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International Journal of the Sociology of Language

Founded by Fishman, Joshua A.

Ed. by Garcia Otheguy, Ofelia / Duchêne, Alexandre / Coulmas, Florian

6 Issues per year

CiteScore 2016: 0.53

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.505
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.716

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Volume 2014, Issue 230


Singlish as defined by young educated Chinese Singaporeans

Jakob R. E. Leimgruber
Published Online: 2014-10-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2014-0026


Colloquial Singapore English, or Singlish, exists in an environment characterised by strong language planning aimed at demoting it in favour of Standard English, as well as in a linguistic ecology featuring a number of languages that have had an impact on its current form. An actual definition of Singlish, beyond scholarly linguistic analyses, is less than straightforward, and this article sets out to address this. Chinese Singaporeans were asked to define Singlish, and elements of Hokkien (one of the major substrate languages involved in the emergence of the contact variety) in conjunction with Singlish were subjected to attitudinal ratings. The results call for a redefinition of Singlish not in terms of a clear set of features that set it apart from other varieties, but rather as a combination of linguistic resources that combine to create a stylistic repertoire appropriate for the expression of, among other stances, local identity.

Keywords: Singapore English; Singlish; Hokkien; language attitudes; Chinese Singaporeans

About the article

Published Online: 2014-10-07

Published in Print: 2014-11-01

Citation Information: International Journal of the Sociology of Language, Volume 2014, Issue 230, Pages 45–63, ISSN (Online) 1613-3668, ISSN (Print) 0165-2516, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijsl-2014-0026.

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