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Table of contents :
Cover
Half Title
Series Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
Contents
List of figures
List of tables
List of contributors
Series Editor’s preface
Foreword
Acknowledgements
Map
1 Multilingual Singapore: Language policies, challenges, and responses
2 The fetishization of official languages
3 Singapore English, language mixing, and vernacular speech
4 Spoken Tamil in Singapore
5 The other mother tongues of Singaporean Indians
6 The changing status of Malayalam in Singapore
7 Singapore’s other Austronesian languages
8 Baba Malay
9 Pronouncing the Malay identity: Sebutan Johor-Riau and Sebutan Baku
10 The curious case of Mandarin Chinese in Singapore
11 Chinese dialects in Singapore: Context and situation
12 Unpacking ‘multilingualism’: Filipinos in Singapore
13 Coda: Towards a liquid-multilingual Singapore? An outsider’s view
Index
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Multilingual Singapore

Tis volume brings together researchers whose analysis and insights provide a comprehensive and up-to-date account of Singapore’s rich linguistic diversity. Applying a combination of descriptive, empirical, and theoretical approaches, the authors investigate not only ofcial languages such as English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil, but also minority languages such as the Chinese vernaculars and South Asian and Austronesian languages. Te chapters in this volume trace the historical development, contemporary status, and functions of these languages, as well as potential scenarios for the future. Exploring the tension between language policies and linguistic realities in Singapore, the contributions in this volume capture the shifting educational, political, and societal priorities of the community through its past and contemporary present. Ritu Jain is Lecturer at the Language and Communication Centre at Nanyang Technological University. Her research interests lie in the areas of language policy and planning, and language and identity. In her work, she has examined the role of language education policy in the maintenance and promotion of minority and heritage languages, and the implications this has for language maintenance and shift. She is currently exploring the interplay of language and identity among the Indian language communities of Singapore.

Routledge Multilingual Asia Series Series Editor: Kingsley Bolton

University of Saint Joseph, Macau, and Stockholm University, Sweden

Tis series focuses on the sociolinguistic dynamics of multilingual societies within South Asia, Southeast Asia, and East Asia. It is intended that this series will provide a forum for frontline empirical research on the dynamics of multilingualism in the Asian region. Te series includes areal studies dealing with multilingualism in particular polities or regions, and tackles such panAsian issues as the dynamics of multilingualism in urban Asian societies, multilingualism in Asian education, English as a lingua franca, and the learning and teaching of Asian languages across the region. Micro-studies of language contact and variation will also be a regular feature of the series, as will titles dealing with multilingual media and linguistic landscapes. Although the orientation of the series is broadly sociolinguistic, the series will also welcome contributions that ofer cognitive or psycholinguistic perspectives where such issues are central to the understanding of contemporary multilingualism in the Asian context. Multilingual Global Cities Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai Edited by Peter Siemund and Jakob Leimgruber Multilingual Singapore Language Policies and Linguistic Realities Edited by Ritu Jain https://www.routledge.com/Routledge-Multilingual-Asia-Series/book-series/ RMAS

Multilingual Singapore Language Policies and Linguistic Realities Edited by Ritu Jain

First published 2021 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 605 Tird Avenue, New York, NY 10158 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 selection and editorial matter, Ritu Jain; individual chapters, the contributors Te right of Ritu Jain to be identifed as the author of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identifcation and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Jain, Ritu, editor. Title: Multilingual Singapore : language policies and linguistic realities/edited by Ritu Jain. Description: Abingdon, Oxon ; New York : Routledge, 2021. | Series: Routledge multilingual Asia series | Includes bibliographical references and index. | Identifers: LCCN 2020053252 (print) | LCCN 2020053253 (ebook) | ISBN 9780367235192 (hardback) | ISBN 9781032000435 (paperback) | ISBN 9780429280146 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Language policy—Singapore. | Multilingualism—Singapore. | Language and culture—Singapore. | Singapore—Languages. Classifcation: LCC P381.S56 M85 2021 (print) | LCC P381.S56 (ebook) | DDC 306.44/95957—dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020053252 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020053253 ISBN: 978-0-367-23519-2 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-032-00043-5 (pbk) ISBN: 978-0-429-28014-6 (ebk) Typeset in Garamond by Apex CoVantage, LLC

Contents

List of fgures List of tables List of contributors Series Editor’s preface Foreword Acknowledgements Map

1 Multilingual Singapore: Language policies, challenges, and responses

vii viii ix xiii xiv xv xvi

1

RITU JAIN

2 Te fetishization of ofcial languages

12

LIONEL WEE

3 Singapore English, language mixing, and vernacular speech

28

KINGSLEY BOLTON AND WERNER BOTHA

4 Spoken Tamil in Singapore

47

HELEN DOMINIC AND LAVANYA BALACHANDRAN

5 Te other mother tongues of Singaporean Indians

65

RITU JAIN

6 Te changing status of Malayalam in Singapore

85

ANITHA DEVI PILLAI AND RANI RUBDY

7 Singapore’s other Austronesian languages GEOFFREY BENJAMIN

105

vi

Contents

8 Baba Malay

124

ANNE PAKIR

9 Pronouncing the Malay identity: Sebutan Johor-Riau and Sebutan Baku

142

MUKHLIS ABU BAKAR AND LIONEL WEE

10 Te curious case of Mandarin Chinese in Singapore

159

NG BEE CHIN AND FRANCESCO CAVALLARO

11 Chinese dialects in Singapore: Context and situation

179

GOH HOCK HUAN AND LIM TAI WEI

12 Unpacking ‘multilingualism’: Filipinos in Singapore

197

RUANNI TUPAS

13 Coda: Towards a liquid-multilingual Singapore? An outsider’s view

213

LI WEI

Index

220

Figures

3.1 First language learnt as a child (N=1037) 3.2 Language(s) usually spoken at home (N=1037) 4.1 Responses for ‘usually speak or use’ for each specifc variety across the two immigration waves 4.2 Frequency of Tamil usage across the two immigration waves 4.3 Responses for awareness of Singaporean Tamil 4.4 Responses for awareness of Indian Tamil 4.5 Responses for awareness of literary Tamil 4.6 Responses of attitudes to the ‘purity’ trait 6.1 Population of Malayalees in Singapore from 1911 to 2015 6.2 Malayalam class photo at Sree Narayana Mission (circa 1950s) 6.3 Onopaharam magazines 7.1 Te Austronesian family 7.2 Te western sphere of the Malayo-Polynesian languages 7.3 Malayic languages 7.4 Some non-standardised Malay varieties 7.5 Orang Seletar settlement on the north coast of Singapore, 1984 7.6 Orang Suku Laut from the Riau Islands (Indonesia) visiting Pulau Seking (ofshore Singapore), 1979 10.1 Dialect groups in Singapore in 1990 and 2000 by population and percentages 10.2 Home language use in Singapore 1980–2015 10.3 English as the home language of Chinese Singaporeans 2005–2015 by age 12.1 An English-dominated sign at Lucky Plaza, Singapore 12.2 A market English sign at Lucky Plaza, Singapore 12.3 A Taglish sign at Lucky Plaza, Singapore

36 36 54 55 56 56 57 58 90 92 95 106 106 108 110 111 114 161 167 168 205 207 209

Tables

3.1 3.2 3.3 4.1 4.2 4.3 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 6.1 7.1 7.2 7.3 8.1 8.2 9.1 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8

Self-report of bilingualism Self-report of profciency in English Respondents’ self-reported language mixing practices Comments on Singaporean Tamil Comments on Indian Tamil Comments on literary Tamil Indians in Malaya/Singapore by specifc community, census of 1947 Census data on Indians by ethnic group, 1957–2010 Predominant household languages by ethnic groups 1980–2010 Number of sites for community language classes Student enrolment for non-Tamil Indian languages: 2010–2018 Population of Malayalees and status of Malayalam in Singapore (1911 to 2015) Austronesian-linked ethnicities of Singapore Austronesian languages spoken in Singapore, 1911 Changes in Singapore-‘Malay’ sub-ethnicities Resident population aged 5 years and over by language most frequently spoken at home Te Language Endangerment Index with reference to Baba Malay Major features of standard pronunciations in Malay Age and dialect groups distribution Attitudes to the use of dialects Attitudes towards dialect as a form of identity Attitudes towards the functions of dialects Responses to social stereotypes concerning dialect use Frequency of dialect use in various domains Frequency of dialect use with family members and others Reasons for using dialects

37 37 38 59 60 61 70 71 72 75 76 104 112 116 116 127 128 146 185 186 186 187 188 189 189 190

Contributors

Mukhlis Abu Bakar is Associate Professor at the Asian Languages and Cultures Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He teaches in the area of Malay linguistics, literacy education, discourse and bilingualism. His research interests lie in the felds of bilingualism, biliteracy, and literacy learning, and span the domains of home, school and faith settings. He is currently an Associate Editor of Asia Pacifc Journal of Education. His recent book, Rethinking madrasah education in a globalised world (edited), was published by Routledge in 2018. Lavanya Balachandran is Lecturer at the College of Alice & Peter Tan, National University of Singapore. A qualitative sociologist, she draws on ethnographic approaches to examine issues of social mobility and social inequality in Singapore in topics such as family, deviance, race and ethnicity and social networks and has published in these areas in peer-reviewed journals. Geofrey Benjamin is Senior Research Fellow in Linguistics and Multilingual Studies at NTU. He was previously Associate Professor in the Division of Sociology, NTU, and has held positions in Sociology at the former University of Singapore and the National University of Singapore, and in Prehistory & Anthropology at the Australian National University. Since completing his PhD thesis in Social Anthropology at Cambridge University in 1967, he has continued to research in the felds of religion, social organisation, language (including Austronesian and Austroasiatic linguistics) and music, with special attention to the Malay world and Southeast Asia. Kingsley Bolton is Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Saint Joseph, Macau, and Professor Emeritus at Stockholm University. He has published widely on language and globalization, sociolinguistics, and world Englishes. He is Co-Editor (with Daniel R. Davis) of the journal World Englishes. He is also Series Editor for the Routledge book series, Multilingual Asia.

x

Contributors

Werner Botha is Senior Lecturer at Flinders University, Adelaide. His academic interests include the use of English in Asian higher education, educational linguistics, multilingualism, and language variation, with particular reference to the Asian region. Francesco Cavallaro is Associate Professor of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research interests are in sociolinguistics and the social aspects of bilingualism, especially of minority groups in multilingual contexts. He has published on language maintenance and shift, overaccommodation, the Italian community in Australia, language attitudes in Singapore, and on minority groups in Southeast Asia. He is the author of the book Transgenerational language shift: From Sicilian and Italian to Australian English. Helen Dominic is a doctoral candidate of sociolinguistics at Georgetown University. She studies dialect variation in the Tamil diaspora and investigates the language and identity-building practices of marginalised multilingual communities with regard to mobility and access. Goh Hock Huan is Research Scientist in the Ofce of Education Research, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore). His academic interests include Chinese language education in multilingual context, child Mandarin competence, curriculum evaluation, and corpus-based application development. He has compiled and co-compiled a few frequency dictionaries of Singapore Chinese and published a book on Mandarin competence of Singaporean Chinese pre-schoolers. Ritu Jain is a lecturer at the Language and Communication Centre, NTU. Her research interest lies in the area of language policy and planning. In her work, Ritu has examined the role of the language education policy in the promotion and maintenance of minority and heritage languages and implications to language maintenance and shift. In her current research project, Ritu is studying the shift to English among the Indian language communities of Singapore. Li Wei is Chair of Applied Linguistics and Director of the UCL Centre for Applied Linguistics at UCL Institute of Education, University College London, UK. His main research interests are in the broad feld of bilingualism and multilingualism. He is Principal Editor of the International Journal of Bilingualism and Applied Linguistics Review. His book with Ofelia Garcia, Translanguaging: Language, bilingualism and education (2014), won the British Association of Applied Linguistics 2015 Book Prize in 2015, and his edited volume with Vivian Cook, Te Cambridge handbook of linguistic multi-competence (2016), was shortlisted for the 2017 BAAL Book Prize. He is Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences, UK, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK.

Contributors

xi

Lim Tai Wei is Associate Professor and Regional Advisor at Singapore University of Social Sciences and Adjunct Senior Research Fellow at the East Asian Institute at National University of Singapore. He works on Overseas Chinese and Contemporary China issues as an area studies expert and East Asian historian. Ng Bee Chin works in the area of bilingualism and multilingualism with a focus on the impact of language contact on individuals and the community they live in. Her research approach is to explore both cognitive and social aspects of language use. Currently, she is working on language and emotion in multilinguals, language attitudes, identity and social categorisation and communicative aspects of aging. She is currently Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Anne Pakir (NUS) works in the felds of applied linguistics, Asian Englishes, language planning and policy, and world Englishes. Her most recent publication is a co-edited book, World Englishes: Rethinking paradigms (with Low, 2018). Anne was President of the Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics (SAAL, 1997–2004), President of the International Association for World Englishes (IAWE, 1998–2000), and a member of the TOEFL Board (2004–2009). She was conferred the Inaugural SAAL Mentoring Medal of Honour (2015) and an honorary lifelong membership of the International Association for Applied Linguistics (at AILA 2017). Anitha Devi Pillai (PhD) is an applied linguist and teacher educator at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University where she teaches courses on literacy practices, writing pedagogy and writing skills. She won a National Heritage Board, Singapore grant in 2013 to study the literacy practices and ethnic heritage of the Singapore Malayalee community and subsequently was the frst author of From Kerala to Singapore: Voices from the Singapore Malayalee community (2017). Rani Rubdy has served as Associate Professor at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, and as Senior Fellow at the National University of Singapore. She has published widely on the sociolinguistics of English as a global language and language policy. Books coedited by her include English in the world: Global rules, global roles (2006); Language as commodity: Global structures, local marketplace (2008); Te global-local interface: Exploring language and identity (2014) and Confict, exclusion and dissent in the linguistic landscape (2015). Ruanni Tupas is Assistant Professor and Programme Leader of the MA in Applied Linguistics, English Language and Literature Group, National Institute of Education. He is editor of Unequal Englishes: Te politics of Englishes today (2015), Co-Editor (with P. Sercombe) of Language, education and nation-building: Assimilation and shift in Southeast Asia (2014),

xii

Contributors

and Co-Editor (with Bunce, Phillipson & Rapatahana) of Why English?: Confronting the hydra (2016). His recent publications have appeared in the Journal of Sociolinguistics, Language and Education, Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, RELC Journal, and Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. Lionel Wee is Professor and Provost’s Chair in the Department of English Language & Literature at the National University of Singapore. His research focuses on language policy, new varieties of English, and general issues in sociolinguistics. His latest book is Te Singlish controversy: Language, culture and identity in a globalizing world (2018). He currently has two research projects ongoing – one is concerned with the study of afect in linguistic landscapes, and another critiques the systems view of language, arguing in favor of an assemblage-theoretic approach.

Series Editor’s preface

Te second volume in Routledge’s new series on Multilingual Asia is an important contribution to the series. Unlike the frst volume, which researched various aspects of multilingualism in multiple contexts worldwide, this volume focuses on multilingual research in a single setting, that of the island city state of Singapore, whose language policies and practices have long interested frontline researchers in the felds of applied linguistics, education, sociolinguistics, and a range of related disciplines. Tis collection of articles is arguably the most comprehensive and up-to-date study of multilingualism in Singapore society published in recent years. Te volume not only deals with such major languages of the community as Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, and English, but also provides coverage of the numerous minority languages, that have often been ignored in previous studies. Tese include Chinese dialects such as Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese; South Asian languages such as Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Malayalam, Punjabi, and Urdu; as well as varieties of Malay and other Austronesian languages. Te title for this volume aptly captures the tension between language policies and linguistic realities, which characterises many of the issues discussed in individual chapters, including the somewhat conficted status of colloquial Singapore English or ‘Singlish’. Dr Ritu Jain is to be commended for having produced an authoritative and innovative volume, which is likely to remain a key reference work for many years to come. Kingsley Bolton Stockholm, November 2020

Foreword

When Ritu came to me in 2018 with the plan of organizing a workshop on the theme of ‘Language diversity in Singapore’, I could immediately see what an excellent idea it was. Later, when she showed me the list of distinguished speakers and exciting topics, I was convinced that she had an exceptional book in the making. Tere has been no shortage of studies of Singaporean multilingualism in the past, but, in the second decade of the twenty-frst century, it is clear that a serious update is sorely missing. I am therefore delighted to see the papers of the workshop coming together so nicely to provide a comprehensive and in-depth treatment of the subject matter. Te present volume, wide-ranging as it is in its representation of the community’s array of languages (historically as well as in contemporary society), contains nuanced accounts of languages going well beyond the ‘ofcial languages’ to include not only Singlish, Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese, but also Baba Malay, Malayalam, Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, and more. Te issues that drive the lively discussions across the diferent chapters subsume not just nationbuilding and bilingual education, but also the evolution of the community’s venerable cultural traditions and the transformation of its demographic and social structures. As my friend Li Wei rightly points out in his ‘coda’, Singapore’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity is challenging and enlightening at the same time. And it is this very special quality of Singaporean interculturalism that will repay continued eforts to deepen our understanding of this fascinating feld. Kang Kwong Luke President’s Chair in Linguistics School of Social Sciences Nanyang Technological University Singapore, November 2020

Acknowledgements

Putting this volume together has been both rewarding and challenging in equal measure. It has been the realisation of a long-held dream to ofer an updated account of Singapore’s rich multilingualism that has increased manifold in complexity in recent decades. At the same time, the limited scholarship in some areas of linguistic heterogeneity has proved to be a signifcant difculty in realising this dream. I am therefore deeply grateful to the various contributors who have trusted me with their work, as well as for their professionalism and patience in accommodating my requests. I also owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the reviewers who have lent their expertise in scrutinising the manuscripts. For their feedback and constructive comments, often on more than one chapter, I’d like to thank Beatrice Lorente, Francis Hult, James McLellan, Joanna Rose McFarland, Lim Ni Eng, Liu Yanhua, Luke Lu, Mark Fifer Seilhamer, Nala Lee, Ng Bee Chin, Peter Teo, Phyllis Chew, Rajesh Rai, Rani Rubdy, Rebecca Starr, Sujata Kathpalia, Stefanie Pillai, Susana Eisenchlas, Tan Ying Ying, Tej Bhatia, Tong King Lee, and Uma Ganesan. A special thanks to Bee for her unstinting help, expertise, and counsel through the various stages of the volume and much more. Most of all, I would like to thank the very patient and generous Rita Elaine Silver for reading and responding to multiple manuscripts, for her constant encouragement, and frequent hospitality. I am grateful to NTU’s Centre for Liberal Arts and Social Sciences for the workshop grant that has ultimately led to this volume. I would like to thank Francis Hult and Li Wei for their critical insights during the workshop. I am also indebted to KK Luke for his interest and support for the project. I would also like to thank the series editor, Kingsley Bolton, for his gracious support towards the volume and for his confdence in my abilities. I would also like to thank Liz Lanza and Unn Royneland at Multiling, the University of Oslo, for hosting me in the summer of 2019. Te time and space, and the valuable comments and suggestion from helpful colleagues and friends, allowed me to complete the bulk of my chapters and more. Tis volume would not have been possible without the support of the very capable research assistants, Charlotte Choo and Ling Cher Keane, whose behind the scenes support has allowed me to focus on the more macro tasks. Tanks also to the Routledge editorial team, Katie Peace and Jacy Hui for the extensions and support that they’ve generously provided. Finally, I thank our readers for joining the conversation initiated by the contributors and hope you fnd the process as rewarding as we did.

xvi

Map

Map 0.1 Map of Singapore and Southeast Asia

1

Multilingual Singapore Language policies, challenges, and responses Ritu Jain

Introduction Singapore ofers a fascinating site for the study of language management in an ethnically and linguistically heterogenous society. In ofcial discourse, the population comprises three – presumably homogenous – main ethnic communities (Chinese, Malays, and Indians) who afliate with the representative mother tongues: Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. Te nation’s fourth ofcial language, English, is intended to support societal and governmental communication. However, this neat language quadrant belies a rich language diversity that has been signifcantly shrunk if not erased in the process of social management. Te credit for this shift can be ascribed to the city state’s language policies initiated around the time of the establishment of Singapore in 1965. Previously vibrant Chinese languages (such as Hokkien, Teochew, and Cantonese), Malayic and non-Malayic languages (Baba Malay, Banjarese, and Javanese for example), and various South Asian languages (Sinhala, Malayalam, for instance) have been ofcially and societally marginalised. In the early years, the urgent need for nation building necessitated the adoption of a language policy that could accommodate the sensitivities and competing interests of an ethnically diverse population. However, over the years, this policy has been censured for an overly instrumental top-down approach that has led to the large-scale shift towards ofcial languages at the expense of greater linguistic diversity. Various governmental measures have attempted to both sustain desirable outcomes as well as manage emergent fallouts. Migration-led demographic shifts and enhanced linguistic heterogeneity on the one hand and growing shift to English on the other, have prompted band-aid responses to patch over policy fssures. Tis volume attempts to illuminate the rich linguistic legacy of Singapore and ofer snapshots of various policy measures, community responses, and resulting outcomes over time. Tis introduction sets the stage with a brief overview of the historic language situation that served as foundation of the language policy, before detailing subsequent societal and language shifts that have simultaneously motivated responses from and confounded policy. It then introduces the rationale for and structure of the volume before concluding with an introduction to the various chapters.

2

Ritu Jain

Singapore’s language policy Singapore’s resident population of 4 million is categorised along three presumably primordial and homogeneous ethnic identities, Chinese (at 74 per cent of the population), Malay (13 per cent), Indian (9 per cent) and Others (3 per cent) for those who cannot be slotted into one of these categories (Singapore Department of Statistics, 2019).1 Tese identities, termed ‘races’ in ofcial discourse, form the core of the nation’s multiracial policy and serve as tools to harness and manage societal heterogeneity. Members of these groups are assumed to share a common ethnicity and cultural practices, and a common language they identify with (Benjamin, 1976). Premised on this logic, the state’s bilingual policy encourages profciency in English, the medium of instruction, plus the ofcially assigned ethnic mother tongue for every schoolgoing child: Mandarin for the Chinese, Malay for the Malays, and Tamil for the Indians. Te three ofcial mother tongues are considered on par, and state resources are utilised equitably for their maintenance and promotion. Te category of ‘Others’, comprising ethnicities that cannot be accommodated in the preceding three groups, has no ofcially assigned mother tongue. Members of this category (for example, Eurasians) are free to select any of the ofcial languages as a second language in education. Te institution of representative languages for the communities has not only served the education system but also as the foundation for nation-building and consolidation. Historically, the three languages facilitated in forging intra-ethnic homogeneity from the widespread linguistic diversity prevalent prior to the formation of independent Singapore in 1965. Data from the pre-independence census of 1957 (Chua, 1964) show that the Malays were the most homogeneous community with 69 per cent predominantly using Malay while the rest used languages such as Javanese and Boyanese. Among the Chinese, the most linguistically diverse, Hokkien was the majority language followed by others such as Teochew and Cantonese. Among Indians, the majority (60 per cent) spoke Tamil while the rest used languages such as Malayalam, Gujarati, and Punjabi. Presumed a hurdle to the task of nationbuilding, the harnessing of this diversity was foundational to the young nation’s language policy. Te recognition of a singular representative language for each community, shaped through a consideration of social, political, and economic needs, ensured the consolidation of community identities and relatedly, the suppression (if not erasure) of linguistic heterogeneity. Te policy’s bilingual commitment also formed the foundation of the nation’s education policy (for overviews on the history and development of Singapore’s language policy, see Leimgruber, 2013; Jain & Wee, 2019; Silver, 2002). However, over time, government and community concerns over language developments – some desirable and others not so – have prompted a series of measures to manage expectations and contain fallouts within the bilingual framework. Te initiation of various national language campaigns and movements has further helped support policy objectives and maintain the

Multilingual Singapore

3

predominance of the ofcial languages. For example, the Speak Mandarin Campaign was launched to encourage the economically advantageous language Mandarin and discourage alternate Chinese languages (ofcially termed ‘dialects’), has facilitated large-scale shift among the Chinese to Mandarin (Bokhorst-Heng, 1998, 1999; Bokhorst-Heng & Wee, 2007; Kwan-Terry, 2000; Li, Saravanan, & Ng, 1997; Teo, 2005). Recent census data (Wong, 2011) indicates the success of the policy in engineering a shift from Chinese languages spoken by 99 per cent of the community in 1957 (Chua, 1964) to Mandarin which currently serves as the predominant home language of 48 per cent of the community. Similarly, even as Malay remains the predominant home language of 83 per cent of the community, the escalating shift to English (Cavallaro & Serwe, 2010; David, Cavallaro, & Coluzzi, 2009) demonstrates a potential threat to the ofcial language policy. Likewise, despite the ofcial status accorded to Tamil, the language is gradually losing its dominance with only 38 per cent of Indians using it predominantly at home. Te diglossic nature of the language with variance between the spoken and written forms (Schifman, 1998, 2003) and competing attraction of English (Saravanan, 1993, 1999; Lakshmi, 2016; Vaish, 2008) has thwarted policy attempts to reinforce Tamil. Furthermore, managing the linguistic diversity among the Indians has time and again challenged policy. While 54 per cent of the Indians identify with Tamil, the rest claim afnity to a variety of alternate languages belonging to both Dravidian and Indo-Aryan language families. Te educational difculties of students from non-Tamil backgrounds, especially those from Indo-Aryan language backgrounds, have required special policy accommodations. Since 1990, fve languages (Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu) have been accepted as second language subjects in education (Jain & Wee, 2015, 2018, 2019). Alongside support for the mother tongue languages, policies have been harnessed to promote and protect the status and standard of English and discourage the popularity of the colloquial variant Singlish. Te initiation of the Speak Good English Movement in 1979 has continued to bolster the status of the language as the medium of instruction and inter-ethnic communication. However, the prevalence of English across expanding domains and communities highlights policy frustrations in calibrating an equilibrium for societal bilingualism. As the Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, highlighted in his address at the Speak Mandarin Campaign’s 40th anniversary celebration, 71 per cent of Chinese, 67 per cent Malay, and 70 per cent Indian households with Primary 1 children spoke mostly English at home (Zhou, 2019). While competence in English has been desirable, the shift in its favour has raised fears that Singapore may be losing its bilingual competitive edge (see Alsagof, 2007; Dixon, 2009; Gupta, 1994, 1998; Pakir, 1998; Rubdy, 2001, 2007, on standard and colloquial English in Singapore).2 In addition, these community-specifc difculties have been signifcantly exacerbated by demographic shifts in recent decades. In order to position itself as a ‘global city’, Singapore has actively wooed skilled professionals or ‘foreign talent’ to promote

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Ritu Jain

growth while simultaneously importing cheap immigrant labour for its growing infrastructure. Tese measures have contributed to an overall population increase from 2.1 million in 1970 to 5.7 million in 2019 (Department of Statistics Singapore, 2020). Te 1.7 million non-resident population (on various employment and stay permits), contributing to 44 per cent of the overall population increase, has dramatically altered the linguistic landscape of Singapore. Tis has also meant an expanding number whose identities and languages defy Singapore’s essentialist ethnic categories but who must be coerced into the bilingual policy. Tese policy-related triumphs and constraints have been the subject of much of the scholarly work in – and on – Singapore. However, attention has largely focused on language and community specifc issues while summative commentary on the sociolinguistics and sociology of language in Singapore has been relatively limited. Volumes on wider language networks and community responses to language planning in Singapore have been limited to Alfrendas and Kuo (1980) and Gopinathan, Pakir, Ho, and Saravanan (1998). Both volumes address relationships between sociolinguistic aspects such as religion, media, and education, as well as outcomes of language management on the four ofcial languages of Singapore. Te current volume not only contributes to that scholarship, but also ofers an up-to-date picture of Singapore’s rich linguistic diversity, focusing on the relationship between the bilingual policy and societal multilingualism. It is motivated by a desire to assess the wider linguistic landscape of Singapore that includes both ofcial as well as minority (numerically and politically) languages. Even as the predominance of English and Mandarin3 indicates reduced multilingualism, various languages that contributed to historical linguistic diversity, continue to thrive and yet others have nearly disappeared. In drawing attention to the legacy, status, and prospects of these languages, this volume remains oriented to language policies and their impact on ethnolinguistic vitality. Focusing on ofcial languages as well as some of the languages beyond the scope of the language policy, the chapters collectively ofer insights into the country’s rich linguistic heritage, an intricate tapestry that has been reworked by policy into a quadrilingual patchwork (Bokhorst-Heng & Silver, 2017). As various contributors demonstrate, while English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil have been given prominence, the linguistic landscape of the country still contains shades of various community languages. Some of these, such as Baba Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, and Malayalam, may be fading under pressure from the education policy but others such as Hindi, Bengali, and Filipino are gaining vibrance as a result of growing immigration. Expected to serve as a scholarly reference on the sociolinguistics of Singapore, the volume is intended to be accessible to language specialists and administrators as much as to community leaders and members of the public. As a result, while many of the chapters are underpinned methodologically by linguistic and sociological data, some present a summary of previous research and update on particular languages, and yet others ofer critical perspectives on the exclusionary nature of language policies.

