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Singapore English

Singapore English

David Deterding
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 144
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  • Book Info
    Singapore English
    Book Description:

    This book provides an overview of Singapore English in straightforward, non-technical language. All the findings presented in the book are illustrated with extensive examples from one hour of recorded conversational data.

    eISBN: 978-0-7486-3096-7
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 1-11)

    Singapore is a small island in South-East Asia, just off the southern tip of the Malay peninsular, a little over one degree north of the equator. It has a total area of about 650 square kilometres, so it is nearly twice the size of the Isle of Wight in the UK or one fifth the size of Rhode Island in the USA. The population is about 4.3 million, which makes it the second most densely populated country in the world (after Monaco).

    Geographically, the main island of Singapore is shaped like a diamond, about 40 kilometres east to west, and...

  4. 2 Phonetics and Phonology
    (pp. 12-39)

    In this chapter, first the consonants and then the vowels of Singapore English will be discussed before we consider suprasegmental features such as rhythm, intonation and stress placement. We will also attempt to compare the sounds of Singapore English with the English found in other countries in the region.

    It is important to describe the phonology of each variety of a language on its own terms, without reference to external norms and preconceived notions of how certain words ‘should’ be pronounced. To this end, we will discuss the vowels of Singapore English by means of the lexical keywords suggested by...

  5. 3 Morphology and Syntax
    (pp. 40-61)

    Morphology deals with how words are constructed, including the use of affixes. There seems little difference from other varieties of English in the ways derivational suffixes such as -ity, -ness, -ology and -ism are used in Singapore. Occasionally one finds them attached to borrowed words, such as kiasuism meaning ‘the act of being kiasu’ (where kiasu is borrowed from Hokkien and means ‘fear of losing out’), and the somewhat jokey chimology meaning ‘the study of being chim’ (where chim is a borrowed word meaning ‘profound’). Extracts 1 and 2 illustrate the use of these two words in blogs.

    (1) So...

  6. 4 Discourse and Lexis
    (pp. 62-84)

    The boundary between syntax and discourse is somewhat fuzzy. Discourse deals with the order of presentation of ideas, but syntax is concerned with word order and clearly this has a big influence on the way that concepts are presented. In general, discourse takes a larger picture, analysing the way that the text develops, but inevitably there is a degree of overlap.

    In the previous chapter under the heading of syntax, null-subject structures were discussed. However, one of the puzzles is why null subject sentences are acceptable in Singapore English but not in British or American English even though all these...

  7. 5 History and Current Changes
    (pp. 85-92)

    Chapter 1 included a brief outline of the history of English in Singapore and an overview of language usage in Singapore. In this chapter, we will consider the history a little further, and also discuss variation in Singapore English and the ways in which it has been described. Finally, we will try to evaluate the ways in which Singapore English is currently evolving.

    For most of Singapore’s history, English was a minority language, used for official purposes such as in government offices and the law courts and mastered by a small elite, while the majority of the population spoke a...

  8. 6 Annotated Bibliography
    (pp. 93-103)
  9. 7 Texts: Transcripts for the Data of Hui Min
    (pp. 104-129)
  10. Index
    (pp. 130-136)