Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10497/22266
Title: 
Authors: 
Subjects: 
Singapore
Chinatown
linguistic landscape
English
quantitative analysis
Mandarin Chinese
Issue Date: 
2020
Citation: 
Zhang, H., Ruanni Tupas, & Norhaida Aman. (2020). English-dominated Chinatown: A quantitative investigation of the linguistic landscape of Chinatown in Singapore. Journal of Asian Pacific Communication, 30(1/2), 273–289. https://doi.org/10.1075/japc.00052.zha
Abstract: 
The current study reports a quantitative investigation of the linguistic landscape (LL) in Singapore’s Chinatown. The database of the study comprises a total of 831 instances of signs in the form of photographs that were collected in Chinatown. The study finds that English dominates the LL while Mandarin Chinese is ranked as the second frequently used language. The study also identifies significant differences in LL features between top-down and bottom-up signs. Specifically, these differences include what languages are used; monolingual, bilingual and multilingual compositions; code preference; and forms of Chinese scripts. The present study suggests that English now dominates the linguistic landscape of Chinatown. Even though many scholars have described the sociolinguistic situation in Singapore as being ‘English-knowing’, the data shows a shift towards being ‘English-dominant’, suggesting a gradual but sustained dilution of its multilingual ethos. The study also complicates our understanding of the dominance of English in multilingual societies such as Singapore, where a competing dominant language (Mandarin Chinese) may be seen to continue to exert considerable influence on the dynamics of English-dominant language use but, at the same time, whose main function is shifting towards the symbolic rather than communicative.
Description: 
This is the final draft, after peer-review, of a manuscript published in Journal of Asian Pacific Communication. The published version is available online at https://doi.org/10.1075/japc.00052.zha
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DOI: 
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