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Te organisation of this volume In this volume, various chapters cluster around Sinitic, Austronesian, and South Asian languages, while others address various aspects of societal multilingualism. Te frst three chapters highlight the exclusionary nature of Singapore’s language management. Te contributors demonstrate the growing frustrations of societal multilingualism, both inherited and enhanced by immigration, to language policy. Tey spotlight communities of practice that fall beyond state-drawn ethnic and language boundaries. Te use of Tagalog among Filipinos, or that of Singlish among university students, or even vernaculars among the Chinese illustrate alternate language ideologies than those espoused by the government. In Chapter 2, Lionel Wee questions the inapplicable and irrelevant rationale of pragmatism and intended inclusivity of Singapore’s language policy. Drawing attention to foundational education and language related concepts (or ‘sacred cows’ as they are termed in the chapter), he demonstrates that in practice they exclude sections of the population and speakers who fall outside the pre-drawn category boundaries (for example, the Eurasian community whose home language English cannot be countenanced as a mother tongue, or the ethnically mixed Peranakans who are identifed as Chinese but whose cultural practices are largely Malay). Wee argues that even well-intentioned government responses are bound to fail unless unshackled from the fawed policy foundations and proposes a radical overhaul in the face of the increasingly diverse and articulate population. Chapter 3 by Kingsley Bolton and Werner Botha addresses another language beyond the ofcially accepted notion of multilingualism: the colloquial variety of English known as ‘Singlish’. Summarising the extensive research on the topic, the authors highlight paucity of data on language mixing and propose areas for future explorations. Te authors draw on their research fndings on aspects of vernacular language choice and use with social networks of undergraduate students. Tey fnd that such a study of language practice ofers a more complex sociolinguistic reality than would be evident in a study where Singlish is approached through an examination of discrete linguistic items. Te chapters on South Asian languages (Chapters 4, 5, and 6) are perhaps most illustrative of the growing fragility of policy constructs. While the government has remained resolute on the representative languages of the Chinese and Malay communities, the multilinguality (both at the societal and individual levels) of the South Asians, defned as Indian in ofcial discourse, has forced unique concessions from policy. Notwithstanding this, the three chapters throw into sharp relief the continued challenge to policy despite the radical allowances made for the languages of the community. Te identity-based preference for diferent spoken forms of Tamil (the ofcial community language), the continued assertion of Malayalam, and the growing preference for Hindi over other languages in education question presumptions of community homogeneity. In Chapter 4, Helen Dominic and Lavanya Balachandran

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assess variation in spoken Tamil among the multilayered immigrant Tamil community in Singapore. Using data from a sociolinguistic survey, they study the awareness of and attitudes towards fve distinct spoken varieties of Tamil among the settled Tamilians who they term the Old Wave and the relatively recent arrivals termed the ‘New Wave’. Assessing the varieties on a scale of perceived purity, the authors fnd a preference for Singapore Tamil among the Old Wave while Indian Tamil is valued higher among those from the New Wave. Tey conclude that these attitudinal diferences bring to light hitherto concealed identity politics within the community and consider implications for Tamil education and maintenance in Singapore. In Chapter 5, I draw attention to the South-Asian languages that have been simplistically defned as ‘Indian’ in policy discourse. Ofering a sociolinguistic description of the community, I demonstrate that even though this heterogeneity has been progressively ignored by the national census, various community languages have time and again tested the language education policies. As illustration, I highlight the unusual case of the fve South-Asian languages that have been accepted as second-language subjects in lieu of Tamil for students of Indian heritage in Singapore. Drawing on community school enrolment fgures and large-scale survey data, I demonstrate that Hindi is increasingly being preferred by Indian students over the optional languages in education. Finally, highlighting the paradoxes inherent in such an inclusive policy move, I discuss the predicaments in managing the linguistic diversity among Singapore’s Indian community. In drawing attention to the accommodations for community languages forced from policy as well as the persistence of complications posed by immigration, the chapter underscores the weakness of policy foundations. In Chapter 6, Anitha Devi Pillai and Rani Rubdy present a study of the shifts in the status of Malayalam, the second most commonly spoken language among the Indians in Singapore. Studying reasons for the shift away from Malayalam, the authors draw on extensive interview data with members of the community in addition to archival sources and historical artefacts. Tey propose three periods (identifed by migration trends) during which the language went from a predominance of maintenance to shift and ultimately, revitalisation. Pillai and Rubdy attribute the processes of language status in each period to two key factors: (a) demographic changes and corresponding ethnolinguistic vitality and (b) the government’s language education policy. Te authors propose possible measures that may arrest the decline of Malayalam and facilitate its revitalisation and conclude with the suggestion that a state-community partnership is critical for success of the language within the community. Te subsequent chapters on Austronesian languages further demonstrate the linguistic diversity among the presumably homogenous Malays, a reality that has been sidelined in the process of upholding and reinforcing a singular ofcial language, Malay. Chapter 7, by Geofrey Benjamin, ofers an overview of the various Austronesian languages, both Malayic and non-Malayic

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varieties, in Singapore and nearby parts of Malaysia and Indonesia. Relying both on his own extensive work as well as extant sociological and historical sources, Benjamin ofers a thorough review – and corrections of fallacious assumptions – of the speech varieties in use in ancient contemporary times and to which Malay is related. Te author demonstrates that despite the survival of certain languages, speakers of these are dwindling rapidly as a result of language policies and the subsequent shift to the ofcial languages (Malay and English) in most domains of the speakers’ lives. Te chapter serves as a rich source and valuable starting point for any follow-up work on Austronesian communities and their languages. In Chapter 8, Anne Pakir draws attention to one such Austronesian speech community, the Baba Chinese (known also as the Peranakans) whose language, Baba Malay, has been one of the casualties of the ofcial language policy. Borrowing primarily from Bazaar Malay and Hokkien, the language is spoken by descendants of Chinese migrants who settled in the Malay Archipelago around the 15th century. Pakir highlights that the ethnic classifcation of the community as Chinese and the ensuing requirement among the following generation to study the ofcially ascribed community mother tongue, Mandarin, has been the main impetus for large scale loss of Baba Malay in Singapore. While various other factors such as the de-commodifcation of Baba Malay, inter-community marriages, and out-migration have contributed to the shift away from the language, the author argues that policy has been the primary interrupter in intergenerational transmission. Even as the growing attraction of high-status languages such as English pose a threat to non-standard forms of languages such as Baba Malay, Pakir is hopeful that community initiatives to preserve the Baba culture may delay erasure of the language in Singapore. Chapter 9 by Mukhlis Abu Bakar and Lionel Wee provides a discussion of the varying pronunciation systems of Malay in Singapore and draws attention to the complications arising from the policy-driven push for language standardisation. Examining the diferences between Sebutan Johor-Riau (SJR) and Sebutan Baku (SB), the preferred pronunciations for the Malay language in Malaysia and Singapore respectively, the authors highlight the artifcially constructed and enforced nature of the latter. Given that the language identity of Malay Singaporeans is inextricably linked to SJR, Abu Bakar and Wee argue that the enforcement of SB imparts an artifciality to the spoken language and disrupts the linguistic identity of the community. While the diferential pronunciations may not afect the speaker’s ability to function in the language, it limits the use of the language with extended family and community members (in Singapore and Malaysia) for whom SB has been acquired and is used naturally. Te chapter demonstrates yet another policy decision, not apparently major, but with signifcant implications to language use and maintenance. Te next two chapters in the volume examine the Sinitic languages of the largest ethnic population in Singapore. Tese two chapters capture the immense linguistic diversity that prevailed among the Chinese community

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with their respective foci on the ofcial language Mandarin and the vernaculars that have faced systematic erasure over time. Chapter 10, by Ng Bee Chin and Francesco Cavallaro, highlights the case of Mandarin Chinese, the poster child illustrating the ‘success’ of Singapore’s language policy. Te authors explore its role as both interloper (the language was spoken by less than 1 per cent of the Chinese in the 1950s) and facilitator of community unifcation (currently the home language of 46 per cent) over the past fve decades. Arguing that the rise of Mandarin has been at the expense of the various vernaculars it has displaced, Ng and Cavallaro demonstrate that the position of the language remains precarious within and beyond the realm of education. Despite reinforcement via aggressive policy measures and campaigns, Mandarin faces stif competition from English and the colloquial stepchild, Singlish. Tey conclude that the future of the language ultimately depends on the evaluation of its instrumental and symbolic value by speakers at the individual level. Complementing this, in Chapter 11, Goh Hock Huan and Lim Tai Wei explore the use of and attitudes towards the Chinese dialects that have been systematically targeted by the language policy. In the frst part of the chapter, they draw attention to various watershed policy moments that have led to the current stigmatised status of the dialects. In the second, drawing on survey data, they summarise that the use of dialects is restricted to familial and informal spaces for relational and networking reasons and holds little economic worth that is associated with Mandarin and English. Tey argue that without concerted efort in expanding domains of dialect use, the positive attitude towards dialects may prove insufcient for their intergenerational transmission. Echoing Ng and Cavallaro’s argument, the authors conclude with a dim prognosis for Chinese dialects and associated cultures. Tey envisage that dialects will likely disappear with the current generation, leaving behind an English – and possibly Mandarin – dominant Chinese community. A similar issue of marginalisation is explored by Ruanni Tupas in Chapter 12, in which he unpacks the inequalities of multilingualism among Filipinos in Singapore. Tupas analyses discourses and ideologies embedded in the linguistic landscape of Lucky Plaza, a shopping mall frequented by Filipinos. In doing so, he throws into relief the invisibilised language practices and ideologies beyond the state-defned boundaries of multilingualism. Te study of the various languages such as English, Taglish, and Tagalog within the shopping plaza also highlights inter and intra-ethnic group and class distinctions among the predominantly worker community within conditions of capitalist globalisation. In revealing the racialised spaces and multilayered othering of the Filipinos in Singapore, Tupas augments insights into societal multilingualism beyond that acknowledged in ofcial policy discourses. Te volume concludes with Li Wei’s refections on the richness of Singapore’s multilingualism and implications for sociolinguistic research for its scholars. A familiar and fascinated outsider to the nation’s multilingualism, he acknowledges the successes of Singapore’s language engineering. However, he cautions that the era of liquid modernity requires an adaptation of research

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approaches and direction. Li Wei argues that erstwhile notions of neat compartmentalised identities, languages, and social groups are no longer sustainable for capturing the fuidity and creativity in languages and identities. He urges scholars to move away from studying languages and varieties in favour of the dilemmas and paradoxes in dynamic and innovative translingual practices, the emergence of new languages, and outcomes facilitated/prohibited by policies, within – as he terms it – Singapore’s liquid-multilingualism. Finally, it is worth highlighting that despite the panoramic scope of these chapters, it has not been possible to thoroughly access the more recent linguistic vibrancy at societal margins. In particular, the languages of the 1.7 million non-resident population of Singapore beyond the quadrilingual frame ofers further ground for exploration. Enhancing Singapore’s multilingual diversity, the languages of the transient population from South and South-East Asian nations (Bangladesh, India, Tailand, Myanmar, Philippines for example), remain largely overlooked in scholarly and policy discourses. Perhaps future work will address some of this oversight. Nonetheless, the twelve chapters in this volume jointly weave an alternate picture of societal multilingualism, an alternate narrative to the simplistic one countenanced by the state. Tey illustrate that while some of the language threads have faded and frayed over time, the hues of many others have been enriched through policy measures and growing immigration. Te authors fnd that while the structure of the ofcial language policy may attempt to restrain them within its quadrilingual structure, community choices and immigration are increasingly defying and weakening such imposed constraints. Te extent to which various languages, those supported as well as those side-lined by policy, sustain their status and place within the communities depends equally on agile and consultative state policies as well as community eforts. Collectively, these chapters, with their descriptions of many of the languages and speech communities of Singapore, set out to provide a comprehensive and insightful account of linguistic diversity in contemporary Singapore. Notes 1 Singapore’s total population of 5.7 million comprises 4 million residents (citizens and permanent residents) and 1.7 million non-residents. 2 However, such fears are more for the loss of the edge that Mandarin ofers for economic opportunities in business with China. 3 Te two languages are spoken by 72 per cent of Singapore’s current population (Department of Statistics Singapore, 2015).

References Alfrendas, E., & Kuo, E. (1980). Language and society in Singapore. Singapore: Singapore University Press. Alsagof, L. (2007). Singlish: Negotiating culture, capital and identity. In V. Vaish, S. Gopinathan, & Y.-B. Liu (Eds.), Language, capital, culture: Critical studies of language and education in Singapore (pp. 23–46). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

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Benjamin, G. (1976). Te cultural logic of Singapore’s ‘multiracialism’. In R. Hassan (Ed.), Singapore: Society in transition (pp. 115–133). Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. Bokhorst-Heng, W. D. (1998). Language and imagining the nation in Singapore (PhD thesis). Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, Toronto. Bokhorst-Heng, W. D. (1999). Singapore’s Speak Mandarin Campaign: Language ideological debates in the imagining of the nation. In J. Blommaert (Ed.), Language ideological debates (pp. 235–265). Te Hague: Mouton de Gruyter. Bokhorst-Heng, W. D., & Silver, R. E. (2017). Reconsidering language shift within Singapore’s Chinese community: A Bourdieusian analysis. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 248, 73–95. Bokhorst-Heng, W. D., & Wee, L. (2007). Language planning in Singapore: On pragmatism, communitarianism and personal names. Current Issues in Language Planning, 8, 324–343. Cavallaro, F., & Serwe, S. (2010). Language use and language shift among the Malays in Singapore. Applied Linguistics Review, 1, 129–170. Chua, S. C. (1964). Report on the census of population 1957: Singapore. Singapore: Department of Statistics. David, M., Cavallaro, F., & Coluzzi, P. (2009). Language policies – Impact on language maintenance and teaching: Focus on Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines. Linguistics Journal, 4, 155–191. Department of Statistics Singapore. (2015). General household survey 2015. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Retrieved from www.singstat.gov.sg/publications/ghs/ghs2015 Department of Statistics Singapore. (2020). M810001 – Indicators on population, annual. Retrieved from www.tablebuilder.singstat.gov.sg/publicfacing/sortByTime.action Dixon, L. Q. (2009). Assumptions behind Singapore’s language-in-education policy: Implications for language planning and second language acquisition. Language Policy, 8, 117–137. Gopinathan, S., Pakir, A., Ho, W. K., & Saravanan, V. (Eds.). (1998). Language, society and education in Singapore: Issues and trends (2nd ed.). Singapore: Times Academic Press. Gupta, A. (1994). Te step-tongue: Children’s English in Singapore. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Gupta, A. (1998). A framework for the analysis of Singapore English. In S. Gopinathan, A. Pakir, W. K. Ho, & V. Saravanan (Eds.), Language, society and education in Singapore: Issues and trends (2nd ed., pp. 119–132). Singapore: Times Academic Press. Jain, R., & Wee, L. (2015). Multilingual education in Singapore: Beyond language communities? In A. Yiakoumetti (Ed.), Multilingualism and language in education: Sociolinguistic and pedagogical perspectives from commonwealth countries (pp. 67–85). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jain, R., & Wee, L. (2018). Cartographic mismatches and language policy: Te case of Hindi in Singapore. Language Policy, 17, 99–118. Jain, R., & Wee, L. (2019). Diversity management and the presumptive universality of categories: Te case of the Indians in Singapore. Current Issues in Language Planning, 20, 16–32. Kwan-Terry, A. (2000). Language shift, mother tongue, and identity in Singapore. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 143, 85–106. Lakshmi, S. (2016). Use and impact of spoken Tamil in the early Tamil classrooms. In R. E. Silver & W. D. Bokhorst-Heng (Eds.), Quadrilingual education in Singapore: Pedagogical innovation in language education (pp. 229–246). Singapore: Springer. Leimgruber, J. R. E. (2013). Te management of multilingualism in a city-state: Language policy in Singapore. In P. Seimund, I. Gogolin, M. Schulz, & J. Davydova (Eds.), Multilingualism and language contact in urban areas: Acquisition, development, teaching, communication (pp. 229–257). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

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Li, W., Saravanan, V., & Ng, J. H. L. (1997). Language shift in the Teochew community in Singapore: A family domain analysis. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 18, 364–384. Pakir, A. (1998). English in Singapore: Te codifcation of competing norms. In S. Gopinathan, A. Pakir, W. K. Ho, & V. Saravanan (Eds.), Language, society and education in Singapore: Issues and trends (2nd ed., pp. 63–84). Singapore: Times Academic Press. Rubdy, R. (2001). Creative destruction: Singapore’s Speak Good English Movement World Englishes, 20, 341–355. Rubdy, R. (2007). Singlish in the school: An impediment or a resource? Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 28, 308–324. Saravanan, V. (1993). Language and social identity amongst Tamil-English bilinguals. Singapore, Language, Culture and Curriculum, 6, 275–289. Saravanan, V. (1999). Bilingual Chinese, Malay and Tamil children’s language choices in a multi-lingual society. Early Child Development and Care, 152, 43–53. Schifman, H. F. (1998). Standardization or restandardization: Te case for ‘standard’ spoken Tamil. Language in Society, 27, 359–385. Schifman, H. F. (2003). Tongue-tied in Singapore: A language policy of Tamil? Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 2, 105–125. Silver, R. E. (2002). Policies on English language education and economic development. In R. E. Silver, G. Hu, & M. Iino (Eds.), English language education in China, Japan and Singapore (pp. 101–169). Singapore: National Institute of Education. Singapore Department of Statistics. (2019). Population trends, 2019. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Retrieved from www.singstat.gov.sg/-/media/fles/publications/population/ population2019. pdf Teo, P. (2005). Mandarinising Singapore: A critical analysis of slogans in Singapore’s ‘Speak Mandarin’ Campaign. Critical Discourse Studies, 2, 121–142. Vaish, V. (2008). Mother tongues, English, and religion in Singapore. World Englishes, 27, 450–464. Wong, W. K. (2011). Census of population, 2010 – Statistical release 1: Demographic characteristics, education, language and religion. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Zhou, T. (2019, October 22). Speak Mandarin Campaign marks 40 years: Singapore must guard against losing bilingual edge, says PM Lee Hsien Loong. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/singapore/speak-mandarin-campaign-marks-40-years-withlocal-lexicon-pm-lee-hsien-loong-says

2

Te fetishization of ofcial languages Lionel Wee

Introduction Societies are becoming increasingly complex, and this increased complexity poses major challenges for the issue of governance. Mass mobility and migration can lead to greater social and cultural diversity. Unless carefully dealt with, such diversity can result in a hardening of cultural boundaries as diferent communities seek to protect their heritage and traditions. Technological disruptions to workplace practices can create economic instability and exacerbate social inequality. If not carefully managed, there can also be signifcant consequences for employment levels and economic growth. Singapore society is no exception. Te Singapore government prides itself on running an open economy that willingly embraces talent from all over the world, and that consistently tries to ensure its own citizens are well positioned to be competitive in a global economy. Which is why the Singapore government on various occasions has emphasised that there should not be any ‘sacred cows’ when it comes to policy-making. In fact, in the last few years, it has been espousing the view that any policy or the assumptions grounding it, however apparently commonsensical, is up for grabs and its relevance and value can always be questioned. In 2012, for example, several government ministers, including the Senior Minister of State for Education, Senior Minister of State for Home Afairs and Foreign Afairs, and the Education Minister, all expressed a willingness to critically examine the foundational assumptions behind various government policies. Lawrence Wong, then Senior Minister of State for Education, has been quoted as saying: Certainly when we look at policies, there should not be OB markers or sacred cows. We are prepared to look at a broad range of policies, depending on what’s important to Singaporeans. (Loh, 2012) Te term ‘OB markers’ (‘out-of-bounds markers’) is commonly used in Singapore’s public political discourse to refer to those topics that are considered

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to be of-limits or taboo, that is, these are topics that are not available for public discussion, much less critical questioning, usually because of their perceived sensitivity, especially in a multiethnic and multireligious society Singapore. Oftentimes, exactly what topics are of-limits is only known implicitly or even retrospectively when citizens who are considered to have transgressed the boundaries of political appropriateness are taken to task by the government, either in a form of a public reprimand or, where the government deems necessary, even a lawsuit. Te use of the ‘sacred cows’ metaphor is relatively more recent. But, together, the references to OB markers and sacred cows in this statement are intended to indicate that the government is keen and prepared to review any or all of its policies and, where needed, discard entrenched viewpoints and principles. Tese sentiments are in fact echoes of those that had already been expressed about a decade earlier by Vivian Balakrishnan, the Minister of State for National Development at that time. Balakrishnan was chairing a committee to review government policies, and he too made use of the sacred cows metaphor, albeit in a somewhat more colourful manner and mixing it with another metaphor of checking underneath stones to emphasise the exhaustive nature of the review (quoted in Abdul Rahim, 2002): I’m not saying that we’re going to slaughter all our livestock – that would be silly. But we need to be prepared to pick up the stones, look underneath them and decide whether to put them back or fip them around. Even more recently, in May 2018, Singapore’s President Halimah Yacob, in her opening address at the Second Session of Parliament, called on the latest crop of government leaders to ‘not be content to “tweak things at the margins”, pointing out that it would be the “wrong approach” not to go for “bold changes” ’ (Chia, 2018). Such a consistently proclaimed willingness by the government to be bold, to examine and, if necessary, to rethink and even reject outmoded policies has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been greeted by some Singaporeans with considerable scepticism (Loh, 2012). Tus, some Singaporeans have instead claimed that the government is being inconsistent since, even as some ministers have suggested everything is up for review, others have cautioned against engaging in ‘a culling session’ (gdy2shoez, 2012). Yet other Singaporeans have reacted more positively to the government’s claim that it is willing to reconsider sacred cows. Indeed, in a 2013 session on rethinking Singapore’s policies, the sacred cow metaphor was employed by members of the public themselves: as they called for a thorough rethink of the ‘sacred cows’ in Singapore’s approach to development. As one participant put it: ‘Behind these sacred cows are many nation-building myths which may need to be relooked. . . . What’s behind the sacred cows and why did they become sacred?’ (Ong & Goy, 2013)

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Tis mix of responses from the general public, ranging from scepticism to positive encouragement is not surprising. But regardless of how sincere the general population believes the government to be, there can be no doubt that government does at least want to be seen as trying to be more consultative and open to change. Tere are at least two reasons for this. One reason is that the issues of governance are getting more complex, as noted at the beginning of this contribution, and the government recognises that it does not have a monopoly on the kinds of expertise needed to grapple with these issues. Two, the government is also facing a populace that is better educated, increasingly articulate, highly vocal and, concomitantly, one that greatly desires to play a more active role in policy formulation (Wee, 2014). Te government realises that the success of any policy, no matter how wellthought out, depends on having the buy-in of the populace. But what are some of the specifcs? Tat is, what are some of the policies that have been put forward as sacred cows that might need to be re-evaluated, as examples of boldness in policy? Te following section describes some examples that have been proposed. Some proposed ‘sacred cows’ Te Primary School Leaving Examination

Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) and Assistant Professor of Law at the Singapore Management University, Mahdev Mohan has suggested that the Primary School Leaving Examination might be one such sacred cow that is suitable for slaughter1 (Chia, 2018): Is the frst sacred cow to be slaughtered the PSLE? And if the PSLE is not going to be slaughtered, then why not, and when will some signifcant changes be made? Te PSLE is often perceived as an unduly stressful exam, both for the 12-yearold students who take the exam and for their parents. Tere have been calls for the government to abolish the PSLE, a move that the government has, however, resisted on the grounds that the exam can still provide a useful ‘gauge of each child’s academic strengths and helps guide the child to a suitable academic programme in secondary school’ (Teng, 2018). Instead, what the government has decided to do is to change the ways in which a student’s PSLE score is calculated. Te current system gives an individual student an adjusted ‘T-score’, which is the sum of scores for four subjects: English, mother tongue, mathematics and science. Tis score refects how well a student has done relative to his/her peers, and it afects the student’s chances of entering a particular secondary school since ‘a pupil with a T-score 231 may qualify for one secondary school but not one who scores 230’ (Teng, 2016). With efect from 2021, however,

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the T-score will be replaced by eight scoring bands known as Achievement Levels (Teng, 2016): Pupils will be placed into eight ALs for each subject. Tose who get 90 marks and above for a subject will earn an AL1; 85 to 89 earns an AL2, a score of 80 to 84 is AL3 and so on. Te bands get wider at the bottom – AL5 is a score of 65 to 74, for instance. Te ALs are then added to form the PSLE score, which will be used for Secondary 1 posting. . . . Te changes also mean that a pupil’s score will also no longer depend on how they do relative to each other, as it is now. According to Teng (2016): MOE said the changes are part of a larger shift to nurture well-rounded individuals and move away from an over-emphasis on academic results. Tey will reduce fne diferentiation of students – a key complaint of the current scoring system; refect a student’s level of achievement regardless of how his peers have done; and encourage families to choose schools based on their suitability for the child’s learning needs, talents and interests. Te government has therefore decided that, despite the problems and stresses created, the PSLE does not deserve to be slaughtered. Its current position is to retain the PSLE, though the change to the scoring system is intended to alleviate the level of stress and competition that parents and students may feel. Whether the new scoring system will successfully address the complaints and concerns about the current system remains to be seen (since the new system will only come into play in 2021. Overhauling the education system

Another proposed sacred cow comes from the Member of Parliament Denise Phua, also chair of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Education. Phua is of the view that the way in which the education system is structured needs to be reconsidered. Its organisation into sharply distinct segments, according to Phua, is at odds with a view of education as a continuous process, as reported by Chia (2018): ‘I think currently, we segment educational institutions into pre-schools, primary schools, secondary schools and so on’, she explained, suggesting that this defnition of education be re-looked. ‘If we could look at education as one long process, from the time you are born to the time you die, what would that mean?’ she asked. ‘What would be the infrastructure and resources that can be brought in to make that happen? We would be many steps ahead of other countries then’.

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Te proposal by Phua is consistent with the government’s recent emphasis on lifelong learning. Te government has of late been concerned that the combination of a longer lifespan and rapid changes to workplace expectations (usually as a result of automation in order to increase productivity) can lead to higher levels of unemployment unless Singaporeans are prepared to regularly re-educate and reskill themselves. Te emphasis on lifelong learning has thus far taken the form of the SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) initiative. SSG is a statutory board under the Ministry of Education, and its role is to provide development programs for all Singaporeans, from students to working adults to senior citizens, as its website points out: SkillsFuture is a national movement to provide Singaporeans with the opportunities to develop their fullest potential throughout life, regardless of their starting points. Trough this movement, the skills, passion and contributions of every individual will drive Singapore’s next phase of development towards an advanced economy and inclusive society. No matter where you are in life – schooling years, early career, midcareer or silver years – you will fnd a variety of resources to help you attain mastery of skills. Skills mastery is more than having the right paper qualifcations and being good at what you do currently; it is a mindset of continually striving towards greater excellence through knowledge, application and experience. With the help of the Future Economy Council, education and training providers, employers, unions – you can own a better future with skills mastery and lifelong learning. (SkillsFuture, 2020) However, the emphasis on lifelong learning currently takes place in the context of a still segmented educational system. Whether lifelong learning will at some point be integrated into an overhauled education system that has less or no segmentation at all remains to be seen. Rethinking meritocracy

Whereas the other sacred cows being suggested are more specifc in nature – concerning how an exam score is calculated, and whether the education system can and should be less segmented – a more conceptual sacred cow that has been proposed is to rethink the very nature of meritocracy itself. Te concept of meritocracy is one of the fundamental ideological underpinnings of Singaporean society (Chua, 1995). It is tied to the idea that there should not be any policy that favours a specifc ethnic group, nor should any individual be accorded special privileges because of his or her family ties. Talent and hard work have to be the basis of any reward or recognition. Te rationale for this emphasis on meritocracy lies in Singapore’s founding narrative that as a small island bereft of natural resources, the country can only succeed if

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its people are sufciently strong and talented. Meritocracy helps to raise the overall quality of human capital. It also serves to ensure that the ‘right’ people are in the ‘right’ places. Tat is, those who are in positions of power or infuence are truly deserving of the roles that they occupy: they have earned these positions by dint of hard work and by virtue of their talents. Tarman Shanmugaratnam, a Deputy Prime Minister, has called for a rethinking of how meritocracy has been conceptualised in Singapore. Rather than seeing meritocracy in terms of passing a specifc exam or doing well in a specifc task, Tarman has suggested a more continuous notion of meritocracy, one that emphasises the ongoing need for assessment: Not a meritocracy that is based on what you have achieved at 18 or 24, but a meritocracy through life, where you are assessed on your performance at every stage of your life, regardless of where you came from or where you started. (Siau, 2014) Tis was recently reiterated and supported by Member of Parliament Murali Pillai, who noted that even though the government is very much focused on dealing with income inequality and social stratifcation, ‘Tis does not mean a shift from meritocracy, but is really about providing meaningful opportunities for people from low-income backgrounds to succeed and climb up the social ladder’ (Chia, 2018). Meritocracy, in this proposed interpretation, stresses that opportunities for advancement must always be available and hence, Singaporeans should never stop striving. Tis notion of continuous meritocracy is seen as one important way for the government to mitigate the possible social fractures that might arise if social divides are entrenched and the concomitant social inequality is not addressed. As a call that comes from a Deputy Prime Minister, this rethinking of meritocracy obviously already has the government’s stamp of approval. But whether this is truly a bold move equivalent to the slaughter of a sacred cow is much more contentious. By way of closing this section, then, I ofer the following comments. One, this is not an exhaustive list of sacred cows or bold policy thinking, of course. But the point here has been to highlight the Singapore government’s desire to present itself as being willing to undertake bold policy moves rather than to provide a complete listing of any such moves. Two, exactly what counts as a bold policy move or ‘sacred cow’ is, unsurprisingly, less than clear. For example, despite the fact that Tarman’s call to rethink meritocracy dates back to 2014 and even earlier (Chan, 2013), Mahdev Mohan describes the ‘slaughtering’ of the PSLE (see earlier) as the ‘frst sacred cow’. Tree, many of the so-called sacred cows that the government seems willing to countenance involve matters pertaining to socio-economic betterment. Te abolishment of the PSLE may have been rejected but the introduction of the new scoring system is an acknowledgement that the status quo is not acceptable. Te desegmentation of the education system may or may not come to pass but the

