English in Myanmar: Usage of English Adjective Phrases by Burmese and Rohingya Bloggers


  • Hnin Pwint Phyu
  • Maskanah M. Lotfie


Myanmar is unique in that it was a country colonised by Britain, but its current post-colonial linguistic situation suggests that it is in Kachru’s Expanding Circle rather than the Outer Circle. The lack of stable use of English, however, does not mean there is neither an underlying system nor a set of discernible characteristics to describe the variety. This paper is an attempt to describe a structural aspect of the English used by Myanmarese speakers. It presents an investigation of English adjective phrases used by the Burmese and the Rohingya, two ethnic groups in Myanmar whose mother tongues belong to different language families. Adjective phrases from forty blog articles were analysed in order to identify their forms and functions, as well as similarities and differences between the two groups. Findings indicate that adjective phrases with adverb modifiers were the most frequently used form by both Burmese and Rohingya speakers. There is evidence to show that the forms and functions of the adjective phrases were influenced by the speakers’ first languages. Other factors such as educational background and register may have also played a role.


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Author Biographies

Hnin Pwint Phyu

Hnin Pwint Phyu is a tutor at Pathways to Education, Carizon and First Rohingya Language School in Ontario, Canada. She obtained a Masters of Human Sciences in Applied Linguistics from International Islamic University Malaysia in 2015 and Diploma in ELT from University of East Yangon in 2005. She has worked as a private tutor teaching English, Science and Maths to primary and secondary school students for more than ten years. She now writes articles and stories on Rohingya refugees to create public awareness.

Maskanah M. Lotfie

Maskanah Mohammad Lotfie is attached to the Department of English Language and Literature, International Islamic University Malaysia. Her areas of interest are morphology, historical and cultural concerns of language acquisition, language policy, academic plagiarism and research design.




How to Cite

Phyu, H. P., & Lotfie, M. M. (2016). English in Myanmar: Usage of English Adjective Phrases by Burmese and Rohingya Bloggers. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 10(2). Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/ajell/article/view/862



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