DOMAINS OF USE
- MORE ON VITALITY
"While the Penan are not currently declining in number—in fact their total population is increasing (Sercombe 2002b)—the domains of use for the language are shrinking as their hunting and gathering way of life becomes unsustainable. Essentially, foraging has become more of a supplementary socio‐economic activity than a means of basic subsistence (cf. Harrison 2007). Formal education and literacy training, in Malay and English, have also usurped some aspects of socialization and informal education in Penan."
- GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
- INSTITUTIONAL SUPPORT
- LANGUAGE CONTEXT COMMENTS
"Penan contact with other groups means they are generally exposed to a minimum of three languages beyond their own in their daily lives, and these include one or more of the following in Sarawak: Kayan, Kelabit, Kenyah, or Sa'ban (the ethnolinguistic groups located nearest to Penan); in Brunei, neighbouring groups include Dusun and Iban, with a recorded high degree of affiliation to local Iban (Sercombe 2003). Penan are inevitably primary bilinguals through acquiring a neighbouring language via informal exposure;
and they are balanced bilinguals by often having a high level of second language competence. This second local language is also additive in that it is acquired without pressure and generally functions, in areas where Penan live, as a means of wider communication within the larger sub‐district speech community...
When Penan children enter primary education, they are submerged in language education that takes place in either a second or foreign language(s). As stated earlier, (p.196) Penan children are taught in Malay medium in Sarawak throughout their school years. In Brunei, primary education is through Malay until year three, following which it shifts to English medium (theoretically at least, for the aforementioned subjects— Geography, History, Maths, and Science). Children are thus under pressure to be multilingual in Malay (the national language of Malaysia and Brunei) and English if they are to progress in education. Minority groups with a different first language from the national code are obliged to acquire a sufficient level of the selected medium in order to benefit from the formal education to which they are exposed, a form of transitional bilingualism which (whether deliberate or not) aims at language shift (cf. Gunn 1997; Martin 2002; and Wellen 2006)."
- Scripts (Writing system)
- latin scripts