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introduction of the SkillsFuture Movement and the call for a more continuous interpretation of meritocracy are all very much in line with a neoliberal emphasis on the need for unceasing self-development so as to be always economically competitive. As van Doorn (2014, p. 357; citing Foucault, 2008, p. 224) observes, labour under neoliberalism is no longer seen as something separable from the worker because it now ‘comprises a capital, that is to say, it is an ability, a skill’: As a result, the neoliberal analysis of labor efectively eviscerates the very concept of labor, instead positing a vision of economic conduct in which enterprise units perpetually seek to invest in their human capital in order to retain their competitive edge and thereby secure a future income in an insecure environment, whose variables are always in fux and thus remain opaque to each individual competitor on the market. Tis third point is of especial interest to the argument being developed in the current paper. If boldness in policy-making is motivated by socioeconomic considerations, we might then ask what happens in those cases where the socioeconomic advantages or gains are less than clear, as might be the case when matters of language, culture and identity are concerned. In what follows, I frst describe Singapore’s language policy and the rationale for recognising four ofcial languages, before explaining why this is now a status quo in need of reconsideration. Ethnic identity and ofcial languages Te idea of an ofcial language is based on the assumption that there is a language (or set of languages, if there happens to be more than one ofcial language) that appropriately refects the identity or values of the political unit in question. Tis political unit can be defned in national or ethnic or regional terms. Regardless, the point is that some language is considered to be more appropriate than some other to the role of being an ofcial language vis-àvis the political unit, either because the chosen language happens to have a historical connection with the unit or because of the advantages of prestige and global connectivity that it might confer. Tus, Bourdieu (1991) observes: Tis language is the one which, within the territorial limits of that [political] unit, imposes itself on the whole population as the only legitimate language, especially in situations that are characterized in French as more ofcielle (a very exact translation of the word ‘formal’ used by Englishspeaking linguists). . . . [I]n order for one mode of expression among others (a particular language in the case of bilingualism, a particular use of language in the case of a society divided into classes) to impose itself as the only legitimate one, the linguistic market has to be unifed and the

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diferent dialects (of class, region or ethnic group) have to be measured practically against the legitimate language or usage. (Bourdieu, 1991, p. 45, italics in original) In the case of Singapore, ofcial languages have chosen to refect both ethnic and more pragmatic concerns. Te rationale is that the set of ofcial languages has to be inclusive because it must take into consideration the country’s ethnic diversity and also ensure that all Singaporeans are economically competitive. But as we will see, there are also exclusionary problems that arise. Singapore is an ethnically diverse society with a population of about 3.7 million ofcially classifed as 74.1 per cent Chinese, 13.4 per cent Malay, and 9.2 per cent Indian. Te remaining 3.3 per cent, classifed by the state as ‘Others’, consists mainly of Eurasians, Europeans, Japanese, and Arabs, among others (Department of Statistics, 2010). Singapore’s language policy recognises Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil as the ofcial mother tongues of the major ethnic communities: Mandarin for the Chinese, Malay for the Malays, and Tamil for the Indians. Te various ethnic communities absorbed under ‘Others’ have no ofcially recognised mother tongues. Te government’s recognition of three ofcial mother tongues for the major ethnic communities is intended to signal that it considers all three ethnic groups to be equally important, as parts of the country’s multiethnic identity, and that no single ethnic group should be privileged over any other. Singapore’s language policy is based on a national narrative that includes the following elements (Wee & Bokhorst-Heng, 2005). Singapore has no natural resources, and its continued success and development depends purely on the industry and intelligence of its people. But because the people of Singapore are of diferent ethnic backgrounds, such sensitivities must be respected. As a national narrative, it not only provides an account of Singapore’s origins and the values expected of its citizens (such as hard work and a respect for ethnic diferences), it also helps to rationalise Singapore’s language policy. Te government’s attempts at fostering a sense of nationalism have also relied heavily on distinguishing (Asian) Singapore from ‘the West’ (Vasil, 1995). Tis ‘Asian-ness’ is refected in the fact that while English is recognised as an ofcial language, it is denied mother tongue status. Instead, the status of English as an ofcial language is justifed on the basis of its perceived global economic value. Te recognition of these four ofcial languages – English as ofcial non-mother tongue, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil as ofcial mother tongues – has had some signifcant consequences for the linguistic heterogeneity in Singaporean society. Te emphasis on economic development treats English language profciency as necessary for attracting foreign investment and for providing access to scientifc and technological know-how. But the government is also concerned that exposure to English can lead Singaporeans to become increasingly ‘Westernised’ or ‘decadent’. Tus, it has instituted a mother tongue policy

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where, in addition to English, Singaporeans are also expected to be profcient in their mother tongues, which are expected to provide them with links to their traditional cultures and values so as to counter the efects of ‘Western decadence’. And given the economic value placed on English, anything that might jeopardise competence in this variety must not be tolerated. Tis is how the government sees Singlish (see later). It is viewed as a form of ‘broken’ English that will make it harder for Singaporeans to learn the standard variety. Given Singapore’s ethnic diversity, the three ofcially recognised major ethnic groups are each ascribed a mother tongue. As we will see, this top-down defnition of what should be the ofcial mother tongue of an ethnic group disregards the issue of whether or not a person actually speaks that language at all, which is a feature that one would minimally associate with a more widely understood notion of mother tongue (Beardsmore, 1986). Consider the case of the Eurasians. Te Eurasians are a group that historically came about as a result of ethnic mixing. In fact, the category ‘Eurasian’ was originally created by the colonial bureaucracy to ‘signify colonial subjects who were ofspring of European fathers and Asian mothers’ (Rappa, 2000, pp. 157, 162). Citing Braga-Blake (1992), Gupta (1994) states that: Families with Portuguese, British, and Dutch surnames, and Indian, Macao, Malacca, Bencoolen, Burmese, Siamese and Ceylon origins intermarried . . . so that from disparate origins a unifed, Christian, English-speaking community had emerged before the end of the nineteenth century. (Gupta, 1994, p. 37) But although the Eurasians, along with the Chinese, Malays, and Indians are considered among the ‘founding races’ in Singapore’s history (Hill & Lian, 1995), they are categorised along with other minority groups under ‘Others’ because of their small number. Tis has caused the Eurasian community to occasionally feel marginalised (Rappa, 2000), particularly because unlike the Chinese, Malays and Indians, they have no ofcial ethnic mother tongue. But the absence of an ofcial mother tongue for one of the ‘founding races’ has created some anxiety within the community. As Benjamin (1976) points out: [T]he more that Singapore’s national culture demands that each ‘race’ should have a respectably ancient and distinctive exogenous culture as well as a ‘mother tongue’ to serve as the second element of a bilingual education, the more will the Eurasians come to feel that there is no proper place for them. (Benjamin, 1976, p. 127) For the Eurasian community, English represents their most plausible candidate for an ethnic mother tongue (Wee, 2002, 2009). Tis is in no small part due to the fact that, since the time of British colonial rule, many Eurasians

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have grown up with English as the home language (Gupta, 1994, p. 19; Rappa, 2000, p. 168). However, as we already noted, English is not ofcially an ethnic mother tongue even though it is an ofcial language. Tis leaves the Eurasian community in an odd position. Singapore’s bilingual education policy requires students to be competent in English and their mother tongue. Eurasian students have to choose a non-English language (for example, one of the other ofcial mother tongues) as their second language in order to fulfl the requirement of school bilingualism. Te recognition of English as an ofcial language but not a mother tongue has meant a highly aggressive stance against the colloquial variety known as Singlish, a variety that even been touted by some as a possible national language (Wee, 2018). As has been well documented, the government has for some time been concerned that Singaporeans’ ability to speak English might be afected by the popularity of Singlish (Bokhorst-Heng, 2005). Te government fnds Singlish objectionable because it is, in the words of Singapore’s Second Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong, ‘broken, ungrammatical English sprinkled with words and phrases from local dialects and Malay which English speakers outside Singapore have difculties in understanding’ (Te Straits Times, 29 August 1999). Since a ‘proper’ language like English is already not considered an acceptable mother tongue, it is absolutely unacceptable that a ‘broken’ variety like Singlish should be embraced as a mother tongue. In this way, the way that English has been ofcially constructed in Singapore’s language policy not only problematises the Eurasian community’s claim to English, it also locks out Singlish as a possible mother tongue for all Singaporeans. In the case of Mandarin, its status as the ofcial mother tongue of Chinese Singaporeans led to the initiation of the Speak Mandarin Campaign in 1979. Relaunched annually since, the Campaign in its early years denigrated the other Chinese languages as mere ‘dialects’ and ‘burdens’ that Chinese Singaporeans would be better of without (Wee, 2003, 2010). In recent years, however, the government has become more tolerant of dialects though these are still considered less valuable or important than Mandarin (see later). To garner parental support for bilingualism in English and Mandarin, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s First Prime Minister, even argued that children would be unduly burdened if asked to learn more than two languages. Rather, Lee suggested that the human brain was specifcally tailored to accommodate exactly two languages, and parents needed to rationally decide which one of the three languages (English, Mandarin and some other Chinese dialect), ought to be jettisoned. It was therefore clear to parents that it was the non-Mandarin dialect that had to be eliminated from their children’s linguistic repertoire. In making this argument, Lee presented the government’s demand of bilingualism as not only reasonable, but also natural because it conforms to the capacities of the human brain (speech given at the Tanjong Pagar Community Centre Scholarships Presentation, 4 March 1978). Te following example indicates that the government is still quite conservative when it comes to allowing or encouraging the use of dialects. Ong and

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Goy (2013) describe how several Singaporeans had asked that rules prohibiting the use of Chinese dialects in the media be relaxed: Several participants, who were Zaobao [a Chinese newspaper] readers ranging in age from 20 to 47, also asked for a relaxation of the rules on the use of Chinese dialects in media. Tey also said the utilitarian approach to teaching Chinese would strip away the beauty of the language. Mr Heng noted that the gradual decrease in dialect speakers can be seen even in Chinese cities like Shanghai. Singapore already has a ‘complicated language environment’ with its current focus on English and the mother tongue ‘frst and foremost’, he said. Tose keen to learn dialects can do so at a later age, he added. Heng Swee Keat, Education Minister at the time (and now Finance Minister but also touted as a strong candidate to be the next Prime Minister), responded by reiterating Singapore’s language policy, specifcally, its view concerning the Chinese dialects vis-à-vis Mandarin. Heng’s reference to Shanghai is obviously intended to suggest that if the appeal of the dialects is already waning even in China, then it is not clear why Singaporeans should wish to learn them. Singaporeans wishing to learn the dialects therefore have to do so on their own accord. Te case of Tamil is particularly interesting. As noted by Jain and Wee (2017), the non-Tamil Indians identify with various languages such as Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, and so on. Consequently, even though Tamil continues to be the ofcial language, it is far from being a shared language. Te census of 2010 actually highlights that English was the most commonly spoken language in 42 per cent of the Indian homes followed by Tamil at 37 per cent. An awareness of the education challenges faced by these students as well as sustained lobbying from community groups has resulted in a relaxation of the policy. Since the early 1990s, fve additional languages – Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu – have been accepted as ‘mother tongues’ for Indian students. Tese additional Indian languages are broadly on par with the ofcial ethnic languages (Mandarin, Malay, Tamil) and weighted as any other school subject in the school curriculum. But as non-ofcial languages, government support is more limited than for Tamil. For example, language instruction and assessment, teacher training, and fnancing for the fve nonTamil Indian languages (NTILs) remain the responsibility of the Board for the Teaching and Testing of South Asian Languages, which is constituted of the various community groups. Te use of government resources is limited to the conduct of national school leaving examinations while all other aspects of maintaining or promoting the NTILs remain with the community groups. In the case of Malay, there is generally less dispute that this is indeed the appropriate mother tongue for Malay Singaporeans. Tere are however contestations as to the pronunciation system (see Abu Bakar and Wee, this volume). For many Malay Singaporeans, the Johor-Riau dialect constitutes the basis for naturalistic Malay speech. In contrast, Sebutan Baku (SB) or

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Standard Pronunciation is ofcially prescribed as the preferred or more appropriate way of speaking ‘proper’ Malay. SB is a system of pronunciation that was introduced by the Singapore government in 1993 as part of her support for her Malay-speaking neighbours’ (Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei) eforts to standardise the Malay language regionally. Tere are concerns that it is not appropriate as a model for everyday actual speaking. Aside from the issue of pronunciation, the emphasis on Malay as the ofcial mother tongue has also led to the marginalisation of other Malay varieties such as that spoken by the Peranakans. Te Peranakans are descendants of Chinese immigrants who adopted cultural practices associated with the Malay community. Under British colonial rule, many Peranakans occupied privileged positions in administration and were relatively fuent in English (Lim, 2010; see also Pakir, this volume). While some Peranakan families are ethnically mixed (part Chinese, part Malay), largely because of Chinese traders marrying Malay women, others are ethnically Chinese. Be that as it may, the Peranakans demonstrate an interesting mix of cultural practices, with many continuing to practice the Chinese tradition of ancestral worship while speaking a variety of Malay, known as Baba Malay. Consequently, for the Peranakans, it is Malay or English rather than Mandarin that better refects their ethnic heritage. However, the state’s policy of assigning mother tongues along ethnic lines and deciding ethnic classifcation on the basis of the father’s ethnicity means that Peranakans are classifed as simply Chinese, and Mandarin is designated their ofcial mother tongue. Tis is because mixed Peranakan marriages tend to involve Chinese men marrying Malay women rather than the other way around. Te fact that Peranakans represent an interesting hybrid of Chinese and Malay cultures is largely ignored. What the foregoing demonstrates is that Singapore’s recognition of the four ofcial languages and the bases for this recognition create specifc issues for the government. It locks the government into a commitment to these languages but in ways that also need to be aligned with the distinction between an ofcial mother tongue of a recognised ethnic community and an ofcial language that is not a mother tongue. And because of this locking in, nonofcial languages are either viewed with hostility (Singlish, for instance) or tolerated as nuisances (such as the dialects) or inconveniences that have to be given some kind of accommodation (the NTILs). I am not suggesting that the Singapore government is completely infexible in their language policy. As I have noted elsewhere (Wee, 2021), the government has taken steps to address the increasing number of Singaporeans with mixed identities, mainly resulting from Singaporeans marrying foreigners. Under Singapore’s language policy, the ofcial mother tongue is usually assigned to a child on the basis of his or her father’s ethnic identity. Even Singaporeans of mixed parentage are usually assigned their fathers’ ethnic identity. In this way, their hybrid identity is re-interpreted as a single ethnicity, that of the father’s. Tis, in turn, allows the government to assign them a concomitant ofcial mother tongue based on the father’s ethnic classifcation. Hybrid identities and the mixing of

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languages are thus treated as exceptions that should be re-organised so as to be in line with the language policy. Te number of Singaporeans with foreign spouses rose from 4445 in 1996 to 6359 in 2006, and from 2004 to 2006, the most common male foreign spouses were from Australia, Bangladesh, and Canada while the most common female foreign spouses were from Australia, Brunei, and Cambodia (flmo.com, 2011). Tis trend looks set to rise since the number of Singaporeans marrying foreigners has increased over a period of 10 years from 30 per cent to 40 per cent in 2009 (Seah, 2010). Te cumulative efect of these developments is that it is increasingly harder to organise language, community, and identity in Singaporean society along the lines of ofcially demarcated ethnically recognised identities. In light of this, the government has recently decided to ofcially recognise that there are Singaporeans who, as a result of having mixed parentage, might wish to claim double-barreled or hyphenated ethnic identities. Tat is, while many Singaporeans are still expected to be classifed (or classifable) as ‘Chinese’, ‘Malay’, or ‘Indian’, the government also realises that there some Singaporeans who wish to be classifed as, say, ‘Chinese–Malay’, ‘Malay–Chinese’, ‘Indian–Chinese’, or ‘Indian– Malay’. Consequently, with efect from 1 January 2011, the possibility for Singaporeans to opt for hyphenated ethnic identities was introduced. But while this initiative represents an acknowledgement of the increasingly hybrid nature of Singaporean identities, it is not quite as radical as it appears, for two reasons. One, the government is willing to contemplate hybrid identities because it believes that the number of actual individuals who would qualify for hybrid identities is numerically small and therefore administratively manageable and two, the implementation of hyphenated ethnic identities still allows the government to maintain its current policy of assigning ethnic mother tongues, since even hybrid Singaporeans are presumed to have a dominant ethnic identity. Tis dominant identity is to be refected as the frst member of the hyphenated label. Tus, an individual who opts for ‘Chinese– Malay’ is someone who presumably feels mainly or primarily Chinese and to a lesser extent Malay. Tis new initiative simply grafts a weak understanding of hybrid ethnic identity onto the existing system that assigns a single ofcial mother tongue to an individual on the basis of a single/dominant ethnic identity. Hybridity is efectively reduced to a version of monoculturalism. Conclusion Singapore’s language policy with its four ofcial languages rests on what I have called (Wee, under preparation) ‘the myth of orderly multilingualism’, where there are attempts to control the specifc languages that can or should co-exist as part of a speaker’s repertoire, and where there is also a desire to manage just how much of any specifc language speakers ought to be exposed to and under what circumstances. Te notion of orderly multilingualism encapsulates the belief that multilingualism can and should be neatly planned and,

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moreover, if the planning is done properly and the targets of the planning are being rational and cooperative, then the result will be a multilingualism that is both methodical and disciplined. From such a perspective, there can be no place for any sense of disorder or ambiguity. Tere is clearly in Singapore’s language policy a strong commitment to the myth of orderly multilingualism. Language is treated as a stable entity with clear boundaries, one that bears a historically continuous relationship to its speakers (Gal, 1989). Te language is consequently also viewed as an inalienable aspect of their shared cultural (in this case, ethnic) identity, serving in the transmission of traditional knowledge and values. Te emphasis, then, is on language as a homogeneous entity that bears a stable relationship to a well-defned community of speakers. And the policy is grounded in attempts to regulate language and identity by assigning diferent functions to diferent languages. As a consequence of this myth of orderly multilingualism, the mixing language resources (as in the case of Singlish) across the boundaries that language names are supposed to represent is seen as upsetting the social order, as is the claim of other languages to ofcial status than those already ratifed (for example, non-Tamil Indian languages), or even the positioning of an ofcial language for an unacceptable purpose (such as the suggestion that English can or should be an ofcial mother tongue). It is undoubtedly difcult for the government to move away from the current language policy, given how it is grounded in a national narrative. Revising the language policy means making changes to the narrative. However, the problems with the language policy that were discussed earlier are only going to be exacerbated as Singapore society becomes more diverse and complex, and its population becomes increasingly articulate about and concerned with matters involving language and identity. But precisely because of the difculties involved, if there is to be anything like a sacred cow that is in need of a courageous act of slaughtering, Singapore’s language policy and its concern with the four ofcial languages is a more than plausible candidate. Note 1 A Nominated Member of Parliament is a Member of Parliament who is appointed by the President. Te NMP is not afliated with any political party and does not enter Parliament through winning an election. Te NMP system was introduced in 1990 by the Singapore government as a means of introducing greater diversity into Parliamentary debates. Each NMP is appointed for two and a half years. Te individual is recommended to the President by a Special Select Committee. Individuals may be selected by the Committee directly, but the Committee also invites recommendations from community groups with interests in the arts, specifc professions or the environmental.

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Beardsmore, H. B. (1986). Bilingualism: Basic principles. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Benjamin, G. (1976). Te cultural logic of Singapore’s multiracialism. In R. Hassan (Ed.), Singapore: Society in transition (pp. 115–133). Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. Bokhorst-Heng, W. (2005). Debating Singlish. Multilingua, 24, 185–209. Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Braga-Blake, M. (1992). Eurasians in Singapore: An overview. In M. Braga-Blake (Ed.), Singapore Eurasians (pp. 11–23). Singapore: Eurasian Association and Times Editions. Chan, R. (2013, April 19). Meritocracy: Vision of Singapore as society of equals. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/singapore/meritocracy-vision-ofspore-as-society-of-equals Chia, L. N. (2018, May 8). ‘No sacred cows’: Signal that 4G leaders are ready to make bold changes is important, say MPs. Channel News Asia. Retrieved from www.channelnewsasia.com/news/ singapore/presidents-address-parliament-no-sacred-cows-signal-4g-leaders-10211734 Chua, B.-H. (1995). Communitarian ideology and democracy in Singapore. London: Routledge. Department of Statistics. (2010). Census of population 2010. Retrieved from www.singstat.gov. sg/-/media/fles/publications/cop2010/census_2010_release1/cop2010sr1.pdf flmo.com. (2011). Singaporeans with foreign spouses. Retrieved from www.flmo.com/ sgspouse. htm Foucault, M. (2008). Te birth of biopolitics (G. Burchell, Trans.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Gal, S. (1989). Lexical innovation and loss: Te use and value of restricted Hungarian. In N. Dorian (Ed.), Investigating obsolescence: Studies in language contraction and death (pp. 313–331). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. gdy2shoez. (2012, September 9). Our Singapore Conversation not about slaying sacred cows. Retrieved from https://everythingalsocomplain.com/2012/09/09/our-singaporeconversation-not-about-slaying-cows/ Gupta, A. F. (1994). Te step-tongue: Children’s English in Singapore. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Hill, M., & Lian, K. F. (1995). Te politics of nation building and citizenship in Singapore. London: Routledge. Jain, R., & Wee, L. (2017). Cartographic mismatches and language policy: Te case of Hindi in Singapore. Language Policy, 17, 99–118. Lim, L. (2010). Peranakan English. In D. Schreier, P. Trudgill, E. Schneider, & J. Williams (Eds.), Te lesser-known varieties of English (pp. 327–347). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Loh, A. (2012, August 10). Damn those sacred cows. Retrieved from https://andrewlohhp. wordpress.com/2012/08/20/damn-those-sacred-cows/ Ong, A., & Goy, P. (2013, April 22). Calls to rethink ‘sacred cows’ in nation-building. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/singapore/calls-to-rethink-sacred-cowsin-nation-building Rappa, A. L. (2000). Surviving the politics of late modernity: Te Eurasian fringe community in Singapore. Southeast Asian Journal of Social Science, 28, 153–180. Seah, C. N. (2010, August 14). Go on a date and get RM1. Te Star Online. Retrieved from http://thestar.com.my/columnists/story Siau, M. E. (2014, September 18). Adopt ‘meritocracy through life’, Tarman urges Singapore. Today. Retrieved from www.todayonline.com/singapore/adopt-meritocracy-throughlife-tharman-urges-spore SkillsFuture. (2020). About skillsfuture. Retrieved from www.skillsfuture.sg/AboutSkillsFuture

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Teng, A. (2016, June 13). PSLE scoring revamp: T-score replaced by eight wider grade bands in 2021. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/singapore/education/ psle-scoring-revamp-t-score-replaced-by-eight-wider-grade-bands-in-2021 Teng, A. (2018, March 6). Parliament: Call for MOE to remove ‘sacred cow’ of PSLE. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/politics/call-for-moe-to-remove-sacredcow-of-psle. Van Doorn, N. (2014). Te neoliberal subject of value: Measuring human capital in information economies. Cultural Politics, 10, 354–375. Vasil, R. (1995). Asianising Singapore. Singapore: Heinemann Asia. Wee, L. (2002). When English is not a mother tongue: Linguistic ownership and the Eurasian community in Singapore. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 23, 282–295. Wee, L. (2003). Linguistic instrumentalism in Singapore. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 24, 211–224. Wee, L. (2009). English in the Eurasian community. In D. Schreier, P. Trudgill, E. Schneider, & J. Williams (Eds.), Lesser known varieties of English (pp. 313–326). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wee, L. (2010). ‘Burdens’ and ‘handicaps’ in Singapore’s language policy: On the limits of language management. Language Policy, 9, 97–114. Wee, L. (2014). Language politics and global city. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 35, 649–660. Wee, L. (2018). Te Singlish controversy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wee, L. (2021). Te state of/and language planning in Singapore. In P. Siemund & J. Leimgruber (Eds.), Multilingual global cities: Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai (pp. 83–98). London: Routledge. Wee, L., & Bokhorst-Heng, W. (2005). Language policy and nationalist ideology: Statal narratives in Singapore. Multilingua, 24, 159–183.

3

Singapore English, language mixing, and vernacular speech Kingsley Bolton and Werner Botha

Introduction In this chapter, we present an overview of research on Singapore English, a feld of academic inquiry which began in the mid-nineteen seventies, and which has expanded greatly throughout the following decades. Today, there is a small library of research on Singapore English, viewed from multiple perspectives, not least with reference to the spread and features of the colloquial variety of the language known as ‘Singlish’. In our discussion of this topic, we have three broad aims: frst, to describe the main tenets of the existing research tradition of Singapore English; second, to present the results of our own empirical research on the use of English by young people in Singapore; and, fnally, to consider a number of key questions related to the notions of ‘Singapore English’ and ‘Singlish’. Such questions are interesting for various reasons, not least because the study of Singlish remains a somewhat slippery business, given multiple problems of defnition and delimitation. Tese include the following: What exactly constitutes Singlish as a linguistic system, whether this is a whole system, or partial system? Is it the form of colloquial expression used by educated speakers able to style-switch into a more formal style, or is it the language of the less educated, unable to master a more standardised variety? Is it primarily spoken in the majority Chinese Singaporean community, in the Malay community, or in the Indian community? Do the three major ethnic groups have their own distinct varieties, or is Singlish an inter-ethnic link language? While our own research on English in the Singapore community may not be able to answer all these questions, we would at least hope that our fndings might signpost useful opportunities for further research on such matters. Research on Singapore English and ‘Singlish’ Te origins of the research tradition on the English language in Singapore, and to the contemporary notion of ‘Singapore English’ can be traced back to the mid-1970s, and to early publications by Ray Tongue and John T. Platt. Ray Tongue’s short book on Te English of Singapore and Malaysia (1974),

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though ground-breaking at the time, was pedagogical and partly prescriptive in orientation, and included a section on ‘sub-standard’ forms of English in Singapore and Malaysia (ESM). John T. Platt’s perspective was explicitly linguistic, and one of his frst publications on the topic was an article entitled ‘Te Singapore English speech continuum and its basilect ‘Singlish’ as a creoloid’ (1975).1 Tis article sketched out the analytical framework of an approach that would yield a body of related studies over the next decade or so for Platt and a small group of related researchers. For Platt, Singapore English (SE) was seen as ‘a continuum ranging from a basilect, which is barely comprehensible to speakers of British, American and Australian English, to an acrolect which difers from the higher sociolects of the earlier-mentioned varieties mainly by its distinctive pronunciation, particularly its patterns of intonation’, adding that ‘perhaps the most interesting sub-variety of it, the “basilect” is known as “Singlish” ’, which Platt also refers to as Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) (Platt, 1975, p. 363). Since these early beginnings, a sizable research tradition on Singapore English, in all its forms, has grown remarkably, yielding a large body of work on the topic. Since the late 1970s, there have been around least ffty book-length studies of Singapore English from various perspectives, including those of applied linguistics, discourse studies, cultural linguistics, descriptive linguistics, education, and sociolinguistics. In the last ten years alone, these have included such works as Lim, Pakir, and Wee (2010), Stroud and Wee (2012), Chew (2013), Leimgruber (2013), Wong (2014), Bao (2015), Ziegeler (2015), Ziegeler and Bao (2017), and Wee (2018). Book publications are only a small part of the research literature on this topic, however, given that there are now at least a few hundred research articles published in the form of journal articles and book chapters dealing with aspects of Singapore English as a feld of academic inquiry. Low’s (2014) detailed survey of the research literature identifed a total of 348 documents relevant to the topic, with these further categorised as focused on (i) language in use (96 references), (ii) language education (73), (iii) linguistic features (73), (iv) language planning and policy (58), (v) general studies (25), (vi) language acquisition (18), and (vii) language pathology (5) (Low, 2014, p. 451). Low then goes on to note that there has been a good deal of research on language in use, linguistic features and language education, and language planning and policy, but far less on language acquisition and language pathology. She then moves on to a discussion of the relevance of research on Singapore English to existing models of world Englishes (WE), with particular reference to the Kachru (1982) Tree Circles model and Schneider’s dynamic model of postcolonial Englishes, ultimately identifying the need ‘for empirical validation in terms of where Singapore English is in terms of its developmental evolution’ and asking whether it is ‘an Outer Circle variety in Kachruvian terms or is it [following Schneider] in the endonormative stabilization phase?’ (pp. 454–455). While these may be interesting questions to ask from a WE perspective, in this current study we prefer instead to review what we would regard as the

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Singapore research tradition sui generis, and to provide another route through what might otherwise be a tangled web of academic approaches in this feld. At the risk of being all too reductive, therefore, we would suggest that there is already a well-recognised research tradition that has developed since the late 1970s, based on fve models of Singapore English that have consciously (in the minds of their authors not least) succeeded one another and have contributed to an explicitly shared and self-referential tradition of scholarship. In the following sections, we discuss a range of work that illustrates the trajectory of this research tradition, including Platt (1977) and Platt and Weber (1980) on the ‘lectal model’, Gupta (1989, 1994) on the ‘diglossic model’, Pakir (1991) on the ‘expanding triangles model’, Alsagof (2007, 2010) on the ‘cultural orientation model’, and Leimgruber (2012, 2013) on the ‘indexical model’. Tese fve models share an orientation towards empirical linguistic description and analysis (particularly sociolinguistic), but this is not the only approach to this issue, as the latest contribution to the research tradition from Wee’s (2018) discussion of ideology clearly shows; and which in its turn presents an ‘assemblage’ model of Singlish. Finally, and rather remarkably, Low’s (2014) survey also revealed an almost lack of research on language mixing in Singapore, as, of the 96 articles dealing with language in use, only 3 are categorised as concerned with ‘Bi- and multilingualism and codeselection/switching’. Such a fnding is remarkable for a number of reasons, not least because the occurrence and use of language switching is mundane and widespread throughout many sectors of Singapore society, including schools and universities. In other words, in very simple terms, language switching is heard almost everywhere in Singapore. Why then, one wonders, has so little research on this topic been previously carried out? Te lectal model

Following Platt’s (1975) article on the Singapore English speech continuum, Platt expanded his discussion of this issue in a 1977 book chapter on ‘the sub varieties of Singapore English’, where he also segments the speech continuum into three levels, employing the terminology of creole studies to identify (i) an acrolect, (ii) a mesolect, and (iii) a basilect. Here, he explains that the acrolect difers from other varieties of English mainly in terms of accent, for example, through vowel quality, consonant cluster simplifcation and stress patterning, while the mesolect, in addition to such phonological features, also displays variation at the level of grammar, for instance, with reference to third person singular present tense marking, and variable realisation of the copula, indefnite and defnite articles. Platt then suggests that the distinctive features of the basilect include a higher percentage of non-realisation of grammatical features, the replacement of the standard English tense system by an aspectual system, pronominal deletion, object preposing, pronoun copying, the use of got as a locative verb. Each of these lects, it is suggested, were associated with particular levels of education. Tus acrolect speakers were

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typically ‘A’ level graduates and possibly university-educated; mesolect speakers were often ‘O’ level graduates employed as bank tellers, ofce workers, sales representatives; and basilect speakers graduates from junior secondary school working in lower-status occupations as sales, or waiting in restaurants. Platt also notes that acrolectal and mesolectal speakers are able to style shift through ‘sociolectal shifting’ according to various social contexts (Platt, 1977, p. 80). Platt later went on to complete three book-length studies on this topic (Platt & Weber, 1980; Platt, Weber, & Ho, 1983; Platt & Ho, 1993) as well as several journal articles and book chapters. In recent years, Platt’s work later received a good deal of criticism from various scholars, but despite this there is no doubt that Platt was a pioneer researcher in this feld, and much of the terminology he used continues in use to the present, with reference to such varieties as Singapore Colloquial English (SCE), as well as the lectal labels that characterised his model of Singapore English. Te diglossic model

Te second approach that succeeded Platt’s early work, was that of Anthea Fraser Gupta, who set out to explain variation in Singapore English with reference to sociolinguistic models of diglossia (Ferguson, 1959; Fishman, 1967). In her 1989 article on ‘Singapore Colloquial English and Standard English’, Gupta argued that ‘Singapore English can be described as diglossic’ and that there as essentially two distinct varieties of English in Singapore: ‘Singapore Colloquial English’ (informal, used among close friends), and ‘Standard English’ (formal, and used in education) (Gupta, 1989, p. 33). In the same article, Singapore Colloquial English is then exemplifed with reference to a cluster of distinctive features, including (i) the use of pragmatic particles, such as a, ha, ho, la, ma, and what; (ii) verb groups without subjects; (iii) conditional clauses without subordinating conjunction; and (iv) omission of copula. Gupta’s research on Singapore English (Gupta, 1992, 1994; Gupta & Yeok, 1995) also resulted in a monograph entitled Te step-tongue: Children’s English in Singapore (1994). In this volume, Gupta expanded the description of Singapore Colloquial English, and presented the results of her research on child language acquisition. Interesting Gupta also reported that, by the early 1990s, a knowledge of English (particularly colloquial English) was spreading widely in the community, explaining that previously English speakers were mainly drawn from ‘the upper class population’, and suggesting that ‘in the future there will be substantial groups who are profcient in SCE but not in StdE’ (Gupta, 1994, p. 51). Gupta’s ‘diglossic’ model has received some criticism from later scholars, but nevertheless has some merits, given that the dichotomy between Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) and Standard Singapore English (SSE), is now frmly embedded in Singaporean sociolinguistic discourse (for example, Ziegeler, 2015; McKay, 2016; Chong & German, 2019; Low & Pakir, 2018; Buschfeld, 2019).

