Publication:
Language loss and nationhood: Examining language shift among the Chinese community in Singapore and its implications for Singapore

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Date
2018
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Research Projects
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Abstract
Singapore’s logistic situation has attracted widespread scholarly attention due to the language policies implemented since independence. With English traditionally receiving much of the focus, there appeared to be less interest in language maintenance and shift of other official languages of Singapore. Henceforth, this paper aims to examine language shift among the Chinese community in Singapore and its implications for Singapore which have yet to be further explored in past studies. In this study, three members from a multi-generation Chinese Singaporean family (aged 22 to 84) were interviewed. Participants involved were required to indicate their language preferences across five different domains: family, friends, school/workplace, public space and media. The results indicated a gradual shift in linguistic preferences over generations, especially evident in some domains, but that there is also language maintenance for Chinese dialects in others. Overall, there are clear negative implications for the future of Chinese dialects locally.
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Singapore, Language Loss, Language Maintenance and Shift, Chinese Language, Chinese Community, Implications
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