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Location of Indigenous People In Malaysia


MyAsli will be a large state-of-the-art phonological model of spoken indigenous languages in Malaysia. The potential impacts on society, economy and nation are as follows:

1. MyAsli will showcase a varying degree of variability, with 216 speakers from 18 different languages (later, this model will be expanded to include more age groups including children and more ways of speaking). This huge spoken data will impact the indigenous society in terms of representation, integration and eventually preservation of their indigenous languages into larger multicultural societies in Malaysia.

2. MyAsli will be highly collaborative and widely applicable, with project partners invited from the full range of speech science research areas (e.g., acoustic phonetics, computational linguistics, speech engineering and speech pathology). The potential collaborations with various industries in speech science will definitely impact the economy in Malaysia in which potential speech applications can be developed and commercialised for practical use (such as talking dictionaries for non-indigenous communities).

3. MyAsli will establish an extensible system of identical recording equipment spread across Malaysia, with a central storage, access and annotation system, from which the spoken data will be freely available for research purposes. This comprehensive system will encourage more researchers to use it for various research undertakings in speech-related areas, such as speech pathology. Findings from this research will impact the nation at large as indigenous languages are eventually integrated and preserved in the Malaysian society.


MyAsli will be a national treasure that will provide a permanent record of indigenous languages in Malaysia, support speech science research and development, and help develop Malaysian speech technology applications, from hearing aids and Cochlear Implants improvements, to computer aids for learning-impaired children. MyAsli will provide a phonological model that contains a large indigenous speech, and will be the only indigenous corpus of audio-visual speech in the public domain designed to cater to various clients with a variety of interests. More critically, the potential applications involving indigenous languages in mainstream industries will have an impact on language policies in Malaysia, integrating minor languages with major ones and thus leading to a more balanced and harmonious society.

There are several objectives of the current project:

1. To identify the factors of broken transmission between younger and older generations in using endangered indigenous languages in Malaysia.

2. To identify the age of fluent users of endangered indigenous languages in Malaysia.

3. To examine the extent to which efforts have been undertaken by relevant authorities in Malaysia to integrate and preserve endangered indigenous languages.

4. To identify the key phonological characteristics of endangered indigenous languages in Malaysia.

5. To develop the key phonological characteristics of endangered indigenous languages in Malaysia into a phonological model called MyAsli.