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Te expanding triangles model

While acknowledging the earlier models of Platt and Gupta, Pakir (1991) proposed a somewhat diferent model of SE, where she claims that ‘the Singapore English speech continua are formed minimally along two dimensions’, that is (i) a cline of formality from Singapore Standard English on the higher end to Singapore Colloquial English on the lower end (which might gradated according to Joos’ ‘fve clocks’); (ii) a cline of profciency in English (ranging from ‘advanced’ at the higher end to ‘adept’ to ‘intermediate’ to ‘basic’ to ‘rudimentary’). Pakir’s analysis highlighted the fact that, by the 1990s, the use of ‘a range of varieties of English’ was apparent in the community, given the often fexible repertoires of ‘English-knowing bilinguals’ (Pakir, 1991, p. 175). Ultimately, Pakir suggests, it is important to recognise the verbal abilities of many university students as ‘English-knowing bilinguals . . . confdent in the knowledge that they can hold their own in standard English and yet use Singapore Colloquial English, which is non-standard, rather than substandard, for their own purposes and communication’ (Pakir, 1991, p. 176). Te cultural orientation model

Alsagof’s (2007) chapter on ‘Singlish: Negotiating culture, capital and identity’ made a fourth contribution to the Singapore research tradition in development. In this paper, Alsagof proposed an analytical framework which focuses on ‘cultural orientations’, largely at a macro-level of analysis, with the author asserting that, in Singapore, English may be seen ‘as having two distinct roles’: as a global language, and as an inter-ethnic lingua franca among speakers in the city (Alsagof, 2007, p. 37). For Alsagof, the global variety is ‘exonormatively defned’, and synonymous with such varieties as ‘Anglo English’ and ‘Standard Singapore English’, a variety that she chooses to label as ‘International Singapore English’, the use of which instantiates the desire of the Singapore government to promote global citizens who are competitive on the world stage. At the local level, by contrast, ‘Singlish’ performs important functions as an agent of localisation that, to some extent, represents the identity of Singapore, a variety that Alsagof re-labels as ‘Local Singapore English’, thus leading to a dichotomy between ISE (Standard English) and LSE (Singlish), with each ‘associated with and motivated by two contrasting macrocultural orientations – one globalist, the other localist’ (p. 37). Alsagof then go on to argue that her model of English in the community may be referred to as the ‘cultural orientation model (COM)’, where, simply, the use of a variety of Singapore English indicates a degree of local(ist) or global(ist) orientation. In a later discussion of the same model, Alsagof (2010) suggests that the global-local variational continuum is also associated with particular features of language. Tus, at the lexico-grammatical level, localist features include the use of declarative mood for expressing questions; in-situ wh-questions in interrogative clauses; over-reliance on adverbs and context to indicate time of

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event; use of conditional clauses without conjunctions; use of pragmatic particles; and the use of localised vocabulary (in contrast to the standardised forms of global English). Further, at the phonological level, localist forms include the absence of interdental fricatives in the phonemic inventory; reduced fnal consonant clusters; and syllable-timed rhythm; while, at the level of pragmatics, one fnds the frequent use of Asian forms of address. Leaving aside the somewhat ideologically loaded distinction between global versus local, one important contribution of Alsagof’s work has been its emphasis on the fuid nature of spoken Singapore English and ‘Singlish’, where she emphasises that: [t]he idea that variation of English in Singapore is dynamic and fuid . . . we should acknowledge it for what it actually is – hybridized, creative ways of speaking that embody the local by tapping into an expansive set of linguistic resources for the expression of sociocultural meanings, identities and practices. (Alsagof, 2010, p. 120) Te indexical model

Leimgruber’s approach acknowledges the strengths of Alsagof’s approach in highlighting the dynamic and hybrid nature of spoken Singapore English, not least in its ‘ability to satisfactorily explain the presence of L features in otherwise H speech, which can be reanalysed as the insertion of “local” features into a “global” utterance’, and for Leimgruber, the COM model works well in describing ‘how Singlish and English interact in their daily use’ (Leimgruber, 2012, p. 8). While also acknowledging various aspects of the previous research tradition, Leimgruber then suggests an alternative approach, drawing on approaches to indexicality and the work of linguists such as Silverstein (2003) and Eckert (2008). Leimgruber’s analysis of transcribed spoken Singapore English illustrates that there is no break between sections of ‘Singlish’ versus sections of ‘Standard English’ in the text, nor is there a clearly defned ‘matrix’ language (in the Myers-Scotton, 1993, sense). Instead, features of colloquial English are juxtaposed and combined with more standardised features of English to compose complex mosaics of spoken communication with both types of features existing and combining in spoken texts of various forms. Leimgruber argues that ‘the variation between features of Singlish and of Standard English can be taken beyond a mere local–global dimension’, and the interplay of language forms are ‘belonging not only to Singlish and to Standard English, but also to the realm of the mother tongues (Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil) and to non-ofcial “dialects” ’. Singlish, he argues, may also involve complex patterns of language alternation, where patterns of codeswitching with ‘strings of several words from diferent languages combine’ in complex fashion, both in terms of linguistic features and in the indexical meanings they communicate’. Finally, Leimgruber concludes that models of Singapore English based on either a ‘unidimensional Singlish–Standard

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continuum’ or a ‘bipolar diglossic situation’ are of limited utility, while the indexical model has ‘the potential to take into account the vastly diferent origins of the variables used in everyday discourse, as well as to adequately explain the social meanings and uses indexed by these variables’ (Leimgruber, 2012, pp. 11–12). Leimgruber’s (2012) article on the indexical model is also presented, in greatly expanded form, in his (2013) monograph on this topic. Te ‘assemblage’ model

In his monograph on Te Singlish controversy: Language, culture and identity in a globalizing world, Wee (2018) unpacks multiple layers of ideology related to government policies, as well as the commentaries of local educators, linguists, and the general public on the specifc issue of Singlish (as well as the wider issue of Singapore English) over the past few decades. In the fnal chapter of his book (Chapter 7), Wee discusses various defnitions of Singlish including those of Platt, Alsagof, and Leimgruber, linguists, as noted earlier, who have approached this topic largely from the perspective of empirical linguistic investigation. Wee’s approach in this study, however, is less concerned with empirical analysis, and more with ideological deconstruction, and, following the work of Deleuze and Parnet (2002) among others, suggests that Singlish is best understood as a cultural and ideological ‘assemblage’, and ‘a multiplicity made up of many heterogeneous terms and which establishes liaisons, relations between them, across ages, sexes, and reigns . . . a symbiosis, a “sympathy” ’ (p. 182).2 Wee later goes on to suggest that Singlish needs to be understood as a ‘multiple object enacted at diferent moments and sites’ (citing Farias, 2010, p. 13). Wee succeeds in unpacking various clusters of related ideologies, and appears to commit himself almost totally to a deconstructionist perspective. In its own terms, at least for this study, this approach may be justifable, but in wider perspective, the discursive deconstruction of Singlish still leaves a range of empirical questions unanswered, not least from an empirical sociolinguistic perspective. Indeed, these questions include the very same issues highlighted in the opening section of this chapter in relation to Singapore English and Singlish as ‘varieties’, as well as the use of English by particular ethnic/racial groups in Singapore society. In the following sections of this chapter, we shall attempt to deal with at least a number of these questions. Te use of languages by Singapore university students In this section of the chapter, we report on our own recent research on university students in Singapore, with both macro- and micro-level investigations of language choice and language use by students from the community’s tertiary institutions. Te data collection involved both quantitative (language survey) and qualitative (recorded and transcribed naturalistic) data, which were collected from 2016 until 2019. It is worth noting that around 40 per

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cent of young people currently attend universities. Leimgruber, Siemund, and Terassa (2018) quotes from Wong (2010) indicating that 43 per cent of post-secondary students attended university at that time, compared with 48 per cent attending polytechnics and 9 per cent attending the vocationallyorientated Institute of Technical Education. While university students may not represent the whole population of young people, they clearly represent a sizeable proportion of the cohort, although arguably the better-educated segment of young people (Leimgruber et al., 2018). Over the last fve years, the authors of this chapter have been engaged in studying the multilingual practices of Singapore university students, and the research reported on in the following has been part of that project (Bolton & Botha, 2017, 2019; Bolton, Botha, & Bacon-Shone, 2017). Te survey of six universities in Singapore

Te online survey we used attracted a good response from students, with some 1037 completed online questionnaires, as well as a relatively good spread of responses from each of these institutions. Tere was is an acceptable distribution of respondents among all the universities, as we were aiming to survey at least 150 students from each of the universities. As with our previous studies on students in Singapore, a judgement sampling method was used, which included stratifcation in terms of gender, year of study, and access to EMI instruction (Judd, Smith, & Kidder, 1991; Milroy, 1987). Of the 1037 valid responses, 217 were from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), 162 from the National University of Singapore (NUS), 172 from Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), 167 from Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), 154 from Singapore Management University (SMU), and 165 from Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Te language background of students

Students were asked a range of questions about their personal backgrounds including their country of birth, nationality, and residence. Te results indicated that the majority of students reported their place of birth as Singapore, with smaller totals for Mainland China, Malaysia, ‘Other’ and India, and that 92.7 per cent of the sample were Singaporean or are Singaporean Permanent Residents (PR). Students were also asked a number of questions concerning their knowledge of languages and use of languages, as shown in Figure 3.1. As seen in Figure 3.1, of those students who responded to the question on the ‘frst language learnt as a child’ (N=1037) 74.9 per cent reported having learnt English as a frst language, 61.2 per cent reported having Mandarin, 7.8 per cent reported having learnt Malay, and 2.2 per cent Tamil, with 9.3 per cent reporting Hokkien, 6 per cent Cantonese and 5.1 per cent Teochew. Figure 3.2 sets out the responses to the question of the languages usually spoken at home, and indicates that a majority, 71.1 per cent, reported the use of

36 80%

Kingsley Bolton and Werner Botha 74.9% 61.2%

60% 40% 20% 0%

9.3% English Mandarin Hokkien

7.8% Malay

6.0%

5.1%

Cantonese Teochew

2.3%

2.3%

Bahasa Bahasa Malaysia Indonesia

2.2%

3.4%

Tamil

Other

Figure 3.1 First language learnt as a child (N=1037)

80% 60%

71.1%

61.6%

40% 20% 0%

11.2%

6.2%

English Mandarin Hokkien Cantonese

5.4%

4.4%

2.1%

1.9%

1.4%

3.9%

Malay

Teochew

Tamil

Bahasa Indonesia

Hakka

Other

Figure 3.2 Language(s) usually spoken at home (N=1037)

English, compared to 61.6 per cent for Mandarin. Students were permitted to answer with more than one language in response to this question. In a related question on the number of languages usually spoken at home (Figure 3.2), some 48.3 per cent of students reported the use of one language only, with 38.6 per cent indicating two, and 9.9 per cent indicating three languages. It is evident from these results that more than half of the students usually speak more than one language at home. Next, results for the students’ self-perceived bilingualism are shown in Table 3.1. Here it can be seen, overall, that some 51.9 per cent of the sample considered themselves to be ‘Very’ or ‘Completely’ bilingual. Te results for students’ self-rated profciency in English are also set out in Table 3.2, where a total of 87.1 per cent judged themselves to be either ‘Good’ or ‘Very good’ at English. Language mixing by university students As indicated earlier, we were particularly interested in students’ linguistic behaviour when alternating between languages or mixing languages. In the discussion that follows we set out to avoid current debates on nomenclature, concerning code-switching/mixing versus ‘translanguaging’, and instead opt

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Table 3.1 Self-report of bilingualism Bilingual

N

Completely Very Somewhat A little Not at all

%

196 340 412 70 19 1037

18.9% 32.8% 39.7% 6.8% 1.8% 100%

N

%

Table 3.2 Self-report of profciency in English Extent Very good Good Fairly good Poor Very poor

457 446 127 6 1 1037

44.1% 43.0% 12.2% 0.6% 0.1% 100%

for the somewhat neutral term of ‘language mixing’. In the next sections, we report on some of the relevant results of the quantitative survey, as well as the qualitative investigation of the vernacular speech of Singapore university students, using a social network methodology (Botha, 2017, 2018, in press). Language mixing by students on the university campus

In our survey, students were asked about their own practices in language mixing. As indicated in Table 3.3, 32 per cent of respondents stated that they ‘Always’ or ‘Very often’ mixed languages with other students, compared with 11.6 per cent that reported frequently mixing languages with their professors. Te social network analysis of language mixing

In this present study, six undergraduate university students volunteered to participate, with this group including three ethnic Chinese students, two ethnic Malay students, and one ethnic Indian student. Each of these participants agreed to act as the ‘ego’, or main subject of their respective social networks, and to record conversations with members of their social network. Initially, these students were briefed regarding the project, after which their individual social networks were established, by plotting the connections that each student had in their networks. Having noted that students frequently

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Table 3.3 Respondents’ self-reported language mixing practices

Very often About half the time Sometimes Rarely Never Does not apply

With other students

%

With professors

%

178 153 315 218 168 5 N=1037

17.2% 14.8% 30.4% 21.0% 16.2% 0.5%

57 63 147 325 429 16 N=1037

5.5% 6.1% 14.2% 31.3% 41.4% 1.5%

mix languages, we set out to investigate the extent to which language mixing occurs in the six social networks in spoken conversations. Our frst fnding, and perhaps unsurprisingly, is that the amount of language mixing in the social networks varied according to each social network, with around 48 per cent of mixes occurring in the Chinese networks, just over 50 per cent in the Malay networks and only 4 per cent in the Indian network. Language mixing also occurred infrequently in some of the networks (4 per cent in the Indian network), while in other networks mixing was widespread among speakers (65 per cent in one of the Chinese social networks). Tis degree of variation may be explained by the varying language backgrounds of speakers in the networks, as well as the profciency levels of speakers in English and their so-called mother tongues. However, one major fnding here for us here is that language mixing is evident in all the observed networks. In addition, it is evident that there is some variation with regards to how language mixing occurs between languages and language varieties in the conversations among speakers in the networks. For example, within the Malay social networks, when Malay is the main conversational language in an exchange, then a far greater number of switches were made to English (N=682), compared with the number of switches that were made to Malay when English was used as the main conversational language in an exchange (N=225). Tis trend can be observed in the Chinese social networks as well, with some 546 switches made to Mandarin when English was used as the main conversational language, while 940 switches to English were observed when Mandarin was used as the main conversational language. In the Indian network, English rather than Tamil was used as the main conversational language, and only four speaking turns involved language mixing, that is, from English to Tamil. Language mixing practices may also be explained by reference to a wide range of social motivations, but in this study one of the most frequent social functions of mixing was found to occur with ‘clarifcation’, where a word or phrase is used for clarifying the meaning of an utterance, in order to explain the meaning of a word in another language. In extract (1), it can be seen

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how ta homework assignment la? (‘Is it his homework assignment?’) and zhe ge checklist leh? (‘Is it this checklist?’) are used in the context of clarifying meaning in the discussion regarding a homework assignment between two students. Extract (1) Students discussing their homework XR: TS: XR: A: CJ: A: CJ: A: CJ:

Na ge.. voluntary de assignment wo dou bu hui zuo leh.. na ge part two. ‘Tat..voluntary homework I can’t do it..that part two’. Assignment ah? ‘Assignment (ah, Singapore English particle marking a question)?’ Ah.. bu shi wo jiang homework. ‘Ah..that’s not what I call homework’. ta homework assignment la? ‘Is it his homework assignment?’ wei shen me bu hui zuo leh? ‘Why didn’t (he) do it? (leh, Singapore English particle marking a question)’ zhe ge ni you ma? ‘Do you have this one?’ [ zhe ge mei you ren hui.] ‘ Tis one no one can do it’ zhe ge checklist leh? ‘Is it this checklist (leh, Singapore English particle equivalent to ‘what about’)?’ zhe ge checkli=st ‘Tis checklist’

When considering the example in extract (1), there is an almost even balance between the use of English and Mandarin Chinese in the interchange, and with many of the utterances here it is often challenging to also establish the so-called Matrix language (to use Myers-Scotton’s term). Tis type of mixed vernacular speech was observed frequently among speakers in the social networks, although the linguistic patterns were invariably diferent, depending on the language background and ethnicity of the interlocutors, where, for example, Malays used more Malay, and Teochew speakers using more Teochew and so on. Te challenge for us was how to approach such interchanges as either ‘English’, or ‘Singlish’, or ‘Mandarin’, or some such identifable label. In some instances, language mixing was also used as a social identity marker, to indicate some social aspect of a speaker’s identity, or to indicate some aspect of a speaker’s identity that they wished to project. Such identity work was sometimes conducted through mixing, as can be seen in extract (2), where certain words and phrases are used that highlight the ethnicity, background, and age of the speakers, among others. Here, phrases such as laochiao and he talked shit about me to them are typically used by younger Malay speakers.3

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Extract (2) Two friends talking about their part-time jobs W:

But thing is for me like that time I respect ah because he’s my OM so bile dia tegur okay ah aku macam.. sorry ah aku so used to the old SOP and I don’t like the new SOP cause macam.. it’s really menyusahkan where got time to take like really menyusahkan hidop seriously.. Ten after that I say ah but for him I try to change ah cause he’s my OM what then I get to know dia bodoh tau dia baru masok.. I’m so close to everyone there. He talked shit about me to them.. Dia cakap Wann have a very bad attitude. Wann ape macam laochiao kat sini pe.. ‘But thing is for me like that time I respect ah because he’s my OM [Operations manager] so the OM approached him and I was like ‘sorry ah’, so used to the old SOP [Standard Operating Procedure] cause like it’s really a burden where got time to take like really a burden in life seriously. Ten after that I say ah but for him I try to change ah cause he’s my OM what then I got to know he is stupid cause he just started..I’m so close to everyone there. He talked shit about me to them..He said ‘Wann have a very bad attitude’. ‘Wann gossips over here’.

Te example in extract (2) also presents the vernacular speech of many Malay students, and we would argue that this raises questions about the notion of ‘Singapore English’ in this context. Is it appropriate to label the speech in extract (2) as ‘Singapore English’, or rather as ‘Singapore Malay English’? Or where Chinese and English are mixed, should one adopt the label ‘Chinese English’, or ‘Singaporean Chinese English’? In terms of the Indian social network, we found that very little language mixing occurred in the conversations among the speakers in this social network. Where mixing occurred, it was observed primarily at the lexical level and often these words were clarifed in the context of the conversation. Extract (3) presents an extract from a conversation between a student, his girlfriend and his mother. Te conversation is almost entirely in English, except for the use of certain words, such as kushi, henna, as well as the use of discourse particles such as lah, ah, leh and yah. Despite this, and unlike the vernacular speech of the Chinese and Malay students discussed in Extracts (1) and (2), the speech in extract (3) does not require translation or interpretation. Where non-English terms are used, these are often clarifed, for example, the term kushi is clarifed in the conversation by the student’s mother in the example to mean ‘bridal salon’. Te use of discourse particles here provides further evidence of the appropriation of Chinese discourse particles in the speech of non-Chinese speakers in Singapore (Botha, 2018). Extract (3) A student and his girlfriend talking to his mother about wedding arrangements S:

Eh you know I saw a= you didn’t me near your house got the bridal= services or dunno what its call..kushi..just now we walking I see

Singapore English and vernacular speech

J: J: S: J: S: J: S: J: S: J: S: J: S: J: S: J: S: J: M: J: M: J: M: J: M: J: M: J:

41

[where?] I dunno my mom got go there before Is it good? Did she say anything? I cant remember..ask her lah Does she dye her hair at the salon or I really dunno..she went before Or she dye at home?

(H) But I don’t think it’s a bridal service it’s just like a [they wrote there bridal service leh] Write means you must believe ah @ Yah= Do they..reputable..I don’t think so Huh? I don’t think so Why not? Mom you got go to the= the place right..the= kushi Kushi ah= oh the bridal ah= yah Ah why? You got go is it? Yah I go for the henna treatment, oil treatment Orh is it good? Ah ok good Ah ok Ten got the facial also [Why you want ah?]

However, a major limitation here is that we have only the speech of one Indian social network, and obviously this result may not be generalizable to the community as a whole. However, there is strong evidence that the use of English in the home domain is greatest in the Indian community, with the 2015 by-census reporting that 44 per cent of Indian households deployed English as their usual home language, compared with 37 per cent for the Chinese, and 21 per cent for the Malay community (ELIS, 2016). Conclusion To return to the research aims sketched out at the beginning of this chapter, a number of points emerge as salient. First, it is clear that in the Singapore context there is already a considerable body of literature discussing the status functions and features of Singapore English in its various forms. Within the literature, many such studies have focused on the reductive description of distinctive linguistic features, at the levels of phonology, lexis, and grammar,

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with examples of such work including Deterding, Low, and Brown (2003), Lim (2004), Wee (2004a, 2004b), Low and Brown (2005), Deterding (2007). At its most extreme, as exemplifed by Trudgill and Hannah (2017), this involves a mere two and a half pages of description (in a section of the book named ‘Second-language varieties of English’) devoted to the ‘pronunciation of SingEng’, ‘SingEng grammar’ (with six distinctive grammatical features), discourse particles, and a short description of SingEng lexis (discussing seven items of vocabulary). However, as Low’s (2014) survey shows, there is a much richer research literature devoted to Singapore English than such minimalist accounts might indicate. Indeed, complementing and extending features-based approaches of various kinds are those works discussed in the opening sections of this chapter, where we have a recognizable ‘research tradition’ (from Platt to Leimgruber), which includes not only approaches to the description of linguistic features but also a theoretical meta-commentary on the ontology of Singapore English as a variety of world Englishes. Te research in this existing research tradition furthermore serves to indicate that ‘Singapore English’ is not simply a single standardised variety of the language, but, more broadly, an umbrella term that refers to a continuum between a notional standardised Singapore variety (sometimes referred to as ‘Standard Singapore English’) and a non-standardised variety (typically referred to as ‘Colloquial Singapore English’ or ‘Singlish’). Te research tradition also informs us that the interplay between these varieties does not typically involve a switch from one code to another, but, instead, the complex interplay and intermeshing of features from the available ‘feature pools’ at various levels of society (Mufwene, 2001). All this is both interesting and useful in assisting our understanding, but rather than providing defnitive answers to our research questions, our own investigations appear to leave us with even more questions to consider. In particular, we would suggest that the whole notion of Singapore English needs rethinking in terms of empirical sociolinguistic investigation. Many of the previous models of ‘Singlish’ have ignored the complex realities of language mixing (code-mixing and code-switching) in a society where the vernacular is not a fully functional variety of colloquial English, but rather the complex intermeshing of forms of language alternation, which is heard everywhere in the community, but has hitherto been almost completely ignored in the research literature. For many sociolinguists, the study of the ‘vernacular’ is considered of key importance in investigating language variation and language change (Labov, 1972). In Singapore, among the uninitiated, the expectation might be that the vernacular language of the people would approximate to the semi-ofcial version of Singapore English as a variety of Asian/world Englishes, of the kind that is presented in reference books, as exemplifed by Wee (2004a, 2004b), and other studies. Tat is to say, that the expectation would be a variety of ‘English’, where distinctive patterns of accent, vocabulary and grammar were identifable and describable. However, our own work

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in investigating the spoken vernacular of Singapore young people reveals that the sociolinguistic reality is far more complicated, as the extracts above illustrate. One approach to dealing with Singapore English and Singlish may be to reconceptualise the object of study in ideological terms (as in Wee, 2018, see also this volume), while another would be to renew our eforts to investigate the language through empirical sociolinguistics, and, not least, to attempt to come to grips more rigorously with what appears to be an underresearched and yet crucial aspect of language use, that is, language mixing across and within ethnic groups in Singapore society. Acknowledgement Te authors of this chapter wish to gratefully acknowledge that the empirical research reported on in this chapter was facilitated by a Ministry of Education Tier 1 (AcRf ) grant in November 2016 for the project ‘An investigation into the English-language academic communication skills of university students in Singapore’. Notes 1 Te earliest reference to Singlish retrievable from the online NewspaperSG database is also from the year of 1975, and appears in a small snippet that reads: ‘Te University of Singapore has for the frst time this year introduced “Singapore English” for undergraduates. What? Singlish lah!’ (New Nation, July 20, p. 9). 2 Te term ‘assemblage’ owes its origins to a translation of the French term agencement in an article by the French philosophers Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, which was then retained in the (1987) English translation of their infuential work A thousand plateaus (Phillips, 2006). Te term has recently become popular among a number of linguists and applied linguists, including Pennycook (2017, 2018), Canagarajah (2018). In addition, within the wider Singapore community, the term appears to be gaining currency in true postmodern form, given that Assemblage is also the name of a hairdressing salon at one of the leading hotels in the city. 3 As mentioned in Botha (2021), the term laochiao has its origins as a Hokkien term that has been appropriated by many Singaporean Malay students. In Hokkien the term typically means ‘to be an experienced person’, but my discussions with Malay students revealed that, in this context, the term is used to mean ‘to act in a cocky manner’, perhaps as a result of being experienced. Tis kind of appropriation is quite common in the Singapore context, which also reveals how semantic extension occurs as a result of language contact between Chinese and Malay. For examples of how Malay and Indian speakers have appropriated Chinese discourse particles, see Botha (2018).

References Alsagof, L. (2007). Singlish: Negotiating culture, capital and identity. In V. Vaish, S. Gopinathan, & Y. Liu (Eds.), Language, capital, culture (pp. 25–46). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. Alsagof, L. (2010). Hybridity in ways of speaking: Te glocalization of English in Singapore. In L. Lim, A. Pakir, & L. Wee (Eds.), English in Singapore: Modernity and management (pp. 109–130). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

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Bao, Z. (2015). Te making of vernacular Singapore English: System, transfer, and flter. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bolton, K., & Botha, W. (2017). English as a medium of instruction in Singapore higher education. In B. Fenton-Smith, P. Humphreys, & I. Walkinshaw (Eds.), English as a medium of instruction in higher education in Asia-pacifc: Issues and challenges (pp. 133–152). Dordrecht: Springer. Bolton, K., & Botha, W. (2019). Multilingualism and language mixing among Singapore university students. In I. Liyanage & T. Walker (Eds.), Multilingual education yearbook 2019 (pp. 43–61). Dordrecht: Springer. Bolton, K., Botha, W., & Bacon-Shone, J. (2017). English-medium instruction in Singapore higher education: Policy, realities and challenges. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 38, 913–930. Botha, W. (2017). Te use of English in the social network of a student in South China. English Today, 33(4), 19–29. Botha, W. (2018). A social network approach to the use of particles in Singapore English. World Englishes, 37, 261–281. Botha, W. (2021). Te functions of language mixing in the social networks of Singapore students. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. In press. Buschfeld, S. (2019). Children’s English in Singapore: Acquisition, properties, and use. London and New York: Routledge. Canagarajah, A. S. (2018). Translingual practice as spatial repertoires: Expanding the paradigm beyond structuralist orientations. Applied Linguistics, 39, 31–54. Chew, P. G. L. (2013). A sociolinguistic history of early identities in Singapore. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Chong, A., & German, J. S. (2019). Variability in tonal realisation in Singapore English intonation. Paper presented at the International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS 2019), August 2019, Melbourne, Australia. Deleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus (B. Massumi, Trans.). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Deleuze, G., & Parnet, C. (2002). Dialogues II. New York: Columbia University Press. Deterding, D. (2007). Singapore English. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Deterding, D., Low, E. L., & Brown, A. (Eds.). (2003). English in Singapore: Research on grammar. Singapore: McGraw-Hill. Eckert, P. (2008). Variation and the indexical feld. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 12, 453–476. ELIS. (2016). Glocalization: A global language of local importance. ELIS Research Digest, 3(2), 19–37. Farias, I. (2010). Introduction. In I. Farias & T. Bender (Eds.), Urban assemblages (pp. 1–24). New York: Routledge. Ferguson, C. A. (1959). Diglossia. Word, 15, 325–340. Fishman, J. A. (1967). Bilingualism with and without diglossia: Diglossia with and without bilingualism. Journal of Social Issues, 23, 29–38. Gupta, A. F. (1989). Singapore Colloquial English and Standard English. Singapore Journal of Education, 10(2), 33–39. Gupta, A. F. (1992). Te pragmatic particles of Singapore Colloquial English. Journal of Pragmatics, 18, 31–57. Gupta, A. F. (1994). Te step-tongue: Children’s English in Singapore. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Gupta, A. F., & Yeok, S. P. (1995). Language shift in a Singapore family. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 16, 301–314.

