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Article: Beyond fear and loathing in SG: The real mother tongues and language policies in multilingual Singapore

TitleBeyond fear and loathing in SG: The real mother tongues and language policies in multilingual Singapore
Authors
Issue Date2009
Citation
AILA Review, 2009, v. 22 n. 1, p. 52-71 How to Cite?
AbstractThis paper considers the real mother tongues of Singapore, namely the Chinese 'dialects' and Singlish, the linguistic varieties which, respectively, arrived with the original immigrants to the rapidly developing British colony, and evolved in the dynamic multilingual ecology over the decades. Curiously these mother tongues have been regarded with fear and treated with loathing in the official language policies and accompanying prestige planning that have been developed and executed in Singapore since independence, being actively denigrated and discouraged in official discourse, viewed as not having a place in the globalization goals of the nation. Looking beyond the official line and census figures, actual linguistic practices of the community of speakers testify to the vitality of these varieties, in spite of the official sanctions; moreover, in spite of itself, the government does in fact allow itself the use of these mother tongues when certain contexts call for it. This paper suggests that an enlightened consideration of native 'dialects' and nativized Singlish and the plurilingual practices in which they are used, as well as of the question of intelligibility, must point policy makers in directions where fears are assuaged and spaces made for the natural existence and evolution of such varieties in multilingual ecologies. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/65640
ISSN
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 0.296
References

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorLim, Len_HK
dc.date.accessioned2010-09-06T05:39:38Z-
dc.date.available2010-09-06T05:39:38Z-
dc.date.issued2009en_HK
dc.identifier.citationAILA Review, 2009, v. 22 n. 1, p. 52-71en_HK
dc.identifier.issn1461-0213en_HK
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/65640-
dc.description.abstractThis paper considers the real mother tongues of Singapore, namely the Chinese 'dialects' and Singlish, the linguistic varieties which, respectively, arrived with the original immigrants to the rapidly developing British colony, and evolved in the dynamic multilingual ecology over the decades. Curiously these mother tongues have been regarded with fear and treated with loathing in the official language policies and accompanying prestige planning that have been developed and executed in Singapore since independence, being actively denigrated and discouraged in official discourse, viewed as not having a place in the globalization goals of the nation. Looking beyond the official line and census figures, actual linguistic practices of the community of speakers testify to the vitality of these varieties, in spite of the official sanctions; moreover, in spite of itself, the government does in fact allow itself the use of these mother tongues when certain contexts call for it. This paper suggests that an enlightened consideration of native 'dialects' and nativized Singlish and the plurilingual practices in which they are used, as well as of the question of intelligibility, must point policy makers in directions where fears are assuaged and spaces made for the natural existence and evolution of such varieties in multilingual ecologies. © John Benjamins Publishing Company.en_HK
dc.languageengen_HK
dc.relation.ispartofAILA Reviewen_HK
dc.titleBeyond fear and loathing in SG: The real mother tongues and language policies in multilingual Singaporeen_HK
dc.typeArticleen_HK
dc.identifier.emailLim, L: lisalim@hku.hken_HK
dc.identifier.authorityLim, L=rp01169en_HK
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1075/aila.22.05limen_HK
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-74049146778en_HK
dc.identifier.hkuros167071en_HK
dc.relation.referenceshttp://www.scopus.com/mlt/select.url?eid=2-s2.0-74049146778&selection=ref&src=s&origin=recordpageen_HK
dc.identifier.volume22en_HK
dc.identifier.issue1en_HK
dc.identifier.spage52en_HK
dc.identifier.epage71en_HK
dc.identifier.eissn1570-5595-
dc.publisher.placeNetherlandsen_HK
dc.identifier.scopusauthoridLim, L=22955896300en_HK
dc.identifier.citeulike6217923-

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