliefs and stances. This paper aims to examine the language use in these websites and to explore how it reflects language ideologies. The websites of nine Chinese online ELT institutions were selected. Textual data were collected from the front page and subfields of these websites and were subjected to a critical discourse analysis based on Fairclough’s (1995) three-dimensional methodology. The findings suggest that there is a prevailing bias toward native-speakerism language ideology in the ELT industry. This emerged from the use of intentional vocabulary and word choice for their marketing campaigns. Repeated use of these words normalizes the authoritative image of teachers who are native English speakers. Additionally, these institutions also adopt multiple discursive strategies which intensify the stereotype of native speakerism to the public whilst seeming to discriminate against teachers who are not native speakers of English. The findings shed light on social inequity and biases in private online ELT institutions.</p> Yuxi Guo Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Modern Languages 2024-07-04 2024-07-04 34 1 78 97 10.22452/jml.vol34no1.5 A Minimalist Analysis of Relative Clauses in the Ifẹ̀ Dialect of Yorùbá <p>A considerable amount of scholarly works have been carried out on the syntax of relativisation in Yorùbá but with little attention paid to how the Ifẹ̀ dialect forms its relative clauses. This paper therefore, investigates the syntax of relative constructions in the Ifẹ̀ dialect detailing the strategies employed for them. Ten native speakers aged 60 years and above were purposively selected for structured oral interview based on their proficiency. Data were subjected to syntactic analysis using the Minimalist Program. The Ifẹ̀ dialect operates “kí” as its relative marker, this is optionally dropped. When the dialect stacks two or more relative clauses in a complex sentence it optionally drops only the first relative marker, others are always visible to the PF interface. The dialect operates Head Raising Analysis (HRA) whereby the relativised argument DPs are copied to the clause left peripheral position to check the [+Rel] feature on the Rel<sup>0</sup>. Relativisable constituents are subject DPs, object DPs (comprising direct objects, objects in serial verb constructions and prepositional objects) genitive DPs and prepositional complements. Relativising a VP/predicate, the dialect either externally merges the nominalised form of a verb as the specifier of the RelP or lexicalises the [+nominal] feature copied from the main verb at the spec RelP. The Ifẹ̀ dialect exhibits some dialectal variations lexically and structurally.</p> Emmanuel Ọ Ọlańrewájú Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Modern Languages 2024-07-04 2024-07-04 34 1 98 122 10.22452/jml.vol34no1.6 EFL Teachers’ Attitudes towards Mobile Teaching Affordances: A Mokken Scale Analysis <p>In contemporary education settings, the expeditious advancement of mobile devices, wireless communications and network infrastructures has emerged as a crucial issue. Although mobile technology capabilities and affordances have attracted considerable attention, there is a lack of a valid scale for evaluating mobile teaching affordances. Therefore, this research sought to develop and validate a 36-item inventory of mobile teaching affordances. To accomplish this objective, 204 EFL teachers in this research utilising the convenience sampling method. The data was analysed using the Mokken scale analysis. The study results indicated that 10 out of 36 items should be deleted to optimise the utilisation of the data. Consequently, the study created a valid and reliable 26-item inventory that could be used to measure mobile teaching affordance in EFL or ESL teaching contexts. The research findings suggested that the newly created scale is an invaluable instrument for evaluating the perspectives of EFL teachers regarding the potential benefits of mobile teaching. Furthermore, it can effectively pinpoint areas where teachers may require further development in their understanding of and proficiency in utilising mobile teaching methods. These revelations can also act as a basis for developing instructional programmes aimed at empowering EFL teachers to seamlessly incorporate mobile devices into their pedagogical approaches, thereby enhancing their overall effectiveness. The study’s findings can be used by teachers, learners and researchers in educational systems.</p> Mona Tabatabaee-Yazdi Aynaz Samir Siavash Bakhtshirin Seyedeh Maryam Tabatabaeiyazdi Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Modern Languages 2024-07-04 2024-07-04 34 1 123 152 10.22452/jml.vol34no1.7 Editorial Stefanie Pillai Copyright (c) 2024 Journal of Modern Languages 2024-07-04 2024-07-04 34 1 1 2 10.22452/jml.vol34no1.1