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Judd, C. M., Smith, E. R., & Kidder, L. H. (1991). Research methods in social relations (6th ed.). Florida: Holt, Rinehart & Winston. Kachru, B. B. (1982). Models for non-native Englishes. In Te other tongue: English across cultures (pp. 48–74). Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Labov, W. (1972). Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press. Leimgruber, J. R. E. (2012). Singapore English: An indexical approach. World Englishes, 31, 1–14. Leimgruber, J. R. E. (2013). Singapore English: Structure, variation, and usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Leimgruber, J. R. E., Siemund, P., & Terassa, L. (2018). Singaporean students’ language repertoires and attitudes revisited. World Englishes, 37, 282–306. Lim, L. (Ed.). (2004). Singapore English: A grammatical description. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Lim, L., Pakir, A., & Wee, L. (Eds.). (2010). English in Singapore: Modernity and management. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Low, E. L. (2014). Research on English in Singapore. World Englishes, 33, 439–457. Low, E. L., & Brown, A. (2005). English in Singapore: An introduction. Singapore: McGraw Hill. Low, E. L., & Pakir, A. (2018). English in Singapore: Striking a new balance for future-readiness. Asian Englishes, 20, 41–53. McKay, S. L. (2016). Teaching grammar: English as an international language. In E. Hinkel (Ed.), Teaching English grammar to speakers of other languages (pp. 19–37). London and New York: Routledge. Milroy, L. (1987). Observing and analysing natural language. Oxford: Blackwell. Mufwene, S. S. (2001). Te ecology of language evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Myers-Scotton, C. (1993). Duelling languages: Grammatical structure in codeswitching. Oxford: Clarendon Press. New Nation. (1975, July 20). Te University of Singapore has for the frst time this year introduced ‘Singapore English’ for undergraduates. What? Singlish lah! New Nation, p. 9. Pakir, A. (1991). Te range and depth of English-knowing bilinguals in Singapore. World Englishes, 10, 167–179. Pennycook, A. (2017). Translanguaging and semiotic assemblages. International Journal of Multilingualism, 14, 269–282. Pennycook, A. (2018). Applied linguistics as epistemic assemblage. AILA Review, 31, 113–134. Phillips, J. (2006). Agencement/assemblage. Teory Culture Society, 23, 108–109. Platt, J. T. (1975). Te Singapore English speech continuum and its basilect ‘Singlish’ as a creoloid. Anthropological Linguistics, 17(7), 363–374. Platt, J. T. (1977). Te subvarieties of Singapore English: Teir sociolect and functional status. In W. Crewe (Ed.), Te English language in Singapore (pp. 83–95). Singapore: Eastern Universities Press. Platt, J. T., & Ho, M. L. (1993). Dynamics of a contact continuum. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Platt, J. T., & Weber, H. (1980). English in Singapore and Malaysia: Status, features, functions. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. Platt, J. T., Weber, H., & Ho, M. L. (1983). Singapore and Malaysia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Silverstein, M. (2003). Indexical order and the dialectics of sociolinguistic life. Language and Communication, 23, 193–229.

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Stroud, C., & Wee, L. (2012). Style, identity, and literacy: English in Singapore. Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Tongue, R. K. (1974). Te English of Singapore and Malaysia. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press. Trudgill, P., & Hannah, J. (2017). International English: A guide to varieties of English around the world (6th ed.). London and New York: Routledge. Wee, L. (2004a). Singapore English: Phonology. In E. W. Schneider, K. Burridge, B. Kortmann, R. Mesthrie, & C. Upton (Eds.), A handbook of varieties of English: Volume 1: Phonology (pp. 1017–1033). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Wee, L. (2004b). Singapore English: Morphology and syntax. In B. Kortmann, K. Burridge, R. Mesthrie, E. W. Schneider, & C. Upton (Eds.), A handbook of varieties of English: Volume 2: Morphology and syntax (pp. 1058–1072). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Wee, L. (2018). Te Singlish controversy: Language, culture and identity in a globalizing world. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wong, J. (2014). Te culture of Singapore English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wong, W. K. (Ed.). (2010). Census of population 2010: Advanced census release. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade & Industry, Republic of Singapore. Retrieved from www.singstat.gov.sg/docs/default-source/defaultdocument-library/publications/ publications_and_papers/cop2010/census_2010_advance_census_release/c2010acr.pdf Ziegeler, D. (2015). Converging grammars: Constructions in Singapore English. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Ziegeler, D., & Bao, Z. (Eds.). (2017). Negation and contact: With special focus on Singapore English. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

4

Spoken Tamil in Singapore Helen Dominic and Lavanya Balachandran

Introduction Te Tamil people who have lived for many generations in Singapore keep in touch with Tamil Nadu. However, you can see diferences in culture and behaviour between newcomers from the same Tamil Nadu and Singapore Indians. When a Singapore Indian from my constituency went to Tamil Nadu, a person there observed the way he spoke and refused to believe him when he said that he was from Tamil Nadu. (Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 2015, in Palanisamy, 2015)

In a 2015 interview, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong noted the evolving cultural identity amongst Indians in light of renewed global and transnational migration that has irrevocably changed the demography of the second largest ethnic minority community in Singapore (Palanisamy, 2015). While linguistic diversity across various Indian language speakers in Singapore has engendered discussions in scholarship around national and regional diferences in the diaspora (Rai, 2009; Solomon, 2012), the quoted anecdote suggests its replication within particular ethnolinguistic groups. In this case, the suggested fragmentation in identity within the largest and oldest ethnolinguistic group amongst Indians in Singapore – the ethnic Tamils – ofers a starting point to launch an inquiry into the link between language and identity construction in a multicultural context where minority languages and the diaspora are accorded formal recognition. With origins in present-day Tamil-Nadu, the Tamil language today is spoken by more than 68 million speakers in India as well as its diasporic community all over the world (Ethnologue, 2017). Te vernacular frst appeared in Singapore’s linguistic landscape in the 18th century when the British brought Indian labourers from the southern Tamil-speaking regions of India to work in Singapore. While the language entered the colonial educational system with the emergence of privately run and government aided Tamil schools, it was not until its accordance as one of the four ofcial languages in the newly independent city-state that the language gained formal importance. Te particular recognition of the Tamil language in an ethnically diverse settler society like Singapore is foregrounded in the post-colonial pursuit of

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formal multiracialism wherein distinct identifers such as language, religion and festival have been assigned to the four ofcial race categories – ‘Chinese’, ‘Malays’, ‘Indians’ and ‘Others’ (Chua, 2003). Specifcally, Tamil was chosen as a representative language for the ‘Indian’ race category as it was the language of the numerical majority amidst the people of South Asian origins in Singapore.1 Tat the language also had a signifcant presence in countries such as Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Burma and Mauritius (Kesavapany, Mani, & Ramasamy, 2008) is unsurprising, given the colonial context of Tamil labour migration to these regions and subsequent integration through postcolonial citizenship in these adopted homelands. Amongst Indians in Singapore, Rai (2009) distinguishes this ‘settled’ community from the recent skilled migrants. He defnes the former as the ‘old’ diaspora constituting predominantly Tamil labourers and their families who migrated to Singapore during the time of the British colonisation such that current Tamil children and youth would be classifed as third or fourth generational Tamils.2 Te immigrants in the ‘new’ diaspora, according to Rai, are defned by the selective migration of Tamil and non-Tamil speaking Indian professionals who moved to Singapore from the 1990s onwards, settled by obtaining permanent residency or naturalised citizenship and whose children are considered frst-generation Indians. Tese demographic changes have prompted studies about the minority ethnic community in the areas of economic status and social integration (Shantakumar & Mukhopadhaya, 2008; Kaur, 2008; Seah, 2016). Still, they have not precipitated an adequate exploration of its implications for language use, although scholars have hinted at the increased status of the language with the arrival of new migrants (Lakshmi & Saravanan, 2011; Solomon, 2012; Rajan, 2014). Despite the largescale selective migration of Indians from the early 1990s onwards,3 including Tamil-speakers, to Singapore, the usage of Tamil as the predominant home language among Singapore residents has continued to decline. Currently only 37.7 per cent of Indian households speak Tamil as their dominant language – even though Tamil speakers retain their status as ethnolinguistic majority, constituting 54.3 per cent of the Indian population (Department of Statistics, 2015). Other South Asian languages, such as Hindi, Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi and Urdu, also began to gain prominence with their formal recognition in the education system and began to be taught at the primary, secondary, and pre-tertiary levels as part of the school curriculum with increasing take-up rates (Rajan, 2014; Jain & Wee, 2015, 2019). In the broader literature, the language has been characterised by extreme diglossia constituted by two distinguishable and ordered varieties: literary Tamil (high variety) and the more informal spoken Tamil (low variety) (Steever & Britto, 1986; Das, 2008; Ferguson, 1959; Schifman, 2003). Saravanan, Lakshmi and Caleon (2009) extend Tamil’s inherent diglossia to the educational landscape in Singapore pointing out that literary Tamil, or its written form, is the variety that is taught in classrooms and only used in formal contexts, whereas spoken Tamil is used in informal contexts, especially

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in the domain of the home. Both these varieties have come to be largely viewed by local scholars (Saravanan et al., 2009) as dichotomous categories in Singapore, with literary Tamil, the prestigious and ‘pure’ variety, posited in opposition to spoken Tamil, the ‘corrupt’ and casual variety (Schifman, 2003, p. 109). Terefore, while studies examining the distinction between literary Tamil and spoken Tamil have been comprehensive (Schifman, 2003; Saravanan et al., 2009; Rajan, 2018), research on the variation within spoken Tamil varieties in Singapore is underdeveloped. Tis chapter seeks to redress these gaps by unpacking the awareness and attitudes towards the varieties of spoken Tamil. In so doing, it also prompts conceptual insights into how the diferent spoken varieties of the vernacular ofer a means through which diasporic minority communities seek representation through language in ethnically diverse settled societies like Singapore. Furthermore, the implications for this will be examined in the educational landscape wherein the distinction between spoken and literary Tamil have problematically presented these language varieties as monolithic categories. Te chapter begins with a brief overview of the position of the Tamil language in Singapore which will raise conceptual considerations that will guide the study. Te methodology will then follow, introducing the salient spoken varieties of the vernacular in Singapore based on which the sociolinguistic survey on awareness and attitudes towards these varieties was administered. Te data will then be analysed and discussed in relation to ethnolinguistic identity, language purity and language maintenance. Te position of Tamil in Singapore Tamil in pre-independence Singapore

Tamil is not a shared language within the linguistically heterogenous minority ethnic Indian community in Singapore. It should be noted that apart from the Tamil-speaking group who accounted for 64 per cent of the Indian population during the time of Singapore’s independence, there were many speakers of other South Asian languages such as Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, and Urdu (Rai, 2009). Te pervasive infuence of ethnic organisations and the vernacular press in the pre-independence phase helped consolidate a transnational Tamil community instead of a unifed pan-Indian community in Singapore (Solomon, 2012; Sundaraju, 1989). Te popularity of the Dravidian SelfRespect Movement in Tamil Nadu, India (Hardgrave, 1965), for instance, concomitantly gained ascendancy amongst Tamil community leaders in Singapore such as G. Sarangapany who formed ethnolinguistic organisations such as the Tamil Reform Association and the Tamil Representative Council from the 1930s to the 1950s. In particular, these organisations propagated the salience of the Tamil language, especially that of literary Tamil, with the aim of uplifting the numerically dominant labouring classes (Solomon, 2012). Te focus on the literary variety could perhaps be expected to reclaim

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the perceived low status of the language given that it has already sufered from negative stereotyping as the language of ‘coolies’ through its confation with the socio-economic status of its speakers (Schifman, 2003). While popular narratives link the selection of Tamil as an ofcial language to majoritarian impulses, scholars argue that the visibility of Tamil cultural symbols through popular media such as newspapers and the political tenacity of Tamil organisations and grassroots leaders in colonial Singapore rendered the vernacular an obvious choice to represent the ethnic community in the postcolonial pursuit of multiracialism (Solomon, 2012). Tamil in post-independence Singapore

Te incorporation of ofcial languages assigned to the three primary race groups including Tamil as part of the bilingual education policy in public schools emerged as one of the cornerstones of formal multiracialism in postcolonial Singapore. Tese eforts to uplift the usage and prominence of Tamil, however, were not sustained, especially with other ofcial languages appearing to have greater functionality and value. Saravanan (1993) reports that English, with its status as the dominant international language, Malay, with its value as the national language and Mandarin, with its economic viability, put Tamil in a precarious position and a lower status. Literary Tamil, the variety that is taught in schools, has also been criticised as aiding this decline due to its limited ‘communicative value’. Schifman (2003) argues that spoken Tamil will slowly wane compared to literary Tamil given the latter’s pedagogical signifcance, even though it has ‘no communicative value for younger people’ (Schifman, 2003, p. 110). In an efort to resolve the problem of limited usage of the language, scholars have since suggested the incorporation of Standard Spoken Tamil (SST), an emerging standardised variety in Singapore, in the classroom as a common variety less archaic than literary Tamil (Saravanan et al., 2009; Vaish, Tan, Bokhorst-Heng, Hogan, & Kang, 2010). More recently, Rajan (2018, p. 137) discusses attitudes amongst younger Tamil speakers in Singapore towards spoken Tamil attributing the vernacular’s potential decline to stigma arising out of the lack of fuency and the primacy of English in interactions with non-Indians. While the study documents the growing usage of Tamil amongst youths within the context of code-switching (with English) in the domains of home, school and friendship, the notion of spoken Tamil continues to be recognised as a monolithic category. Te danger of such perspectives is that it homogenises SST as a singular or universal variety, which is problematic since diasporic communities are themselves changing and creolising the languages they speak, going through language contact and natural language drift as they live amidst their diferent communities (Hall, 1990). Studies of the Tamil language shift and maintenance post-independence have specifcally been anchored to the narrative of language decline, in particular, the apposition of Tamil alongside the other ofcial language counterparts,

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and more recently, its reduced visibility amidst a more evidently multilingual and heterogeneous Indian community where other non-Tamil languages have gained prominence. Tis study takes its conceptual lead from sociolinguistics research in diasporic contexts in suggesting how the vernacular ofers semiotic resources that can be strategically harnessed to claim authenticity and indicate afnity with community and diasporic identities (see Canagarajah & Silberstein, 2012; Eisenlohr, 2004; Scully, 2012). Te next section will outline three diferent varieties of Tamil spoken in Singapore. Tough these varieties are by no means exhaustive, they have been chosen as units of analysis in so far they expose the disjunctures in identity construction within the ethnolinguistic Tamil diaspora in Singapore through the axes of language and temporality of migration (‘old’ diaspora and ‘new’ diaspora). Method Tis study consisted of an online survey that investigated participants’ awareness and attitudes towards the diferent varieties of Tamil that are spoken in Singapore. Te two main parts the survey focused on awareness and attitudes towards three selected varieties of Tamil: Singaporean Tamil, Indian Tamil and literary Tamil. Tese varieties were identifed as having gained salience in the Singapore context in accordance with Rai’s (2009) classifcation of the ‘old’ and ‘new’ diaspora. Responses were elicited using purposive sampling from 109 respondents, all of whom underwent formal Tamil education in Singapore and who were recruited through social media platforms including personal Facebook pages and WhatsApp groups. Respondents were between the ages of 18 and 55 and were asked to provide information on their ethnic background, that is, if they would describe themselves to be of a ‘Tamil’, ‘partial Tamil’,4 or ‘non-Tamil’ Indian background, as not all those who opted for Tamil as second language in school were from Tamil-speaking family backgrounds. Te respondents were also asked where they were born and where their parents and grandparents were born. Tis was done mainly to identify how long their family had been living in Singapore and thus which immigration wave the respondent belonged to. For the purposes of this paper, immigration trajectories have been classifed into two separate waves; the ‘New Wave’, and ‘Old Wave’. Te New Wave consists of respondents who were born in India and then moved to Singapore, whilst the Old Wave consists of respondents who were born in Singapore with their parents and grandparents either born in Singapore or another country. Information about their language background and history, from what languages they spoke at home and in school to how often they spoke Tamil, were also recorded. Six options were given to the respondent when asked how aware they were of a specifc variety, namely, ‘I usually speak or use this variety’, ‘I can speak or use this variety’, ‘I don’t speak it but I can defnitely identify it when I hear it’, ‘I think I can probably identify it’, ‘I’ve heard of it, but I wouldn’t be able to identify it’ and ‘I’ve never heard of this variety’.

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Tere was also a text box after each variety, prompting the respondent to type some features of the variety that allows them to identify it and who would be a speaker of that variety. Language attitudes have conventionally been studied in terms of status and solidarity dimensions (Cavallaro & Ng, 2014). Respondents were provided statements that corresponded to these dimensions and were asked for their perceptions towards the diferent varieties based on the dimensions. For the purposes of this study in analysing respondents’ attitudes towards the varieties based on purity, respondents were provided this additional statement, ‘speakers of this variety speak a pure variety of Tamil’ to provide their judgement on. Te statement was placed on a Likert scale of one to fve – one being least agreeable and fve being most agreeable. ANOVA was used to study the statistical signifcance of the mean scores across the two diferent immigration waves for this statement. A Tukey post-hoc was also used in order to get a multi-comparison between the statements and to see which diferences were signifcant. Te diferent varieties identifed will now be introduced and explained. Singaporean Tamil

Singaporean Tamil refers to the variety that is commonly spoken by Singaporean Indians who belong to the older diasporic community, or the Old Wave. Tis variety is commonly spoken among Tamil speakers from the older diasporic community or the Old Wave immigrants. While infuenced by long-term exposure to other local languages commonly spoken in Singapore, including Malay and varieties of Chinese and Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) (otherwise known as Singlish), the variety is nonetheless believed to maintain older lexical features of Tamil that might have otherwise undergone change in the home country, India (Canagarajah & Silberstein, 2012, p. 82). Due to the stringent immigration laws that disallowed migration from India between 1965 and the early 1990s, this was the period that saw Singaporean Tamil speakers having the least contact with their linguistic homeland of India, highlighting the possibility that this was the period when Tamil underwent language mixing and change (Schifman, 2003). Examples of this variety can be seen in Singaporean media outlets – such as the dedicated Tamil television channel, Vasantham – that have local television presenters employing the use of a more colloquialised Tamil than the formal standard variety, literary Tamil. It is in this use of colloquial Tamil that one can see the features of Singaporean Tamil being used. Te infuence of local languages on Singaporean Tamil can be seen very clearly with the use of the Singlish pragmatic particles in Tamil. One of the most distinctive features of Singlish is its use of pragmatic particles such as ‘la’, ‘lor’ and ‘leh’, all of which express the pragmatic force intended for emphasis by the speaker (Gupta, 1991, p. 36). Tis use of Singlish pragmatic particles can also be seen in Singaporean Tamil. Sankaran and Pillai (2011) write that Vasantham shows a desire to establish a Singaporean identity through these programs and through variety show

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competitions, diferentiating themselves from the themes and program styles of Indian television channels. It can also be seen that Vasantham television shows employ the local variety of Tamil to distinguish itself from the channels in India. Tere are also other lexical borrowings from Malay into Singaporean Tamil such as sambal (a type of spicy chili paste) and makan (‘to eat’) that are commonly used. Indian Tamil

Indian Tamil is the variety expected to be spoken most commonly by the newer diasporic communities, or the New Wave, that migrated to Singapore starting in the 1990s. It should be noted that, in reality, this is also not a homogenous variety spoken by all Indians who migrate to Singapore but rather, in the context of Singapore, can be seen as one variety for comparative and identifcation purposes. Tis variety of Tamil has strong roots in the Tamil spoken back in India in diferent cities across the Tamil Nadu state. It is also a clear way for Singaporean Indians to identify India-born Indians, as the features of Indian Tamil are very recognisable from Indian Tamil flms and television. A key phonological diference between Singaporean Tamil and Indian Tamil would be the diference in vowel duration and prosody, with Indian Tamil having a more contrastive vowel system. Tis can be seen in the use of Tamil by Indians in television programs on cable channels like Star Vijay and Sun. Tere are also lexical diferences, with Indian Tamil using what is considered more ‘modern’ words such as saapudu as opposed to the older pasiyaaru (both meaning ‘asking someone to eat’). Literary Tamil

Literary Tamil refers to Tamil that is spoken in its written style. In other words, a speaker of literary Tamil would sound as if they were reading out loud from a book. It should be noted here that literary Tamil does not refer to the diglossic defnition provided in this paper’s introduction which considers it to be written Tamil, but to the standard variety of Tamil that is spoken but does not have the infections of other varieties of spoken Tamil. It is also the variety that all students in Singapore learn as the speaking standard and what they would have grown up thinking as the most ‘pure’ way of speaking Tamil. Tis is the variety that is used in the news on both Singaporean Indian television channels and those from India as well. It is used in formal contexts mostly, as it is prestigious and also most understandable by all Tamil speakers who have undergone some formal Tamil language education (Saravanan et al., 2007). Word endings comprise the main linguistic feature that distinguishes literary Tamil from the other varieties. Some examples would be enna venum (‘what do you want’) in literary Tamil as opposed to enna venu in all the other varieties, and thanneer (‘water’) in literary Tamil and thannee in the other varieties. Te fnal -m and -r are dropped in those examples. Te lexical

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choices are also more formal in literary Tamil and would not be commonly used in the other varieties. Words like kandaen (‘I saw’) and sendran (‘he went’) would be replaced with parthaen and ponaan, respectively, in the other varieties. However, while it is considered a prestigious variety of Tamil, there might also be a negative judgement attached to it as it reveals that speakers who use this variety only learned and used Tamil in the classroom. Te ‘little communicative value’ of literary Tamil outside of the classroom thus reveals that those who use it beyond the classroom are not equipped with the ability to use other varieties that are more acceptable in informal and conversational situations (Schifman, 2003, p. 110). Tis will be explored more later in the chapter. Attitudes towards spoken varieties of Tamil

Percentage of respondents

Amongst the 109 respondents, 79 reported having a Tamil background, 18 a partial Tamil background, and 12 a non-Tamil Indian background. For purposes of comparison between the Old Wave and New Wave, Figure 4.1 shows responses to the question of whether survey participants ‘usually speak or use’ each variety in the awareness section of the survey. It can be taken that the option ‘I usually speak or use this variety’ is the variety that the respondent feels most comfortable with as well as the variety that the respondent most frequently uses when he/she is speaking in Tamil. Per this graph, 65.4 per cent of the New Wave responded that Indian Tamil was the variety they ‘usually speak or use’ whilst 63.6 per cent of the Old Wave responded that Singaporean Tamil was the variety they ‘usually speak or use’, delineating these specifc varieties as salient to their respective waves. Figure 4.2 shows the frequency of Tamil usage by the respondents. Whereas 91.7 per cent of respondents learned Tamil as their mother tongue language in Singapore, their usage of Tamil at the time of the data collection was highly varied. Te frequency of Tamil usage has been classifed according to the waves to which the respondents belong.

100% 80%

65.4%

63.6%

60%

40% 20% 0%

19.2%

Singaporean Tamil

21.2%

15.4%

Indian Tamil New Wave

Literary Tamil

Singaporean Tamil

Indian Tamil

15.2%

Literary Tamil

Old Wave

Figure 4.1 Responses for ‘usually speak or use’ for each specifc variety across the two immigration waves

Percentage of respondents

Spoken Tamil in Singapore 60%

56.1% 39.7%

40%

29.3%

26.5%

20%

25.0% 12.2% 2.4%

0%

55

Often

Sometimes New Wave

Old Wave

Rarely

8.8%

Never

Figure 4.2 Frequency of Tamil usage across the two immigration waves

In both waves, the percentage of respondents who indicated that they speak Tamil ‘often’ now, is higher than those who indicated ‘sometimes’, ‘rarely’ and ‘never’. Amongst the 41 New Wave respondents, more than half indicated that they speak Tamil ‘often’ now with only 12.2 per cent and 2.4 per cent who ‘rarely’ and ‘never’ speak Tamil, respectively. Tis is in contrast with the 25 per cent of Old Wave respondents who indicated that they ‘rarely’ speak Tamil now, with 8.8 per cent who ‘never’ speak it. Tis seems to confrm prior literature which has shown that Indians are undergoing a rapid shift to English and using Tamil less frequently (Saravanan, 1993). However, this graph highlights a more complex phenomena in which the two waves of Tamil in Singapore experience this language shift in diferent ways and time frames. To gauge the respondents’ awareness of the three varieties of Tamil listed in the survey, the awareness indicators were used as mentioned in the previous section. Te results for the Singaporean Tamil, Indian Tamil and literary Tamil varieties are presented herein. In Figure 4.3, it can be seen that within the Old Wave, 30.9 per cent indicated that they ‘usually speak or use this variety’. Also salient is 46.3 per cent of those who indicated ‘I don’t speak it but I can defnitely identify it when I hear it’, belonging to the New Wave, which highlights their awareness of Singaporean Tamil but their non-identifcation with speaking it. 34.2 per cent of the New Wave and 29.4 per cent of the Old Wave also indicated ‘I can speak or use this variety’ which suggests their ability to understand the variation between the variety of Tamil they speak and Singaporean Tamil, as well as their ability to speak the variety despite not identifying it as what they usually speak. Within the New Wave itself from Figure 4.4, it can be seen that 41.5 per cent of respondents claim that they ‘usually speak or use this variety’. Also salient is the 38.2 per cent of Old Wave respondents who ‘don’t speak it but can defnitely identify it when they hear it’. Additionally, 19.1 per cent of Old Wave respondents reported they only think they could ‘probably identify it’, meaning that they do not have much knowledge on the distinct features of

56

Helen Dominic and Lavanya Balachandran 100%

4.9%

4.4% 2.9% 14.7%

46.3%

17.6%

2.4%

80%

60%

29.4%

40%

34.1%

20%

0%

30.9% 12.2% New Wave I've never heard of this variety

Old Wave

I've heard of it, but I wouldn't be able to identify it I think I can probably identify it I don't speak it but I can definitely identify it when I hear it I can speak or use this variety I usually speak or use this variety

Figure 4.3 Responses for awareness of Singaporean Tamil

100% 80% 60%

2.4%

8.8%

17.1%

4.4% 19.1%

39.0% 38.2%

40%

19.1%

20% 0%

41.5% 10.3% New Wave

Old Wave

I've never heard of this variety I've heard of it, but I wouldn't be able to identify it I think I can probably identify it I don't speak it but I can definitely identify it when I hear it I can speak or use this variety I usually speak or use this variety

Figure 4.4 Responses for awareness of Indian Tamil

Spoken Tamil in Singapore

57

Indian Tamil even though they acknowledge that such a variety exists in the Tamil linguistic landscape of Singapore. It is also interesting to note that 8.8 per cent of the Old Wave ‘have never heard of ’ Indian Tamil but only 4.4 per cent ‘have never heard of ’ Singaporean Tamil, showing a slightly increased prominence of Singaporean Tamil as its own codifed variety among the Old Wave. In Figure 4.5, the combined percentage of respondents for the indicators ‘I usually speak or use this variety’, ‘I can speak or use this variety’ and ‘I don’t speak it but I can defnitely identify it when I hear it’ is 82.9 per cent for the New Wave and 75 per cent for the Old Wave. Tis is expected assuming that most respondents would have encountered this variety through their mother tongue education in schools and for those who were not educated in Singapore, through many formal television programs that only use literary Tamil to index a formal and professional environment and identity. Even though the percentage of people who indicated ‘I usually speak or use this variety’ is quite small within each immigration wave – 9.8 per cent for the New Wave, and 7.4 per cent for the Old Wave – it refects that there are people within the respondent pool who prefer to speak in literary Tamil and fnd it the most comfortable to use when speaking in Tamil. All these responses show that there are speakers of each variety listed, indicating that all varieties exist in the current linguistic landscape of Singapore. Amidst the diferent attitude

100% 80% 60%

7.4%

4.9%

1.5%

12.2%

16.2%

34.1%

29.4%

40% 39.0%

38.2%

20% 0%

9.8% New Wave I've never heard of this variety

7.4% Old Wave

I've heard of it, but I wouldn't be able to identify it I think I can probably identify it I don't speak it but I can definitely identify it when I hear it I can speak or use this variety I usually speak or use this variety

Figure 4.5 Responses for awareness of literary Tamil

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markers that the respondents were given to gauge their attitudes based on status and solidarity for each variety, the marker of ‘purity’ stood out and thus will be the main focus for the remainder of this chapter. Te dialectic of purity and pollution is historically deeply entrenched and used as an organising principle of hierarchy in Indian society (Bean, 1981; Marglin, 1977). Nevertheless, the notion of linguistic purity is not a new concept in linguistic practices, with certain language institutions regulating or protecting their ‘authenticity’ from external infuence or ‘tainting’ (Crystal, 2001, p. 77). Languages that have ‘foreign’ infuences can be seen as impure or inauthentic by communities that speak the native variety or languages (Siegel, 2010, p. 232). Certain varieties or languages thus are accorded a higher quality of desirability over another. Tis is especially seen in Tamil and the understandings of purity and pollution that speakers attach to diferent spoken varieties. Respondents were also asked to rank varieties of Tamil according to their ‘purity’. Figure 4.6 shows that they ranked literary Tamil the highest along the purity scale. Tis was expected considering literary Tamil is the standard variety that most respondents would have learned in school and encountered watching a formal television program, such as the news. It also has the least ‘external’ infuences from other languages. It is interesting to note that the New Wave has a statistically signifcant higher ranking (p = 0.0001) for the purity of Indian Tamil (M = 3.32) than for that of Singaporean Tamil (M = 1.93). As mentioned earlier, the majority of the New Wave (65.4 per cent) indicated that the variety they would ‘usually speak or use’ is Indian Tamil. Tese results explain that they view the variety of Tamil that they frequently and usually speak to be more ‘pure’ than the local variety, Singaporean Tamil. For the Old Wave, even though 63.6 per cent indicated that they would ‘usually speak or use’ Singaporean Tamil, they did not rank it high on the purity scale. In fact, the diference between the mean scores for their ranking on Singaporean Tamil (M = 2.51) and Indian Tamil (M = 2.56) is minimal even though the ranking is slightly higher for Indian Tamil and is statistically signifcant (p = 0.023). Tis shows that they do not view the variety of Tamil they speak

Mean score of respondents

5

4.29

4 3 2

3.66

3.32 2.56

2.51 1.93

1 0

Singaporean Tamil

Indian Tamil New Wave Old Wave

Figure 4.6 Responses of attitudes to the ‘purity’ trait

Literary Tamil

Spoken Tamil in Singapore

59

as very pure but perhaps do not see a need to converge with the pure variety of Tamil, whatever they might consider it to be. Figure 4.6 shows that the New Wave has the strongest opinions on purity and defends the variety that they largely identify with, Indian Tamil, as being more ‘pure’ than the other varieties of Tamil after the standard variety, literary Tamil. Notions of language purity

Te survey also incorporated qualitative data where respondents were invited to share their thoughts towards spoken Tamil varieties. Some of the attitudinal responses are collated herein with additional information on the respondents’ immigration wave: From comments 1 to 4, words like ‘peculiar’, ‘whining’, ‘weird’, ‘sound bad’ and ‘lazy’ are used when describing Singaporean Tamil. It is especially interesting to note the respondent who provided comment 2 which says Singaporean Tamil has the ‘usage of really old Tamil words’ which might be considered as an indicator of tradition or even purity. However, that same respondent referred to the phonological feature of ‘dragging the end of the sentence’ or lengthening the vowels used by the Singaporean Tamil speaker as ‘whining’ indicative of their possible dislike for the variety. In comment 3, the respondent indicates that those who would speak Singaporean Tamil are ‘people who tend to hang out only with other Singaporean Indians’. Singaporean Tamil is thus linked directly to Singaporean Indians, and as the respondent follows up on the comment by saying that their ‘weird phrases . . . [make] Tamil sound bad’, insinuating a negative impression that the respondent might have towards this group of people. Te disapproval of those in the New Wave towards the earlier Singaporean variety of Tamil is not unexpected given the identity politics between those in the Old Wave and the Table 4.1 Comments on Singaporean Tamil S/N

Comment

Wave

1

A lot of the syllables get dragged and there’s so much -chi endings and other (weird, to me) endings that just sound, er, peculiar? Addition of Malay words, dragging the end of the sentence that makes it sound like whining, usage of really old Tamil words. Not to stereotype but people who tend to hang out only with other Singaporean Indians. It’s got a lot of weird phrases and basically makes Tamil sound bad. I think I hear it a lot on Tamil variety shows? And it just consists of words but said in a lazy way? Shortened or just easier to pronounce. It is very clear, unlike India Tamil. Some of the words used are kind of inspired by other languages like Malay and Mandarin. I think it is very similar to Malaysian Tamil.

