Edited by Zhiming Bao
[Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages 38:1] 2023
► pp. 151–169
Penang Hokkien was spoken by the early Hokkien settlers as a heritage language in a Malay dominant environment before it became a lingua franca of the Chinese communities in present-day Penang and its neighboring states in Northern Malaysia. Over two centuries, Penang Hokkien has assimilated Malay words and structures. This article discusses the forms and functions of pún and tio̍h, which have assimilated Malay elements as response strategies to two key triggers for deviation from the baseline Southern Min dialect: ambiguity and complex structure. Through a detailed study of pún and tio̍h, this article contributes to a better understanding of the development of a Malay-dominant heritage language that is based on a Chinese dialect spoken in the Malay peninsula.