03 December 2011

Pronouns in Malay

I have been watching a Malay film called Putar Alam. Some of the characters, particularly the sophisticated, modern women, seem to use English pronouns throughout. For example, in this scene, the woman says: 'You tak boleh buat I macam ni!' ('You cannot treat me like this'), with you and I inserted into a sentence that is otherwise entirely Malay:I find it interesting that I is used as the first person pronoun in both subject and object position. I would have predicted that me would be used as an object pronoun, but that doesn't seem to happen.

Here is another scene, where a different female character says 'Duduk dengan I' ('Sit with me'):Again, I rather than me is used, even though the pronoun is clearly the object.