New Wave

2 3 4 5

New Wave Old Wave Old Wave Old Wave

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newer migrants from India. In part, the binary identities drawn on grounds of migratory waves refect festering anxieties about who can authentically represent the minority community (Balachandran, 2018). Te respondent who contributed comment 5 indicates a positive attitude towards Singaporean Tamil, stating it is ‘very clear’ unlike Indian Tamil. Tis respondent belongs to the Old Wave and noted that he/she ‘usually speaks or uses’ Singaporean Tamil. Tus, this respondent can be seen to speak positively of the variety. Te use of the word ‘inspired’ also appears to be a way of highlighting that the addition of borrowed words from Malay or Mandarin is not to be seen as a form of pollution of the language. With the exception of comment 6, all the other comments on Indian Tamil refer to its ‘pure’ state. Comment 6 refers to how Indian Tamil has a ‘more accurate pronunciation of Tamil words’ and specifcally writes that there are ‘no Malay words’. Comment 8 is interesting as it is not a direct opinion by the respondent regarding his own views on the variety, but rather a reference to other Indian Tamil speakers’ views on their own variety. By saying that ‘I’ve heard them [Tamils from India] say that Indian Tamil is purer’, this respondent raises the point that he/she has encountered Indian Tamil speakers who view their variety as pure in contrast to other varieties. Te term suttha Tamil in comment 8 directly translates to ‘clean/pure Tamil’. Tis respondent goes on to disagree with the previous statement made in the response and says that there are some ‘slangs’ in Indian Tamil that he does not understand as well. Comments 9 and 10 also positively refer to Indian Tamil as ‘more pure’ or ‘purer’. Comment 10 also uses the words ‘less bastardised’ to refer to Indian Tamil in opposition to Singaporean Tamil, highlighting again that they think the purity of a variety has to do with how much external language infuence the variety has been exposed to. As expected, comments on the purity of literary Tamil have been consistent throughout the responses. Tese three comments are representative of the rest Table 4.2 Comments on Indian Tamil S/N 6 7 8

9 10

Comment

Wave

No Malay words, more accurate pronunciation of Tamil words, addition of English words. Tey would speak the language more ‘purely’. Tamils from India speak this. I’ve heard them say that Indian Tamil is purer (suttha Tamil) which is true in some cases but I don’t believe all Tamils from India speak pure Tamil always. Indian Tamil also has its own slangs that we don’t get. More of a ‘pure’ form, if you can use that. Can vary according to origin region. In my experience, usually expatriate Indians speak it. I feel that it’s a bit purer/less bastardised and by extension, much more formal than Singaporean Tamil.

New Wave New Wave Old Wave

Old Wave Old Wave

Spoken Tamil in Singapore

61

Table 4.3 Comments on literary Tamil S/N

Comment

Wave

11 12

Poets I think, it sounds super bold, pure and clear Te Tamil is much more pure and proper as compared to the diferent slangs Newscasters, debaters, people making speeches. It’s very clean and brings about a sense of seriousness to the spoken words.

New Wave New Wave

13

Old Wave

of the respondents who continue to think of literary Tamil compared to the other varieties as ‘pure and proper’. Te particular reference to literary Tamil as ‘very clean’ (Comment 13), reinforces the tropes of purity and pollution through language. From these comments on the purity of Tamil across the two waves, it seems like respondents do not actively have a preference for purity. Rather, literary Tamil is just taken as uncontested given its status as a signifcant and unchanging part of Tamil education. Singapore’s Bilingual Policy also aids in the continued maintenance of literary Tamil seeing as most ethnically Tamil people will undertake formal Tamil lessons for at least nine years (between the ages of 7 to 16). Terefore, the increased use of spoken Tamil compared to literary Tamil will not diminish the importance of the latter. Conclusion Te attitudes of respondents reveal patterned views on how the low status of Tamil amidst other ofcial languages and the increased prominence of nonTamil Indian languages is complicated by the heterogeneity amongst spoken Tamil varieties. As the results from the sociolinguistic survey show, the ethnic community is not only aware of the diferent varieties of spoken Tamil but that diferences amongst these varieties have also become a signifcant divider in the distinction between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ diasporas. Te fndings from the survey on the awareness of and attitudes towards the diferent spoken varieties thus begin to render visible a new kind of identity politics within the Tamil community, one that enables people to not only identify the backgrounds of Tamil speakers on the basis of nationality or time of migration through their speech but also hierarchise them drawing on the lenses of purity and authenticity. Language maintenance remains a key issue in the ethnic minority community, as has been discussed by many scholars of Tamil in Singapore (Saravanan et al., 2009; Schifman, 2003; Vaish et al., 2010; Rajan, 2018). Metalinguistic awareness of the various spoken varieties, if taught in the classroom, could be benefcial in allowing students to learn the complex and dynamic variation in language in a multi-ethnic, globalising nation like Singapore. Maamouri (1998) claims that institutions and teachers should be following a ‘linguistically responsive pedagogy’ that focuses on the language

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that learners use at home so that students will fnd greater motivation in language learning and will be able to relate better to what they are learning. In line with this, perhaps language learning in Tamil, alongside the many changes to the current curriculum in making classes more technologically advanced and engaging (Rajan, 2018), would be more robust if this linguistically responsive pedagogy were to take into account the varieties spoken in Singapore. Tamil, if presented as a constantly changing and evolving language, will critically challenge students’ personal views and wider claims that it is a dying language within the linguistic landscape of Singapore. Notes 1 Solomon (2012) points out that the close association of Tamil community leaders with Singapore’s political elites also helped assert the signifcant position of the language as representative of the broader ethnic group. 2 Tis wave of migration also included, in smaller proportion business communities, educated civil servants who were of ethnic Tamil and non-Tamil backgrounds (Rai, 2014). 3 As Lal (2006, p. 185) notes, stringent immigration policies impeded citizens of India from migrating to Singapore until the early 1990s, which heralded the next big wave of professional migrants from India to arrive in Singapore. 4 Tis refers to respondents who have either one parent or one grandparent who speaks Tamil. Tese categories were chosen to refect the diferent language backgrounds of Indians who are classifed as ‘Tamil-speaking’.

References Balachandran, L. (2018). ‘Indians’ under ofcial multiracialism in Singapore: Unpacking heterogeneity. In W-J. J. Yeung & S. Hu (Eds.), Family and population change in Singapore: A unique case in the global family change (pp. 74–96). London and New York: Routledge. Bean, S. S. (1981). Toward a semiotics of ‘purity’ and ‘pollution’ in India. American Ethnologist, 8, 575–595. Canagarajah, S., & Silberstein, S. (2012). Diaspora identities and language. Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 11(2), 81–84. Cavallaro, F., & Ng, B. C. (2014). Language in Singapore: From multilingualism to English plus. Challenging the Monolingual Mindset, 156, 33–48. Chua, B. H. (2003). Multiculturalism in Singapore: An instrument of social control. Race & Class, 44, 58–77. Crystal, D. (2001). Language and the internet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Das, S. N. (2008). Between convergence and divergence: Reformatting language purism in the Montreal Tamil diasporas. Journal of Linguistic Anthropology, 18, 1–23. Department of Statistics. (2015). General household survey: Yearbook of statistics. Singapore: Department of Statistics Singapore. Eisenlohr, P. (2004). Register levels of ethno-national purity: Te ethnicization of language and community in Mauritius. Language in Society, 33, 59–80. Ethnologue. (2017). Languages of the world. Retrieved from www.ethnologue.com/ Ferguson, C. A. (1959). Diglossia. Word, 15, 325–340. Gupta, A. F. (1991). Acquisition of diglossia in Singapore English. In A. Kwan-Terry (Ed.), Child language development in Singapore and Malaysia (pp. 119–160). Singapore: Singapore University Press.

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Hall, S. (1990). Te local and the global: Globalization and ethnicity. In A. D. King (Ed.), Culture, globalization and the world system: Contemporary conditions for the representation of identity (pp. 19–39). London: Palgrave Macmillan. Hardgrave, R. L. (1965). Te Dravidian movement. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. Jain, R., & Wee, L. (2015). Multilingual education in Singapore: Beyond language communities? In A. Yiakoumetti (Ed.), Multilingualism and language in education: Sociolinguistic and pedagogical perspectives from commonwealth countries (pp. 67–85). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jain, R., & Wee, L. (2019). Diversity management and the presumptive universality of categories: Te case of the Indians in Singapore. Current Issues in Language Planning, 20, 16–32. Kaur, A. (2008). Singapore’s new Indians: Attracting Indian foreign talent to Singapore. In K. Kesavapany, A. Mani, & P. Ramasamy (Eds.), Rising India and Indian communities in East Asia (pp. 645–660). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing. Kesavapany, K., Mani, A., & Ramasamy, P. (Eds.). (2008). Rising India and Indian communities in East Asia. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing. Lakshmi, S., & Saravanan, V. (2011). Standard spoken language: Tamil language in Singapore. Saarbrücken: LAP Lambert Academic Publishing. Lal, B. V. (2006). Introduction. In B. V. Lal, P. Reeves, & R. Rai (Eds.), Te encyclopedia of the Indian diaspora (pp. 10–16). Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press. Maamouri, M. (1998). Language education and human development: Arabic diglossia and its impact on the quality of education in the Arab region. Paper presented at the Mediterranean Development Forum of the World Bank, Marrakech, Morocco, September 3–6. Marglin, F. A. (1977). Power, purity and pollution: Aspects of the caste system reconsidered. Contributions to Indian Sociology, 11, 245–270. Palanisamy, V. (2015, January 23). Indians have made good strides. AsiaOne. Retrieved from www.asiaone.com/singapore/indians-have-made-good-strides Rai, R. (2009). Te attrition and survival of minor South Asian languages in Singapore. In R. Rai & P. Reeves (Eds.), South Asian diaspora: Transnational networks and changing identities (pp. 143–159). London and New York: Routledge. Rai, R. (2014). Indians in Singapore, 1819–-1945: Diaspora in the colonial port city. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Rajan, R. (2014). Tamil language in multilingual Singapore: Key issues in teaching and maintaining a minority language. In G. Zhang & K. Dunworth (Eds.), Critical perspectives on language education: Australia and the Asia pacifc (pp. 189–208). Cham: Springer. Rajan, R. (2018). Tamil and Tamils: A study of language and identity amongst the Indian Tamil community in Singapore (PhD thesis). Curtin University, Perth. Sankaran, C., & Pillai, S. (2011). Transnational Tamil television and diasporic imaginings. International Journal of Cultural Studies, 14, 277–289. Saravanan, V. (1993). Language and social identity amongst Tamil-English bilinguals in Singapore. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 6, 275–289. Saravanan, V., Lakshmi, S., & Caleon, I. S. (2007). Attitudes towards literary Tamil and standard spoken Tamil in Singapore. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 10, 58–79. Saravanan, V., Lakshmi, S., & Caleon, I. S. (2009). Te debate over literary Tamil versus standard spoken Tamil: What do teachers say? Journal of Language, Identity, and Education, 8, 221–235. Schifman, H. F. (2003). Tongue-tied in Singapore: A language policy for Tamil? Journal of Language, Identity & Education, 2, 105–125.

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Scully, M. (2012). Te tyranny of transnational discourse: ‘authenticity’ and Irish diasporic identity in Ireland and England. Nations and Nationalism, 18, 191–209. Seah, M. (2016). Te new immigrants: Indian ‘expat’ professionals. In K. Lian (Ed.), Multiculturalism, migration, and the politics of identity in Singapore (pp. 113–137). Singapore: Springer. Shantakumar, G., & Mukhopadhaya, P. (2008). Demographics, incomes and developmental issues amongst Indians in Singapore. In K. Kesavapany, A. Mani, & P. Ramasamy (Eds.), Rising India and Indian communities in East Asia (pp. 594–627). Singapore: ISEAS Publishing. Siegel, J. (2010). Pidgins and creoles. In N. H. Hornberger & S. L. McKay (Eds.), Sociolinguistics and language education (pp. 232–264). New York: Multilingual Matters. Solomon, J. (2012). Te decline of pan-Indian identity and the development of Tamil cultural separatism in Singapore, 1856–1965. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 35, 257–281. Steever, S. B., & Britto, F. (1986). Diglossia: A study of the theory, with application to Tamil. Language, 64, 152–155. Sundaraju, G. A. (1989). Te Tamil Murasu: Te evolution of a local Tamil newspaper 1935–1974 (BA thesis). National University of Singapore, Singapore. Vaish, V., Tan, T. K., Bokhorst-Heng, W., Hogan, D., & Kang, T. (2010). Language and social capital in Singapore. In L. Lim, A. Pakir, & L. Wee (Eds.), English in Singapore (pp. 159–180). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.

5

Te other mother tongues of Singaporean Indians Ritu Jain

Introduction Te smallest of the three main ethnic groups in Singapore, the Indians comprise a mere 9 per cent of the total resident population of 4 million (Singapore Department of Statistics, 2019). Notwithstanding their small number, the community stands out for its linguistic and cultural heterogeneity in comparison to the Malay and the Chinese communities that constitute 13 per cent and 74 per cent respectively of the total resident population.1 In the education system, English is the language of instruction and is considered the ‘frst language’ while the mother tongue (defned by the government for the three ethnic groups) constitutes a ‘second language’ subject for all students. Students identifed as Chinese are mandated to study Mandarin, the Malay students to study Malay, and all students identifed as Indian are expected to study Tamil. However, while the Indians are linguistically represented in ofcial policies by Tamil, a majority (54 per cent), nearly half of the South Asian community report using various Dravidian languages such as Malayalam, Telugu, and Kannada or Indo–Aryan languages such as Punjabi, Hindi and Gujarati. As Pillai and Rubdy highlight in their chapter in this volume, historical assumptions of an essentialist link between ethnicity and language have led to the glossing over of the rich linguistic heterogeneity among those identifed as Indian or Chinese. In fact, the very label, ‘Indian’, is a misnomer that conceals a signifcant diversity of nationality, region of origin, migratory background, and language. Regional, linguistic, educational, and class diferences such as those between the local-born and overseas-born, of ‘North Indian’ vs ‘South Indian’, of ‘Tamil’ vs ‘non-Tamil’ remain sensitive and just below the surface. Tis broad distinction between the ‘south’ and ‘north’ Indians has been further exacerbated by the growing number of transnationally mobile individuals who form the ‘foreign talent’ attracted by the government’s migration policies. Among the resident population, 68 per cent of the Indians are citizens while the rest remain on permanent resident status. Beyond these categories are the ‘non-resident’ Indians, highly educated and in high paying skilled jobs, who have been given a variety of employment passes. Further

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underscoring the intra-community diference is the issue of place of birth: the Singapore-born who trace their ancestry back a few generations to India have greater social legitimacy over the recently naturalised citizens or non-citizens categorised socially as ‘Indian Indians’. Notwithstanding the multilingual reality, the state language policy continues to assume, and contribute towards, the consolidation of – real or artifcial – homogeneity within the three ethnic groups. However, over time, acknowledgement of the challenges of Tamil as the mandatory second language in education for Indian students has prompted the government to make exceptions for non-Tamil Indian language (NTIL) speakers. Over the years, students of Indian heritage have not only been granted a concession to study any of the three ofcial mother tongues, but the government has also made the unique allowance of fve additional South Asian languages in lieu of Tamil. As a direct result of community advocacy, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu have been accepted as optional second language subjects since 1990. Consequently, a student of Indian heritage has the option of studying any of the three ofcial mother tongues or one of the fve nonofcial languages in lieu.2 While not on the same level as the three ofcial languages that are supported by the government’s language policy (explained later), these community or heritage languages are nonetheless permitted as essential subjects in education from years 1 through 12 of schooling. As this study later suggests, despite introduction of such measures, the likelihood of maintenance of supported languages is relatively low. Issues relating to the multilingual complexity of the community, as well as the radical language education policy departure this has prompted, form the twin foci of this chapter. Te work is motivated by two main aims: (a) to ofer a sociolinguistic description of the Indian or South Asian community in Singapore and (b) to highlight the challenges and outcomes of language education policy decisions for the highly multilingual community. In doing so, it addresses a distinct gap within scholarly commentary on the Indian languages of Singapore. Concomitantly, this study of institutional support for minority languages carries implications for the wider feld of heritage language education. Te chapter begins with a discussion of the gap in research attention to the minor South Asian languages in Singapore before moving to the broader feld of minority languages by way of contextualising the study. It then ofers the background of the Indian community and their languages through three phases (pre-1965, 1965–1990, and post-1990) that resulted in the special policy measures for the languages of the Indian community. Next, examining the impact of these measures on language uptake in the three decades since their institution, the chapter highlights the paradoxes inherent in the inclusive policy. Te chapter concludes with a discussion of the challenges of managing the linguistic diversity among Singapore’s Indian community and implications of fndings to programs for the languages of minorities.

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Te research context South Asian languages in policy discussions

Within Singapore, various aspects of societal multilingualism and the impacts of language policies have been explored and analysed in scholarly critique (Bokhorst-Heng & Silver, 2017a; De Costa, Park, & Wee, 2016; Gupta, 2010; Kuo & Jernudd, 1993; Wee & Bokhorst-Heng, 2005). More specifcally, the impact of policies on individual languages or ethnic communities has motivated commentary. Examples of these include: language shift among the Chinese community as a consequence of the Speak Mandarin Campaign (Bokhorst-Heng & Silver, 2017b; Bokhorst-Heng, 1998; Bokhorst-Heng & Wee, 2007; Curdt-Christiansen, 2014; Teo, 2005) and the impact of the language policy on the increasing shift to English among the linguistically homogeneous (relatively) Malays (Cavallaro & Serwe, 2010; David, Cavallaro, & Coluzzi, 2009). In the comparatively limited discussions related to Indian languages, scholars have explored the role of the education policy given the diglossic nature of Tamil (Schifman, 1998, 2003), as well as curricular reforms in response to educational concerns (Lakshmi, 2016). Saravanan (1999) and Schifman (1998, 2003) have highlighted that, despite the use of Tamil in extended family networks and in the domain of religion (see also Vaish, 2007), there has been an increased use of English among the Tamils (and the wider Indian community) across all domains. While some of this shift may be attributed to the pedagogical challenges related to the diglossia between the spoken and written forms of Tamil as well as the puristic variety taught in schools (Schifman, 2003), scholars have concurred that the language education policy is no longer sufcient in defending against the erosion of the language. In contrast, the non-ofcial languages across all communities, and particularly those of the Indians have been largely ignored in sociolinguistic research. Discussion of the ‘other’ Indian languages is limited to PuruShotam (2000) and Rai (2009) who highlight the historical position of the minority languages within the context of nation building and language policy. More recently, this author’s work (Jain & Wee, 2018, 2019) has attempted to address such lacunae. Tis chapter summarises and further extends previous work on the ofcial as well as the unofcial South Asian languages of Singapore. Institutional support of minority languages

Discussions of minority community languages have largely been taken up in the feld of heritage and community language education. In the literature, the term ‘heritage language’ itself has lacked consensus and remains contentious for various essentialist associations. Heritage languages have been labelled according to the status of the community or language within

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a country (minority/non-ofcial/non-dominant); origin of language/speech community (immigrant or indigenous); or even by the lineage of the speakers (ancestral language/foreign language) (see Hornberger & Wang, 2008; Trifonas & Aravossitas, 2018, for discussions on the defnition). Regardless of defnition, a common denominator has been that such languages are spoken by minority communities and fall on a spectrum of support ranging from provision in national policies to marginalisation and/or stigma. In the absence of state programs in most countries, minority languages are often supported by the respective communities through programs in after-hours schools (as in some Australian states). Tese programs are usually non-incentivised (such as lacking a status in the education system) and rely on the enthusiasm of the learners and education providers. Adapting the defnition ofered by (Hornberger & Wang, 2008; Valdes, 2001), this chapter understands heritage or minority languages as non-dominant languages to which individuals have a historical or personal connection. Historically, scholarly attention in the area of non-dominant languages has focused on advocating for equitable access to education support for languages of indigenous communities while heritage or immigrant communities have remained relatively on the sidelines. However, increasing trends in large-scale transnational mobility have seen the emergence of an entire feld dedicated to immigrant languages (Kagan, Carreira, & Chik, 2017; Seals & Shah, 2017; Trifonas & Aravossitas, 2014, 2018). Within the literature, scholars have drawn attention to the importance of the domain of education in promoting community languages as secondary only to that of family (Kagan et al., 2017; Fishman, 1991; Spolsky, 2008; Lo Bianco, 2010; Pauwels, 2007; Hornberger, 1988, 2008; Jafe, 2011; Wiley, 2014). Tat institutional support plays an integral role in the maintenance of minority languages has been well highlighted in research. Advocating for greater inclusion of minority languages in mainstream education, scholars have underscored the critical role of mainstreaming or greater institutional support (Kagan et al., 2017; Chik, Carreira, & Kagan, 2017; Cummins, 2005, 2014; Wiley & Bhalla, 2017). Te role of communities as critical partners for the inclusion of minority languages (both indigenous and immigrant) in education has also been highlighted (Aravossitas, 2014; Creese, Bhatt, Bhojani, & Martin, 2006; Hajek & Slaughter, 2015; Lytra & Martin, 2010; Ndhlovu & Willoughby, 2017; Slavkov, 2016). Collectively, these studies demonstrate that there is no template that may be relied on for facilitating non-dominant languages. Te constraints and processes within and by which such languages are promoted or otherwise require a continual investigation for ‘refreshed’ and efective education planning in individual contexts. However, the literature does indicate that the preservation and vitality of non-dominant languages relies on both institutional support as well as community engagement. Without one, the other is likely to yield limited results.

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Presenting the Singapore case

Presenting the case of the South Asian non-dominant languages in Singapore, this chapter highlights an uncommon alliance between institutional support and community organisations in support of Indian languages.3 Te government ofers fve Indian community languages the status of mother tongue subjects in education but remains almost entirely detached from aspects of teaching and assessments that it leaves to the various community schools. Instructional hours per week for these subjects are on a par with those reserved for ofcial mother tongues and English. Tat is, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu serve as optional language subjects (in lieu of Tamil, Mandarin, and Malay) from grades 1 to 12 for Indian students with delivery mechanism of instruction being the main diference. Teoretically, such statecommunity partnership, backed by the language education policy, should result in robust language maintenance among the supported communities. Evaluating the outcomes of these facilitative measures, the study reported here assesses if education policy support is the critical stimulus in promoting community languages. Te present study is based on survey and interview data collected in 2015 as part of the author’s doctoral study as well as an ongoing funded research project to examine language shift among the Indians of Singapore. As part of the research project, a total of 3040 students studying any of the six Indian languages have been surveyed (between March 2018 and December 2019) and data analysed using SPSS for, but not limited to, language background, identity, practices, and attitudes. Tis data has been supplemented with archival examination of historical documents such as censuses, parliamentary discussions, and newspapers and magazines. Lastly, community and individual language-related opinions have been gleaned from online platforms to support conclusions. However, given that the focus of this chapter is to ofer a survey of the ‘Indian’ languages and outcome of special policy measures, only a brief snapshot of the data will be ofered here. Background: language policies towards Singapore Indians Te institution of community languages (pre-1965)

Te smallest of the three ofcial ethnic groups or ‘race’, the term ‘Indians’ has come to serve as an expedient label for ‘persons of Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi or Sri Lankan origin such as Tamils, Malayalis, Punjabis, Bengalis, Sinhalese etc.’ (Wong, 2011). While the compressed ‘Indian’ identity is aligned with the contemporary Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others policies, it conceals a rich diversity that was more accurately captured in colonial censuses. Acknowledging the reductive nature of broad categories for the sake of administrative necessity, colonial censuses triangulated this with detailed data on languages, religions, place of origin, and other sociological attributes that

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Table 5.1 Indians in Malaya/Singapore by specifc community, census of 1947

Tamil Telugu Malayali Other South Indians Total – South Indians Sikh Punjabi Pathan Bengali Gujerati Maharatti Marwari Sindhi Rajput Parsi Other Indians (& Pakistanis) Total – all Indians

1921

1931

1947

387,509 39,986 17,190 – 444,685 9,307 6,144 804 5,072 403 29 – – – – 3,736 470,180

514,778 32,536 34,898 – 582,212 18,149 12,794

460,985 24,093 44,339 15,968 545,385 10,132 20,460 3,166 3,834 1,301 556 1,355 728 479 98 12,122 599,616

1,827 1,386

– – 5,479 621,847

Source: Del Tufo, 1949

have since been diminished. In the pan-Malayan censuses until 1947 as well as in the frst census undertaken in Singapore in 1957, broad racial categories (predominantly along geographic origins) were supplemented with ethnic sub-communities defned along sub-national regions of origin. Table 5.1 of pan-Malayan censuses until 1947 captures some of the rich ethnic diversity among the Indians. Subsequently, the racial classifcation of those from the undivided Indian subcontinent becomes even more difcult with the splintering away of Pakistan in 1947.4 After a brief expansion of the category to ‘Indians and Pakistanis’ in 1957 (Chua, 1964), the group identity reverts to ‘Indians’ in the post-independence censuses despite the inclusion of Ceylon in the census of 1970 (Arumainathan, 1973) and of Bangladesh in that of 1980 (Khoo, 1981). Te scope of coverage, such as of ‘languages commonly spoken in the household’ is similarly reduced, in censuses of independent Singapore. Changing sub-group identities from those along sub-regions in nations of origin, censuses after 1970 identify groups along ‘linguistic or dialect divisions’ (Arumainathan, 1973, p. 247). Table 5.2 indicates the changes in sub-communities among the Indians captured in the censuses undertaken in Singapore since 1957. Table 5.2 indicates that among the sub-groups, those identifying as Tamil continue to form the majority, but the proportion is gradually diminishing inversely to that of the Others (who cannot be classifed into available categories). However, other than the ‘identity’ categories, no information on mother tongues or language use is recorded for non-ofcial languages. In censuses

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Table 5.2 Census data on Indians by ethnic group, 1957–2010 Ethnic group Tamil Malayali Punjabi Ceylonese Sikh Bengali Sinhalese Gujerati Telugu Pathan Hindustani Sindhi Urdu Hindi ‘Indians’ & ‘Pakistanis’ Others Total

1957

1970

1980

1990

2000

2010

60.40% 16.82% 5.99% 3.12% 2.63% 1.86% 1.06% 0.70% 0.45% 0.24% – – – – 2.37% 4.34% 129,510

66.26% 11.97% 8.36% 3.72% – 0.75% – 1.00% 0.35% – – – – – – 7.60% 145,169

63.88% 8.05% 7.78% – – – – 1.05% – – – – – – – 19.25% 154,632

63.94% 8.56% 1.21% – 6.67% – 1.04% 1.05% – – 2.02% 1.49% 1.15% 0.60% – 12.29% 190,907

58.26% 8.43% 1.83% – 5.12% – 0.94% 1.26% – – 1.96% 1.56% 1.16% 1.54% – 17.94% 257,791

54.17% 7.57% 1.63% – 3.72% – 0.90% 1.18% – – 1.38% 1.14% 1.37% 3.76% – 23.17% 348,119

Source: Adapted from Chua, 1964; Arumainathan, 1973; Khoo, 1981; Lau, 1993; Leow, 2001; Wong, 2011

after 1970, data on ‘predominant household language’ is limited to English and Tamil within the Indian community. As Table 5.3 demonstrates, among the South Asians – or Indians – the census indicates the use of English, Tamil, and Malay while the rest of the linguistic heterogeneity is compressed into ‘Other Indian languages’. While currently the language of 54 per cent of the Indians, the choice of Tamil as representative of the community was historically afected by political concerns domestically as well as in the region. Scholars (PuruShotam, 2000; Rai, 2009; Solomon, 2012) have highlighted that the decision for Tamil was infuenced by ‘a gathering momentum of Tamil cultural revivalism’ (PuruShotam, 2000, pp. 45–46) in the southern states of post-independent India grappling with resistance to the adoption of Hindi as the national language. Solomon (2012) further suggests that ‘the close links between the People’s Action Party and one of their crucial support bases, Tamil union leaders and workers as well as Tamil reformers’ (p. 259) contributed to the privileging of the Tamil language in post-independence Singapore. Political sensitivities domestically were further enhanced by the government’s awareness of language confict in neighbouring countries such as Sri Lanka, East Pakistan/ contemporary Bangladesh, and particularly, India (Hardgrave, 1965; Ramaswamy, 1997). Against the backdrop of national language crises rife in the Indian subcontinent at the time or what Hardgrave calls ‘the “Sinhalesation” of the Ceylonese government and “Tamilisation” of the Madras State in India’ (Hardgrave, 1965, p. 7), Tamil was accepted as the linguistic identity for the

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Table 5.3 Predominant household languages by ethnic groups 1980–2010 Ethnic group

Language

1980*

1990*

2000

2010

Chinese

English Mandarin Chinese dialects English Malay English Tamil Malay Other Indian languages

10.2 13.1 76.2 2.3 96.7 24.3 52.2 8.6 14.9

21.4 30.0 48.2 5.7 94.1 34.3 43.5 14.1 8.1

23.9 45.1 30.7 7.9 91.6 35.6 42.9 11.6 9.9

32.6 47.7 19.2 17.0 82.7 41.6 36.7 7.9 13.8

Malays Indians

Sources: *Lau, 1993; Singapore Department of Statistics, 2001; Wong, 2011

Indians in Singapore. Despite its regional stature in India, Tamil, the politically and numerically strong contender, was selected over alternatives such as Hindi. Spoken by 60 per cent of the Indians in 1957, Tamil was adopted as the representative language of the South Asian population in Singapore. Tese linguistic identities were carried forward in policies of independent Singapore and remained integral to the education policy after the departure of Singapore from Malaysia in 1965. Challenges and changes to the L2 of Indian students (1965–1990)

Te bilingual education policy of independent Singapore in 1965 constituted an instrument for the establishment and consolidation of a communal and national identity. Te three ethnic languages, even though they were not the predominantly used languages in the communities5, were established as mother tongue languages in the education policy. Kuo (1980, p. 43), highlighting the discrepancy between the term mother tongue as linguistically understood and as applied in the education policy in Singapore, posits that in 1965, over 80 per cent of school children spoke languages other than the four ofcial languages at home. Among the three communities, a majority of the Malays (85 per cent) and Indians (60 per cent) identifed with the community’s ofcial languages, Malay and Tamil. Te remaining 40 per cent of Indian community identifed with languages such as Malayalam, Punjabi, Gujarati, and so on. Aware of the challenges of studying a Dravidian language6 for those identifying with Indo-Aryan languages, the government ofered the Indian students a unique fexibility7 of choice of any of the three ofcial languages as the optional mother tongue subject. While speakers of Dravidian languages opted for Tamil, a majority of those from Indo-Aryan language backgrounds preferred Malay (Rai, 2009) for its Roman script. Nevertheless, the challenges of studying languages that were not spoken in the home took a heavy academic toll over the years. Highlighting the diferences of language and script

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among the heterogeneous Indians, a news report (Mohan, 1980) indicated that only 55 per cent of all Indian students had opted for Tamil as second language in 1979 while the rest had elected to study Malay or Mandarin. Te North Indians pointed out that Tamil was a difcult language to learn and had no economic or functional value among the non-Tamil language community (Rai, 2009). Te community’s problems were aggravated with the release of the Goh and Education Study Team Report (1979). Commissioned to identify problems and reform Singapore’s education system, the report highlighted – among other factors – inefective bilingualism. However, its recommendations, focusing on increasing attention to English and the ofcially defned mother tongues, only aggravated the situation for the Indians. Language reforms such as an elevated standard of performance in the second language subjects for admission to university directly impacted the nonTamil students studying one of the three ofcial languages. Before the report, under-performance in the mother tongue subject had forced many into dispreferred educational streams8 and subjects after terminal school exams (years 6 and 10). However, as a result of the new measures, the enhanced second language requirements for entry into university (Balachandran, 2018; Rai, 2009) meant that students with non-Tamil language subjects failed to get admission into tertiary institutions. Te widespread community concern regarding the educational underperformance of Indian students prompted the formation of the Action Committee on Indian Education (ACIE) in 1990 to assess issues and recommend remedial measures. Among other challenges, the committee’s report highlighted the burden that the learning of Tamil, Mandarin, or Malay as second language subjects imposed on non-Tamil language students. It suggested this as a key factor for the gap between the 37 per cent pass rate at the ‘O’ Level9 examinations among the Indians compared to 62 per cent among the Chinese in 1990 (Singapore Action Committee on Indian Education, 1991, p. 7). Underscoring the language challenges was an additional concern related to the shortfall in population among the Indian community in the 1980s. Te census of 1980 highlights an all-time low proportion of Indians at slightly above 6 per cent of the total population, the lowest level in the history of the nation. Te emigration of Indians continued through the 1980s with highly qualifed professionals who were dissatisfed with the educational underperformance of their children (Te Business Times, 1990). In 1988, nearly ffteen per cent of this small population had acquired the Good Conduct Certifcate required for emigration (Te Straits Times, 1990). Te brain drain was mainly attributed to, among other factors, the declining standard of academic performance of Indian students and its potential socio-economic impact in the future. Te government’s double-pronged response was to address these through attempts to raise educational standards of Indian children as well as creating conditions to retain and attract new Indians. Collectively, community dissatisfaction and government awareness of their concerns, fnally

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propelled the government to make systemic changes at the education policy level for the Indians. Te reconfguration of community languages (post-1990)

Te late 1980s and beyond saw a slew of government measures towards the Indian community. In 1990, among other measures, students of Indian ethnicity were granted approval to study one of the fve non-Tamil Indian languages – Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu – as second language subjects in lieu of the three ofcial languages.10 Justifcation for the choice of these particular languages was that they were ‘available in the ‘O’ level examinations and the standards are maintained by the Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate’ (Tan, 1989). Interestingly, despite being the second most commonly spoken language among the Indian community Malayalam remained excluded from consideration. Scholars have suggested that the shared Dravidian roots between Malayalam and Tamil (as well as Telugu and Kannada) meant that Tamil would not be difcult to learn (PuruShotam, 2000). Highlighting that the same argument of common language roots could be made for Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, and Punjabi, Rai (2009) ofers the alternate perspective of insecurity driven pressure from the Tamil leaders who were anxious about the further weakening of the South Indian community’s language identity. Te design, delivery, and fnancing of community language instruction remains the responsibility of the community but for all intents and purposes, these non-ofcial language subjects are educationally on a par with the ofcial mother tongue subjects, as explained later in this chapter. In this unique statecommunity alliance, the fve languages have been managed by the collaborative community organisation, the Board for the Teaching & Testing of South Asian Languages (BTTSAL) since 2002. Te body ensures standardisation of language instruction and examinations (other than those at the national level) as well as teacher training and development of curricular materials. Te various language communities maintain their autonomy in the conduct of language instruction and assessments on the premises of public schools during of-curriculum hours – usually Saturdays. However, the logistical challenges of managing large numbers of those opting for one of the Indian languages during the mother tongue period in certain schools has further prompted a shift from the initial language delivery model. Over time, the government has consented to the option of ‘insertion classes’ (Pauwels, 2007) where community teachers visit mainstream schools during curricular hours if student numbers justify the special arrangement and expense (to parents). Te convenience of the in-school Parallel Language Programs, as they are locally termed, potentially brings the community languages on par with ofcial languages. Today, performance in the semestral and annual examinations is weighted on criteria similar to that of ofcial languages and contributes towards annual academic progression and government scholarships and awards. However, in

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order to ensure parity of assessments for all ethnic languages, the conduct of national level examinations at year 6 (Primary School Leaving Examination), year 10/11 (GCE ‘N’/‘O’ Level) and year 12 (GCE ‘A’ Level) remains within the control of the government. Pedagogically, the lack of government investment in teacher training or instructional materials, the preference for hyperpuristic language varieties, and translated instructional materials into the fve languages (to ensure ‘standardisation’) result in uninspiring language learning. Further, unlike the three ofcial mother tongue languages, the additional Indian languages are not ofered at staggered levels such as Basic or Higher Levels and remain the same for both background and non-background learners regardless of the learner’s profciency or interest. Currently, the fve languages are taught by community organisations through Saturday schools. Bengali language instruction is delivered by two community schools: the Bangla Language and Literary Society and the Bangladesh Language and Cultural Foundation, both of which host lessons in two centres each. Even as the language programs remain similar, the two organisations, catering primarily to students of Indian and Bangladeshi heritage respectively, remain culturally distinct. Gujarati and Punjabi languages are taught by the Singapore Gujarati School and the Singapore Sikh Education Foundation respectively to a declining number of students. Similarly, the Urdu Development Society hosts Urdu lessons for students primarily from Pakistan. Finally, the language with the maximum enrolment, Hindi, falls within the purview of two community schools: Hindi Society (hosting students in six weekend schools) and the DAV Hindi Centre (with nine centres). In addition to the Saturday schools, students have the option of insertion classes or in-school programs if parents are willing to pay the relatively higher cost of tuition and if the enrolment numbers justify the community school sending a teacher over. However, only Punjabi and Hindi have been taken up via this route with Punjabi available in one school and Hindi in 133 local schools. Te sites where each language is available to students in both insertion (in-school) programs and in Saturday schools is indicated in Table 5.4. Table 5.4 Number of sites for community language classes Community schools Bangla Language and Literary Society Bangladesh Language and Cultural Foundation Gujarati Singapore Gujarati School Punjabi Singapore Sikh Education Foundation Urdu Urdu Development Society Hindi Hindi Society DAV Hindi Centre

Bengali

Saturday school sites Insertion class schools 2

0

2

0

1 1

0 1

1 6 9

0 72 61

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Institutional support for South Asian languages (1990–2018)

A shift in the community’s demographic makeup as a result of the large number of new arrivals from the north of India (in contrast to the earlier arrivals from the southern states) has led to a related increase in linguistic heterogeneity.11 Sinha (2015) points out that the large-scale recruitment of ‘foreign talent’ from the various metropolises of India has reconfgured the community’s linguistic profle (Dominic & Balachandran, this volume; Kathiravelu, 2020). Other than the institutionally recognised Tamil and the NTILs, a host of other languages – both ‘south’ and ‘north’ Indian – continue to be spoken among the Indians in Singapore. As Jain and Wee (2015, p. 75) argue: ‘Among the newer diaspora, Tamil holds neither an instrumental value (that Mandarin does among the Chinese) nor serves an integrative function (served by Malay among the Malay people)’. In fact, the census of 2010 indicates that in 42 per cent of the Indian homes, English was the most commonly spoken language in the home. Consequently, the accommodation of some of this linguistic diversity in the education policy should enhance the likelihood of the uptake, maintenance, and transmission of community languages. However, such outcomes are not easy to assess given that data on use of non-ofcial languages is not collected via national instruments such as the census. Similarly, data on the total number of students studying the three ofcial mother tongue languages (Mandarin, Malay, Tamil) or the familial language of students studying one of the six Indian languages is classifed and remains inaccessible. Notwithstanding, enrolment numbers of students studying the fve non-Tamil Indian languages – Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu – remained accessible from the respective community schools as well as the overseeing board, BTTSAL until 2018.12 Community school admission data (Table 5.5) indicates a steady growth in the overall enrolment of students in the fve languages (Jain & Wee, 2019; Shah & Jain, 2017). Table 5.5 indicates that the total enrolment in the fve languages increased from 5786 students in 2010 to 9481 in 2018.13 However, a closer look at the data indicates that there is a gradual decline in enrolment across all languages other than Hindi. Uptake of Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu has shrunk signifcantly in the eight years since 2010. Similarly, while Bengali was steadily

Table 5.5 Student enrolment for non-Tamil Indian languages: 2010–2018

2010 2013 2015 2018

Bengali

Gujarati

Hindi

Punjabi

Urdu

Total

629 820 995 906

154 124 108 77

3581 4826 6475 7629

1111 857 744 605

311 317 322 264

5786 6944 8644 9481

Source: BTTSAL

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increasing, it has been on a downward trajectory since 2015. In contrast, Hindi more than doubled in the same period and accounts for 80 per cent of the total enrolment. Further, data collected for an ongoing research project indicates that of the total 2228 students studying Hindi, only 808, or 36 per cent, are background learners (that is, they can claim Hindi as the familial language). Among the 64 per cent non-background learners, a majority come from Telugu and Malayalam backgrounds while the rest claim languages such as Marathi, Bengali, Punjabi, and even Tamil. Accounting for the popularity of Hindi among the more recently arrived Indians, Jain and Wee (2019) point out various reasons for parental decisions favouring Hindi. A major factor for its popularity is that as the ofcial language of India, Hindi forms an integral part of the country’s Tree Language Formula in the education system. Its availability as an optional language in all but one state often means that parents in Singapore themselves have greater literacy in Hindi, rather than the family language, because of their educational experiences.14 Te lack of facility in the ‘real’ mother tongue translates into concerns such as the inability to help with the child’s homework. Among parents, Hindi is not perceived of as an impediment but as complementary to the familial language. Similarly, data from my ongoing research project indicates that only 22 per cent of the students studying Hindi are citizens of Singapore while 78 per cent are either permanent residents or foreigners. Interviews with parents indicate that the possibility of relocation in the future requires the family to be prepared for re-entry into the Indian education system. Once again, Hindi, available in nearly all states of India, constitutes a stronger passport compared to any other language, including one’s own. Another major infuence for its popularity is the ease of access to Hindi language instruction in Singapore. Not only is it available in 15 Saturday school venues (compared to Bengali in two and Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu in one each), Hindi remains the only language accessible through insertion programs during curricular hours in 133 public school premises (with the exception of Punjabi that is taught in one school through the insertion mode). Furthermore, the decision in favour of Hindi also frees up Saturdays for other pursuits and further enhances the attraction of the language. Tis popularity feeds a self-perpetuating cycle: the large number of students enables the insertion classes and the availability of the language in the school premises enhances its attraction and uptake. Ongoing interviews with parents indicate that the position of the languages in India, the unpredictability of residency status of the families, and the convenience of language access and learning contribute to the demand for Hindi. However, the popularity of the language often comes at the expense of the familial languages that are institutionally available as second language options. As Jain (forthcoming) elaborates, the steady growth of Hindi as the second language in education has exacerbated prevalent language sensitivities among the Tamil community. Historically, Tamilians in Singapore have maintained that like Mandarin for the Chinese and Malay for those identifed

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as Malay, Tamil too should be the only language for the Indian community. In more recent years, the Ministry of Education schools have taken steps to curb the language latitude ofered to students taking Hindi. For example, a number of Hindi insertion classes during weekdays have been closed (perhaps to discourage students attracted by the convenience of learning Hindi). A greater number of students will therefore have to study Hindi in Saturday schools, an option that is not popular. Whether or not this translates to a decline in the numbers of those selecting Hindi, remains to be seen. Conclusion Tis chapter has demonstrated that policies play a critical role in the promotion of community languages. It has highlighted that the one-size-fts-all approach taken for the linguistic unifcation of the Chinese community was untenable for the Indians in Singapore. At the same time, it suggests that market forces are possibly more efective than policies can be for linguistic consolidation. Te perceived utilitarian benefts associated with both English and Hindi have translated to the community’s linguistic consolidation. Highlighting challenges of prevailing market forces to language planning, Lo Bianco (2010, p. 38) reminds us, ‘Under conditions of market economics and globalisation, language policies must acknowledge a dual principle of the demand for access to linguistic codes of wider communication and the complementary importance of conserving the unique cultural resources contained in multilingualism’. In Singapore, the higher statuses and corresponding instrumental values of Mandarin and Hindi in alternate sites confict with competing languages associated with cultural values. Terefore, on the one hand, concerted language planning and state machinery has been invested in engineering the shift from Chinese vernaculars to the economically advantageous language Mandarin; parallelly, a slower but similar coalescence has been occurring among the Indians from familial languages towards Hindi. An analogous imposition of a singular language (Tamil in this case) among the Indians, one perceived to be lacking in instrumental value, was bound to fail. Such recognition has motivated the unique fexibility ofered to the Indians but withheld from the Chinese and the Malays (see Bokhorst-Heng & Silver, 2017a). Tis study therefore suggests that creativity and collaboration in language planning and autonomy of choices is likely to lead to mutually efective outcomes for planners and linguistically diverse populations. Te agency of choice not only facilitates the realisation of individual objectives but also enables the investment of state resources in languages with historical statuses. Te current language policy allows for the refection of the long history and foundational contribution of Tamil to the nation while making room for those with alternate language orientations. Te Singapore case indicates that while policy support is pivotal for promoting community languages, language status is critical for protecting the heritage languages of a nation. Simultaneously, in

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relation to the feld of heritage language education, the Singapore model of state-community alliance is a pragmatic one but requires signifcant commitment from the communities. Te option of studying familial languages as subjects in education has contributed to the continuity of Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu in addition to that of Tamil among the Indian community (Table 5.5). Whether such language study contributes to adequate productive and/or receptive skills to ensure maintenance/transmission would require further study. However, as Spolsky (2008, p. 158) points out, by facilitating the preservation of even passive knowledge of a secondlanguage variety, language education policies can encourage the preservation of heritage languages. At the same time, the chapter also illustrates that institutional support, via conferment of status to a language in policy, is not conducive to maintenance and development unless matched by status in society. Tat enrolment in Bengali, Gujarati, Punjabi, and Urdu is steadily declining while the proportion of non-background learners of Hindi is contributing signifcantly to its growth indicates the vulnerability of language policies to shifts in the linguistic marketplace. Government eforts to encourage the uptake of familial languages and simultaneously curtail the growth of Hindi are not likely to succeed given that the current model serves the needs of both the settled and mobile populations. Te option of familial languages is likely to remain popular among the settled families or among those from various parts of the subcontinent such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Similarly, the option to study non-familial languages such as Hindi will continue to serve the transnational populations preparing for all future possibilities. Reserving the languages for background learners will disadvantage learners without exposure to the family language or support from parents; the restriction would also hamstring transitory families who expect to re-enter the education systems back home. On the other hand, Hindi is likely to grow with immigration-led growth in linguistic diversity. Strengthening the position and uptake of community languages would require signifcant investment of state resources such as pedagogically informed and innovative learning materials, teacher training, and so on. At the same time, initiatives for community languages require the continual investment of families and language communities in enhancing domains of use, strengthening the socio-cultural networks for greater language use, and remaining sensitive to changing circumstances of the extended language community globally. Acknowledging that schools alone are not enough, Hornberger (2008) argues that policy initiatives need to consider the entire language ecology ‘in a context of other local and global languages with their relative statuses and uses in domains and social felds’ that remain ‘subject to the vagaries of policy, politics, and power’ (p. 1). Te argument, made for revitalisation eforts of indigenous languages, can be extended to all minority languages, immigrant, heritage or indigenous. In fact, as instruments of education policies, schools – and by association, languages – depend on the degree to which such policies are facilitative or restrictive of societal languages.

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Acknowledgement Te author of this chapter wishes to acknowledge that the empirical research reported on in this chapter was facilitated by the Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund Tier 1 research grant [RG70/17 (NS)]. Notes 1 While the Chinese are no less diverse, they remain bound by a common script and more importantly, perhaps by a shared understanding and historical acceptance that Mandarin best serves the community interests in the absence of a common mother tongue (Bokhorst-Heng & Silver, 2017a). In contrast, among the Indian languages, Tamil is a Dravidian language while the other South Asian languages in education (NTILs) belong to the Indo-Aryan family. 2 However, permission has to be sought in order to study any language other than Tamil. 3 Te minor South Asian languages of Singapore are referred to as non-Tamil Indian languages in ofcial discourse. 4 Te frustrations of racial classifcation, and particularly for accurately capturing the Indian sub-groups have been discussed in the census of 1931 (Vlieland, 1932, p. 73) and 1947 (Del Tufo, 1949, p. 77). 5 With the exception of Malay among the Malay community. 6 Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu, the four Dravidian languages, use scripts very distinct from the Indo-Aryan languages. 7 In contrast, only pupils of mixed parentage among the Malays and Chinese were allowed a choice of the mother tongue subject at school. 8 Students with lower scores were required to study an extra year (after primary school) in order to take the secondary school leaving examination. 9 Te year 10 school-leaving examination. 10 Students of Chinese or Malay ethnicity are not allowed a choice and, unless exempted from studying a second language, must take up Mandarin and Malay respectively. 11 Census data indicates that the ratio of Singapore residents identifying themselves as Tamil has gradually shifted from 66 per cent in 1965 to 54 per cent in 2010. 12 Te Ministry of Education has since imposed an embargo on data sharing. 13 Enrolment data for the ofcial Indian mother tongue, Tamil, remains classifed. 14 Te state of Tamil Nadu, with its historic resistance to the imposition of Hindi, remains the exception.

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6

Te changing status of Malayalam in Singapore Anitha Devi Pillai and Rani Rubdy

Introduction Singapore has always been a richly diverse multiethnic and multilingual society even before it became an independent nation state and was still a part of British Malaysia. At independence in 1965, its founding father, the late Lee Kwan Yew, recognised that bilingualism was a strength not to be discarded. Hence, even as English, the colonial language, was made the key instrument of Singapore’s nation building and modernisation eforts and subsequently the medium of instruction in all schools, three of the four ofcial languages were chosen to represent the three major races of ‘Chinese’, ‘Malay’ and ‘Indian’ – Mandarin, Malay and Tamil respectively, referred to in ofcial discourse as ‘mother tongues’ (MTs). Tese MTs were meant to serve as cultural ballast and provide Asian values to counter the anticipated impact of English (Lim, 2015). However, as Singapore has grown more prosperous and English has come to fulfll more of its capital needs (economic, cultural, social, and symbolic) within today’s global economy, it has begun to dominate more and more domains of language use and reduce the need for bilingualism (Silver, 2005). Within this context of diminishing linguistic diversity the maintenance of a minority language like Malayalam, a non-ofcial MT language in Singapore has become increasingly problematic. Tis raises questions such as: What are the factors that have led to a shift away from Malayalam in the community? How might these be mitigated in order to allow the language to thrive at the community level? What factors might contribute to its survival in the face of the demands made by current sociopolitical and economic imperatives within Singapore’s framework of bi-/multilingualism? Tese are some of the concerns the chapter seeks to address in tracing the path traversed by Malayalam in Singapore over the last century. Teoretical considerations Te language ecology of Singapore has been largely shaped by its bilingual language education policy, which has evolved from an ideology of

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‘pragmatic multilingualism’ (Kuo & Jernudd, 1994, p. 72). Tis policy in which all children are schooled through English with their designated ‘mother tongue’ (an ethnic heritage language that is not necessarily spoken in the home) as a single school subject only, has given rise to Singaporeans who are described as ‘English-knowing’ bilinguals (Pakir, 1992) and the overall dominance of English in Singapore. Te leverage provided by English in Singapore’s education system has resulted in the high academic achievement of Singaporean students as measured by international comparison studies and to Singapore’s unprecedented economic success on the global scene; but it has also caused dramatic language shifts in the population. Tese shifts have impacted the ofcial mother tongues as well as minority languages like Malayalam. It is therefore necessary to deconstruct the ideological assumptions regarding language planning underlying its language education policy in light of their relation to current theory in the feld in understanding how they – directly or indirectly – impinge on the status of Malayalam in Singapore’s language ecology. Some of these assumptions are described next. Linguistic diversity needs to be managed

Even as a new fedgling city state, Singapore has been wary of linguistic diversity and heterogeneity as a potential source of confict and social unrest among its multiethnic communities, particularly since maintaining social harmony was of uppermost importance in the early days of nation building. To manage this diversity and keep its commitment to multiracialism the constituent composition of Singapore was divided on the basis of ‘racial’ categories into four major groups: Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Others (CMIO), under the assumption that the members of these ‘races’ shared a common ‘ethnicity’ and identity and identifed with a common language. Te three languages of Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, respectively, ascribed as ofcial mother tongue (MT) to these three races, thus indicate a somewhat essentialist link between ethnicity and language, as it simplifed the far more complex nature of the internal linguistic heterogeneity that existed within each of these ethnic groups. For example, the government’s decision to have Tamil represent the Indian community, since Tamil speakers were in the majority then, overlooks the fact that the Indian community comprises speakers of at least a dozen Indian languages, each with its own distinct script and literary tradition. Not surprisingly, these speakers for whom Tamil was never a home language would not be able to identify with it as MT and would likely feel alienated in learning Tamil, much like the Chinese dialect speakers, virtually none of whom spoke Mandarin, their ascribed MT, as home language. Tus, from its very inception Singapore’s model of multilingualism came to be rooted in the process of homogenisation.

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Language is a tool that should be carefully chosen for its utility to the national interest

Another principle applied in managing Singapore’s linguistic heterogeneity was the functional division of labour among the four ofcial languages – English for its economic function and the MTs for their role in cultural transmission. Tis has led to a strong pragmatic orientation towards ‘linguistic instrumentalism’ (Wee, 2003; Silver, 2005), which emphasises the economic value of a language. Tere is a general preference for English and against the community languages because of its symbolic power and prestige (an instrumentalist value that has recently been extended to Mandarin with China’s rise to superpower status). By contrast, languages that have no economic viability in Singapore, such as the non-Mandarin Chinese dialects and the minority Indian languages, receive little ofcial recognition or institutional support. Linguistic instrumentalism has thus led to the minoritizing of the ofcial MTs (except Mandarin), and the non-ofcial mother tongues or minority languages that have little economic value (Wee, 2014). Tere is thus a hierarchy among the languages in Singapore where the status of Malayalam would likely be ranked quite low in the pecking order. Te government should encourage the use of high-status languages at home and in social interactions

Clearly, the government is keen to encourage interest in the ofcial MTs, as evidenced by the government’s energetic promotion of English and Mandarin through the Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC) initiated in 1979, and the Speak Good English Movement (SGEM), launched in 2000. Te same cannot be said of the ‘truly minor’ languages of Singapore, partly because it is simply not possible to actively promote each and every single mother tongue, given the enormous linguistic heterogeneity that exists within such a small nation state (Wee, 2014). But, even where attempts to grant recognition to some of these languages have occurred, language hierarchy often comes into play in the form of diferential treatment accorded to these languages: While the choice of Tamil as the ofcial MT for the Indian community at independence was not contested, as Tamil speakers were the majority in the ecology then, the infux of new Indian immigrants who are largely not of Tamil origin in the late 20th century did lead to some adjustments in the education policy (Jain & Wee, 2015). In response to lobbying by several South Asian community groups, the Ministry of Education decided in 1989 to allow non-Tamil Indian students to have the option of taking one of fve non-Tamil Indian languages (NTILs) – Hindi, Gujarati, Bengali, Punjabi and Urdu – in lieu of Tamil as their second language in school. However, even though Malayalees have historically always been the second-largest Indian ethnic group in Singapore (see Appendix) after the Tamils, and have made signifcant contributions

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to Singapore’s political and cultural history, Malayalam is not one of the NTILs, a point of concern for the community (Lim, 2015). Malayalam obviously holds neither instrumental value nor does it serve an integrative function within the larger Singaporean society. On the other hand, recent studies show that a majority of the Indians in Singapore today seem to prefer Hindi despite the other choices on ofer, rating it higher over the familial languages, because of the national status of Hindi in India which is seen as being better able to meet their multilingual aspirations (Jain & Wee, 2018). Te dominance of English is attributed primarily to ofcial government policies, but also in part, to the pragmatic decisions of citizens motivated by personal gain and social mobility and shaped by instrumental attitudes. For instance, in the 1980s, following the universalization of English-medium education in schools, many Singaporean parents made a conscious decision to sacrifce their home language in favour of English to give their children a head start in school, even at the cost of their ethnic identity (Chew, 1999). What followed were massive language shifts to English, most prominently within the Indian community, particularly its younger members, who did not see Tamil as ofering specifc material or instrumental advantages. Te incorporation of the NTILs have no doubt provided the community with a much wider range of options in meeting their language needs. However, with increased numbers of new citizens and permanent residents arriving from the Indian subcontinent, there needs to be a review of language policies and an openness to change them if necessary, to suit contemporary times, in order to continue to be relevant and efective. In view of these factors, the status of Malayalam in Singapore has had a bumpy and uneven trajectory, sufering generational shifts in the period since the arrival of the frst generation of Malayalees. Te struggle to maintain and revitalise Malayalam therefore presents a challenge to the community and the state alike, in terms of their ability and preparedness to accommodate heterogeneity to suit the times, circumstances and language needs of an ever-growing mobile population. Data and methodology Te data for the present study is derived from a larger project investigating life stories with a focus on literacy practices of the Malayalee community in Singapore, which comprised extensive interviews with the community, oral history recordings from the National Heritage Board, Singapore, and about 400 artefacts such as photographs, drama program booklets, magazines by various organisations and letters collected from the interviewees and Malayalee organisations. Additionally, documentary and archival materials such as national statistics reports, newspapers, photographs and brochures were also utilised. Te data was collected by the frst author over an extended period (2013–2016). Te study was conducted from an autobiographic narrative lens which ‘allow(s) insights into a person’s private world, making them both unique and appealing’ (Pauwels, 2016, p. 78). Autobiographic narratives are

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categorised into three inter-connected areas based on the types of data and methods of analysis: ‘subject reality (fndings on how ‘things’ or events were experienced by the respondents), life reality (fndings on how ‘things’ are or were), and text reality (ways in which ‘things’ or events are narrated by the respondents)’ (Denzin, 1989; Nekvapil, 2003; Pavlenko, 2007, p. 165). Te interview questions for this study were developed to elicit subject reality and life reality of the Malayalee migrant community in Singapore. 130 interviews were conducted with frst, second and third-generation Malayalee families. Te frst group of interviewees was selected based on a convenience sampling method as well as prominent members mentioned in newspaper articles and members of Malayalee associations. As a close-knit community the second group of interviewees comprised contacts of the frst group. Te third group of interviewees contacted the researcher having heard about the project through social media and mutual contacts. Two to three oral interviews each were conducted at the interviewees’ homes or their preferred venues. Te frst interview lasted two to three hours. Subsequent interviews lasted an hour or two. Typically, the interviewees began their stories with the arrival of their ancestors, parents or themselves and their family’s early years in Singapore. Te fnal interview was conducted to verify the autobiographic details and to seek clarifcation. Te audio recordings of the interviews, transcribed by three research assistants for transcript reliability, provided a rich description of the Malayalee community that had not been documented before. A content analysis of the transcripts examined recurring themes that attributed to the status of Malayalam in Singapore. Te interviews were then written up as autobiographic narratives (Pavlenko, 2007, p. 163) by the Principal Investigator and Co-Principal Investigator for consistency of presentation and because the participants in this study indicated that they would prefer to speak about their experiences as they found writing to be laborious. Te next three sections detail language maintenance, language shift and language revitalisation of Malayalam in Singapore as played out in that order during the three phases of 1900–1960s, 1970–1980s and 1990–the present. Each sub-section focuses on the efects of demographic factors (such as the changes in population), community–driven initiatives and domains of use on the status of Malayalam in Singapore. Malayalees and Malayalam Te Malayalee community has remained the second largest sub-group next to the Tamils amongst the Indians. It started with a meagre population of 1,208, grew to more than 21,783 by the 1960s and then faced a sharp decline to 12,451 in the 1980s after the departure of the British and gradually picked up again to 26,541 by 2015 as a result of Singapore’s Manpower 21 initiative (Figure 6.1; see also Table 6.1 in Appendix for more details). Its historical connection and steady increase in the last two decades provide a justifcation for why Malayalam should be given its due position alongside the other

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Population

25000 20000 15000 10000 5000 0 1905

1915

1925

1935

Malayalees in Singapore

1945

1955

1965

1975

1985

Year

Malayalee males

1995

2005

2015

Malayalee females

Figure 6.1 Population of Malayalees in Singapore from 1911 to 2015

Indian languages in Singapore’ school curriculum, as will be argued in this and the later sections. Language maintenance eforts of frst-generation migrants (1900–1960) In the early years, the majority of the Malayalee population was predominantly males (Tomas, 1956; Sandhu, 2010, p. 183) who were literate in English, Malayalam and Tamil (Arasaratnam, 1970; Chew & Fortier, 1989). Many took up administrative jobs at the British naval and military bases (Rai, 2015), or were employed in the clerical or civil services (Sandhu, 2010) or as teachers (Pillai, 2017). Tese men were avid readers and were keen to keep abreast with the news from home which led to the setting up of a Malayalam newspaper, libraries and several associations. During the post-World War II years, more Malayalees arrived to help rebuild the country with the population. Tis time, more of them brought their families along and lived close to one another forming enclaves, the largest being at the Naval Base and Sembawang which were collectively referred to as Kochu Keralam (‘mini Kerala’) and smaller ones in Bukit Timah and the City Centre (Gomez, 1997). Newcomers to these enclaves reported feeling at home right away because of the presence of the community, the language and food from Kerala (Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, p. 145). Teir close proximity and their active participation in activities organised by the community helped to facilitate the maintenance of the language as well as recreate an environment that was close to Kerala. Community-driven initiatives

Te language also fourished through community-run initiatives such as a newspaper and literary magazines, Malayalam classes for the young and associations that organised literary, cultural and sports activities. Malayalam print

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media was established by the men through the founding of a Malayalam daily newspaper, the Kerala Bandhu in the 1930s (Pillai, 2017, p. 48), a quarterly journal, Mahatma (Indian Daily Mail, 1949) and later an annual Onopaharam from 1953 (Pillai, in press) as well as by setting up of libraries: Naval Base Kerala Library and Udaya Library. Kerala Bandhu (formerly known as Malaysian Malayalee) newspaper provided them with news from Kerala as well as British Malaya and was the only Malayalam daily newspaper outside of India (Te Straits Times, 1984). It was one of the three daily newspapers that served the Indian population in Singapore, the other two were Tamil newspapers (Kuo, 1978). Te local literary magazines, formation of literary clubs to discuss Malayalam literature fostered a vibrant literary environment served to nurture writers and poets in the community, many of whom later received international fame and awards, such as M. K. Menon, Njekkad, M. K. Bhasi and N. C. Kattel. Malayalam classes similar to ‘complementary, community, supplementary or heritage language education’ (Conteh, Riasat, & Begum, 2013, p. 92) thrived in Singapore and provided ‘a sense of belonging and recognition of identity lacking in mainstream schooling’ (Conteh et al., 2013, p. 92) which has been an important marker of identity for the community. Te former President of Singapore, Mr S. R. Nathan, of Tamil origin, described early Malayalee migrants as a tight-knit community because of their close afnity to their language and that when one spoke ‘in Malayalam, everything else (religious diferences) is forgotten!’ (Pillai, 2017, p. 68). In the 1950s and 1960s, daily Malayalam classes were held at Sree Narayana Mission (Figure 6.2), Gurukulam and the Sembawang Naval Base. Tese classes were not necessarily easily accessible nor were they well-organised and were run by volunteers as evidenced by the interview data from members who had enrolled in Malayalam classes in the 50s and 60s and who described the classes as rather large and sometimes chaotic where students from diferent age groups and language profciency levels were lumped together. Te volunteer teachers who despite their good intentions were not qualifed teachers nor trained to deal with the provision of diferentiated instruction in Malayalam and ‘often they were irregular or left for Kerala without warning’ (B. Aravindakshan Pillai and S. Gopalakrishnan in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, pp. 105, 145). Despite the difculties in carrying out these community-run classes, the Malayalees seem to share the same sentiments as the Pakistani and Bangladeshi families in Bradford, cited in Conteh et al.’s (2013) study where these families believed that learning their mother tongue would help them to keep in touch with relatives in the home country, where parents took pride in facilitating the learning of the mother tongue for their children, and perceived it to be an important aspect of their identity. Several associations were set up to connect with fellow Malayalees through various events and activities but most were formed to keep regional varieties of Malayalam alive and were named after the regions that members came from: for example, Travancore Association, Singapore Malabar Muslim Jama-ath,

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Figure 6.2 Malayalam class photo at Sree Narayana Mission (circa 1950s) Source: Reproduced with permission from B. Aravindakshan Pillai

Bible Students’ Association of Kottayam, and Chirayinkil Muslim Taluk Muslim Association. Members of the community were traditionally discouraged from marrying persons from a diferent region whom they considered an ‘outsider’ and such sentiments were carried over to Singapore right up to the 1970s (Kamaladevi Aravindan in Pillai, 2017, p. 30). But the early focus on retaining these regional diferences dissolved over the years as the community increasingly saw themselves as Singaporeans and had less contact with Kerala until only associations with no regional afliation such as the Kerala Mahajana Sangham (now known as the Singapore Malayalee Association – SMA) survived. Domains of use: religion, ofcial and home

Te language was used in religious domains where it was spoken and read in places of worship or, as in the case of the Hindus, a separate organisation was set up to serve the needs of the community, in ofcial (government, public and mass media) and home domains. Just as the religious domain played a signifcant role in maintaining Tamil among Tamil Hindu and Muslim children (Vaish, 2008), religion was an important factor in supporting

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the maintenance of Malayalam. Malayalee churches (St Peter’s Church, Mar Toma Church and St Tomas Orthodox Syrian Cathedral) kept the language alive with Malayalam services during masses and weddings and many members reported growing up reading the Bible in Malayalam. Te Muslim community frequented a mosque at Sembawang as Imams from Kerala often visited this mosque to address them in Malayalam. Te Hindus did not use Malayalam in the temples where the prayers are generally ofered in Sanskrit. But they did use Malayalam at religious activities organised by the Singapore Malayalee Hindu Samajam such as during the seven-day Makara Vilaku festival where Malayalam devotional songs are sung (Hindu Endowment Board, 2016). In the home domain, many Hindus had the ritual of reading Malayalam religious texts in the evenings along with their children (Zainaba Omar, Gopal Krishnan Nair in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, pp. 45, 101). Tere was some institutional support for the use of Malayalam in ofcial domains as the government sought staf who were literate in Malayalam when recruiting election ofcers, police ofcers (Te Singapore Free Press, 1948; Singapore Government Vacancies, 1960; Singapore Government Vacancies, 1962), court interpreters and translators (Te Straits Times, 1929, 1938). Ofcial documents such as road maps (Ministry of Culture, 1961–1962) and notices for meetings (Department of Information Services, 1957–1959) were written in Malayalam. Malayalam was also used by political leaders (Te Straits Times, 1948, 1951) and trade unionists to communicate with the community (Nathan, 2011, p. 133). Te wide presence of Malayalam in the public sector is interesting as it never was one of the four ofcial languages in Singapore. Yet, it was one of the languages that seems to have been used along with Tamil and sometimes in place of Tamil as in the case of a banner in the Hume Industries strike (Nathan, 2011, p. 133). However, the area of mass media tended to receive minimal support. Malayalam programs were only aired from 1941 onwards and that too for a mere 30 minutes, once a week (Te Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, 1941). Te lack of airtime has remained a contentious issue amongst the community, with Malayalees championing for more airtime from the late 1940s right up to the 1980s (Te Straits Times, 1949, 1982) in Singapore. Similarly, the community had limited access to Malayalam movies as evidenced by movie posters in newspapers of the time (Te Straits Times, 1941) three months after their release in India. Te home language in this period was predominantly Malayalam and members of the community continued to transmit the language to the next generation by actively creating a safe space for the language to fourish at home as seen in the following excerpt: A cousin of mine had an efective strategy for teaching my 10-year-old cousin and me the Malayalam alphabet. He would read out a word and a syllable which we had to identify from a Malayalam newspaper. It was a fun game and one that kept us occupied for a long time. (Mary Delphin in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, p. 187)

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Te home environment is an important factor in language maintenance (Portes & Hao, 1998; De Houwer, 2007; Kadakara, 2011) and many like Mohd Fuad, a second-generation Singaporean, viewed it as a vital domain to keep their language alive and their identity intact which he conscientiously did by ‘speaking the language, keeping in touch with relatives in Kerala in our yearly trips and following the traditional customs’ (Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, p. 173). During this phase, the language continued to enjoy a place in Singapore in several ofcial settings, religious and home domains and over time a neutral variety of Malayalam was adopted by the speakers. It did not have a signifcant presence in the mainstream media nor a place in the ofcial education system, but the community was determined to keep the language alive and the language continued to thrive because of the close proximity of other speakers. Language shift: second- and third-generation members (1970s–1980s) Between 1970s and 1980s, the Malayalee population declined considerably to a much-diminished population of 12,451 in 1980 (Figure 6.1) with many returning to Kerala after Singapore gained independence (Pillai, 2017) and migrating to the UK when the British withdrew their forces in Singapore (Menon, 1976). Te diminishing Malayalee population, impact of government’s policies like the urbanisation programmes (see Table 6.1). that dispersed the speakers away from their enclaves, as well as the bilingualism policy resulted in fewer domains to use Malayalam and a less motivated younger generation who now saw Malayalam as an additional subject on top of their heavy workload (Moore, 1994). In the 1960s, the government launched massive urbanisation programmes to provide afordable housing for all its citizens through housing ‘estates’ and another on ethnic integration (Public Service Division, 2020). Te housing policy of minority dispersal sought to disperse Indians and Malays throughout the HDB housing estates based on a racial quota system; this led to the breaking up of the ethnic enclaves. By the late 70s the much smaller Malayalee community was so dispersed across the island that it ceased to have a community domain and was spoken only in the home. Next, Singapore’s language policies propelled the younger members of the community to shift away from Malayalam. Singapore’s model of bilingualism required English to be learned as the frst language and made the learning of the mother tongue of Mandarin, Tamil or Malay, respectively, the second language in the school curriculum. By 1985, all schools were required to switch to English as the medium of instruction and the ofcial mother tongue designated for Indians was Tamil. Tis downplayed the ‘signifcant linguistic heterogeneity internal to the communities’ (Wee, 2014, p. 183). Some members chose Malay as a second language as parents assumed that Malay would be easier to study, with the children not having to grapple with another set of the alphabet since

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the language used the same alphabet as that of English (Mary George in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, p. 254) and many Muslims opted for Malay as it is the language of the larger Muslim community in Singapore. Others studied Tamil in the belief it would be easier to learn as it was closer to Malayalam than Malay. Unfortunately, the similarity between the two languages also meant that those who were also attending Malayalam lessons, were confused between the Tamil and Malayalam alphabet system which in turn led to them stopping Malayalam lessons so as not to make mistakes in the Tamil language examinations in school (Dev Menon; S Srija; G Shoba in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, pp. 149, 154, 189). Not surprisingly, by 1976, many of the Singapore born younger generations were found to be literate in English and Tamil, and some even in Malay, but not in Malayalam (Menon, 1976) despite the community’s best eforts and greater access to movies and songs. SMA (then known as Singapore Kerala Association) and the St. Tomas Orthodox Syrian Cathedral, for instance, persisted in running smaller weekend Malayalam classes with volunteer teachers to mitigate language shift (MM Dollah; Baby Tomas in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, pp. 200, 311). Developments in technology in the form of video cassettes brought movies and songs to Singapore as soon as it was released in Kerala (Kutty, 1982). But by the 1980s, it was increasingly diffcult to transmit the language to the next generation (Pillai, 2009) with the newspaper and literary magazines like Pulari ceasing operations citing lack of readership, at the end of 1980s (New Paper, 1989; Pillai, 2017). Only Onopaharam continued to be published, albeit as an English-Malayalam bilingual magazine (Figure 6.3). In the religious domain, Malayalam continued to be used by the Imam to explain the Quran at the Malabar Mosque even in the 1990s, given that 60 per cent of the members were Malayalees. But younger Malayalees who had

Figure 6.3 Onopaharam magazines Source: Reproduced with permission from the Singapore Malayalee Association

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studied Malay as a second language in school preferred to attend mosques closer to their homes where Malay was used instead of Malayalam. Malayalee churches continued to conduct services in Malayalam and the Bible was read in Malayalam. But to cater to the growing number of younger members who did not read or write Malayalam, the Holy Qurbana was transliterated into English (Varghese, 1998). Te Hindus continued to have religious gatherings in Malayalam organised by the Singapore Malayalee Hindu Samajam. But only one third-generation Malayalees, Vidhya Pillay, interviewed was exposed to prayers or rituals at home that were conducted in Malayalam like the previous generation. During this phase, the availability of media resources had a minimal impact on language use. Te community experienced rapid language shift from Malayalam with a smaller population and with fewer domains of use, many of the younger members ceased to be literate in the language. Language revitalisation (1990s–2019) Te situation has somewhat been mitigated with the arrival since the late 1990s of new migrants (similar to New Wave migrants in Dominic and Balachandran’s chapter) from India, with the population growing to 26,541 in 2015, which is slightly more than the size of the community at its optimal in 1957 (Figure 6.1 and Appendix). Te overall increase in the number of new migrants in Singapore, Malayalees among them, is a direct consequence of policies to attract foreign manpower perceived by the state as desirable in contributing to the socioeconomic growth of the country with its move to a knowledge-based economy. Many of these well-qualifed professionals are both fuent and literate in Malayalam. Tese new migrants now play an active role in promoting the language, having initiated several community-based activities that connect them to one another and to the ‘older’ migrants. Overall, this has resulted in a positive extending of the domains of intra-ethnic communication. Community-driven initiatives

Having seen how quickly language shift can occur in the community, the members have been actively seeking to formalise the learning of Malayalam as a mother tongue in lieu of Tamil in schools. Tey also obtained approval to bring in a Malayalam channel from Kerala to Singapore, started an online Malayalam newspaper, magazines and a TV channel. Tey have organised several activities to promote Malayalam. Te lack of institutional support for Malayalam as a subject in lieu of Tamil has made the language less attractive to many third- and fourth-generation parents, who consider it an additional study burden on their children. Recognising this, in the 1990s, a committee was formed from the community to work towards providing formal teaching of Malayalam in Singapore. In 2010, a non-proft organisation, the Malayalam Language Education Society was set up to run weekend classes for

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interested students with volunteer teachers where students receive a ‘Certifcate in Malayalam’ from Kerala (Tanagopalasamy & Pillai, 2020). However, with no sign of Malayalam being ofered in lieu of Tamil, third/fourth-generation children dropped out of these classes after a few years, fnding it to be rather taxing to learn an additional language on top of the heavy workload at school and not being able to keep up with the children of new migrants who had a better grasp of the language (G. Shoba in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, p. 296). On their part, the community has been liaising with the Ministry of Education, Singapore, the examining body of the University of Cambridge, and professors from universities in Kerala to set up Malayalam as one of the school languages in Singapore. However, they have not been successful so far as the education policy in Singapore states that for a subject to be examined at the ‘O’ and ‘A’ levels in Singapore, it would also have to be ofered by the University of Cambridge, and this has become a stumbling block in the process (Vikram Nair, Member of Parliament, in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, p. 218). But they continue to be persistent in their quest: We continue to write to MOE every year with the same request: to include Malayalam as one of the non-Tamil languages ofered at national examinations. One day, I am sure we will receive a positive response. Until then, my quest continues. (Syam Kumar Prabhakaran in Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, p. 313) On the other hand, the community was successful in getting more airtime on television and setting up various online media through their persistence. In 2005, permission was granted for a Malayalam cable television station, Asianet to be shown in Singapore (Starhub, 1 April 2005). Tis move gave a positive boost to language use. Sarala Pillai who is in her 60s, reported that Asianet programmes made her aware of ‘how diferent Singapore Malayalam was and [after] I used the words that the India programs used. My Malayalam improved tremendously’ (Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, p. 257). Harnessing the advent of the Internet, an online bilingual (Malayalam and English) newspaper, Pravasi Express, a literary magazine Ithalukal as well as an online Malayalam TV channel, Focus Malayalam have been started by ‘new’ migrants (Pillai & Arumugam, 2017, pp. 319, 321). Tere is a visibly more vibrant community and several more domains in which to speak Malayalam in Singapore in recent years with the various associations and the two Malayalam libraries organising social, sports, cultural, religious and literary events. Malayalee politicians who attend the events deliver speeches in Malayalam too (Pillai, 2018). Even at the Sree Narayana Mission, a leading charitable organisation and old folks’ home, where English is predominantly spoken among its multilingual residents and patrons, Malayalam is the primary mode of communication during Chathayam celebrations.

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Literary Malayalam is fourishing in the community amongst the ‘new’ migrants who are highly profcient in Malayalam. For instance, the Kairalee Kala Nilayam, one of the pioneer associations was revived in 2016 after a long hiatus and staged seven productions in three years with the scripts written in Kerala and based on literary novels. Similarly, the Singapore Malayalee Literary Forum (SMLF), of a hundred members was set up in 2014 to promote Malayalam literature. Similar to those run before the 1970s, the members discuss literary work, meet prominent authors from Kerala and present papers. SMLF has also been actively creating new work through publications from members, a by-product of the forum activities and supporting the growing demand for Malayalam resources by setting up a Malayalam library at SMA premises scheduled to open in 2020 (personal communication with Ullas Kumar, January 15, 2019; May 4, 2020). A non-threatening environment for youth who may not be profcient in Malayalam to acquire the language was also created in 2018 with the setting up of the Youth Wing by SMA. Te members are second/third generation Malayalees but membership is open to any interested youth and language profciency is not one of the criteria. Te formation of the Youth Wing is a timely and progressive move especially in the face of the observation that for many younger members of the community, Malayalam is a ‘side-dish’ serving minimal utilitarian purposes, fewer domains of use and as a result a decreased profciency as shown in the following excerpt: [M]y children do not have the knowledge of Malayalam as much as I do, and my grandchildren do not have as much knowledge of Malayalam as my children. Because they are learning English, Tamil so Malayalam is only a side language like that . . . like a side dish (in a meal). (Mrs Nair in Pillai, 2009, p. 18) Te formation of the Youth Wing is likely to be one of their more successful moves in revitalising the language as there is increasing evidence that despite lower levels of language profciency there continues to be a strong sense of allegiance to the language amongst third-generation Malayalees as expressed by Tarini Nair, who is in her twenties: [W]henever I hear Malayalam spoken around me I always turn around to look at them and they always smile and ask me ‘Malayalee aano’ [Are you a Malayalee]? (Pillai, 2018, p. 302) Te arrival of new professional migrants who are literate in Malayalam and committed to promoting the language combined with technological advances and sustained allegiance to the language has revitalised the presence of Malayalam in Singapore despite it not being one of the ofcial languages. At the same time, the vast range of language profciencies present in the community

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has also come to light and this needs to be addressed when mitigating language shift among older migrants (similar to those described as Old Wave in Dominic and Balachandran’s chapter). Conclusion Tis brief overview of the changing status of Malayalam in Singapore raises concerns about its continued survival in the face of competition from the multiple languages in Singapore’s ecology and the instrumental orientation of its language planning priorities. Tere is therefore a need not only to mitigate the impending threat of a further shift but also to devise more proactive ways in which to allow the language to thrive at the community level: Clearly, for Malayalam to survive in Singapore, frst, there needs to be an optimal number of speakers of the language forming a critical mass to facilitate successful intergenerational transmission, as in the case of the ethnic enclaves initially. When the population of Malayalees in Singapore declined in the 1970s and 1980s, it triggered a massive language shift. Conversely, the recent infux of new migrants from India has resulted in greater opportunities for language transmission and for promoting its ethnolinguistic vitality. A key factor contributing to language shift in Malayalam in Singapore is the lack of institutional support, with the likelihood of the situation worsening if left unattended. Te community’s attempts to elevate Malayalam to a semi-ofcial language status in the mainstream schools, similar to the NTILS, has not met with success so far. If Malayalam does become an examinable subject, diferentiated instruction and assessment will be needed to address the needs of the third/fourth- generation Malayalees in Singapore as well as the needs of the children of recent migrants who have a better command of the regional variants of the language. At the same time, a curriculum that is developed primarily for the new migrants will likely alienate the old/er migrants. Tere is also a need for continued community-based initiatives that will help create a vibrant and supportive environment for the language to thrive. Tis is borne out by the way the recent fow of the new migrants combined with technological advances has helped to generate far more activities for language revitalisation, helping in some measure to overcome the language shift patterns observed in the 1970s and 1980s. For instance, this can be done through literacy events such as storytelling, book clubs and literary circles that include activities specifcally designed for those who are not literate in the language but are able to speak the language. Religion is an important ingredient in the cultural lives of Indians and is one domain which allows the mother tongue to play a dominant role through celebrations of festivals and other rituals. Likewise, the media (movies, music and the arts) and popular culture have contributed signifcantly to boosting community interest and cultural identity. Be this as it may, while media inputs can serve as a positive and appealing source of support for language

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development, research has shown that inter-generational human interaction remains the best method for fostering language transmission. Ideally, for revitalisation to succeed a support system needs to be established which will operate both at the community and societal level with community and state equally invested as partners. In the case of Malayalam, while ongoing community-driven initiatives continue to contribute to mitigating the trend towards language shift, bringing about macro level changes in order to boost its maintenance in the larger linguistic society seems problematic. Revitalisation initiatives demand considerable ideological commitment not only in a bottom-up fashion at the grassroots level; but equally involve a state-level re-visioning of the nation in ways that value linguistic diversity and heterogeneity as resources for promoting intercultural cooperation and understanding rather than impeding social harmony. Acknowledgements Te NTU Institutional Review Board has endorsed the ethics application for the main study titled ‘Singapore Malayalee Story’, from which the data for this chapter is drawn from. Te study was supported by a grant from the National Heritage Board, Singapore. References Arasaratnam, S. (1970). Indians in Malaysia and Singapore. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Arumainathan, P. (1973). Report on the census of population 1970. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Chew, D. (Interviewer), & Fortier, A. (Interviewee). (1989). Oral history. [Interview transcript]. Retrieved from www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/oral_history_interviews Chew, P. G. L. (1999). Linguistic imperialism, globalism and the English language. AILA Review, 13, 37–47. Chua, S. C. (1964). Report on the census of population 1957. Singapore: Singapore Department of Statistics. Conteh, J., Riasat, S., & Begum, S. (2013). Children learning multilingually in home, community and school contexts in Britain. In M. Schwartz & A. Verschik (Eds.), Successful family language policy (pp. 83–102). Dordrecht: Springer. De Houwer, A. (2007). Parental language input patterns and children’s bilingual use. Applied Psycholinguistics, 28, 411–424. Del Tufo, M. V. (1949). Malaya comprising the federation of Malaya and the colony of Singapore: A report on the 1947 census of population. London: Crown Agents for the Colonies. Denzin, N. (1989). Interpretive biography. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Department of Information Services. (1957–1959). Kerala Muslim Traders Association requests that legislation afecting business-life of shop keepers be translated into Malayalam. Microflm no: DIS 14. Retrieved from www.nas.gov.sg Department of Statistics. (2011). Census of population, 2010. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Department of Statistics. (2015). General household survey. Singapore: Department of Statistics.

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Gomez, J. (1997). Consolidating Indian identities in post-independence Singapore: A case study of the Malayalee community. Asian Journal of Social Science, 25(2), 39–58. Hindu Endowment Board. (2016). Makara Vilaku. Retrieved from https://heb.org.sg/festivals/ makaravilaku.aspx Indian Daily Mail. (1949, May 7). New Malayalam quarterly. Indian Daily Mail, p. 3. Jain, R., & Wee, L. (2015). Multilingual education in Singapore: Beyond language communities? In A. Yiakoumetti (Ed.), Multilingualism and language in education: Sociolinguistic and pedagogical perspectives from commonwealth countries (pp. 67–85). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Jain, R., & Wee, L. (2018). Cartographic mismatches and language policy: Te case of Hindi in Singapore. Language Policy, 17, 99–118. Kadakara, S. (2011). Status of Tamil language in Singapore: An analysis of family domain (PhD thesis). Te University of Western Australia, Perth. Khoo, C. K. (1981). Census of population 1980 Singapore: Release no. 5, Geographic distribution. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Kuo, E. C. Y. (1978). Multilingualism and mass media communications in Singapore. Asian Survey, 18, 1067–1083. Kuo, E. C. Y., & Jernudd, B. H. (1994). Balancing macro- and micro-sociolinguistic perspectives in language management: Te case of Singapore. In S. Gopinathan, A. Pakir, W. K. Ho, & V. Saravanan (Eds.), Language, society and education in Singapore: Issues and trends (1st ed., pp. 25–46). Singapore: Times Academic Press. Kutty, N. G. (1982, March 17). Videos threaten cinemas showing Indian flms. Te Straits Times, p. 14. Lau, K. E. (1992). Singapore census of population, 1990: Demographic characteristics (Vol. 2). Singapore: Department of Statistics. Leow, B. G. (2001). Census of population, 2000: Education, language and religion (Vol. 2). Singapore: Department of Statistics. Lim, L. (2015). Coming of age, coming full circle: Te (re)positioning of (Singapore) English and multilingualism in Singapore at 50. Asian Englishes, 7, 261–270. Marriott, H. (1911). Report on the census of the colony of the straits settlements, 10th March 1911. Singapore: Superintendent of Census. Menon, S. (1976). Role of religious institutions and associations in a Malayalee neighborhood. (Unpublished academic exercise). University of Singapore, Singapore. Ministry of Culture. (1961–1962). Singapore guide and street directory in Malayalam. Retrieved from www.nas.gov.sg Moore, D. L. (1994). ‘I don’t speak my own language’: Ethnicity among the Malayalees of Singapore (Master’s dissertation). Portland State University, Oregon. Nathan, J. E. (1922). Te census of British Malaya (Te Straits Settlements, federated Malay states and protected states of Johore, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Trengganu, and Brunei), 1921. London: Waterloo & Sons. Nathan, S. R. (2011). Winning against the odds. Singapore: Straits Times Press. Nekvapil, J. (2003). Language biographies and the analysis of language situations: On the life of the German community in the Czech Republic. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 162, 63–83. New Paper. (1989, June 28). New Indian magazine is launched. New Paper, p. 6. Pakir, A. (1992). English-knowing bilingualism in Singapore. In K. C. Ban, A. Pakir, & C. K. Tong (Eds.), Imagining Singapore (pp. 234–262). Singapore: Times Academic Press. Pauwels, A. (2016). Language maintenance and shift. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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Pavlenko, A. (2007). Autobiographic narratives as data in applied linguistics. Applied Linguistics, 28, 163–188. Pillai, A. D. (2009). Language shift among Singaporean Malayalee families. Language in India, 9, 1–20. Pillai, A. D. (2017). Malayalees in Singapore. In A. D. Pillai & P. Arumugam (Eds.), From Kerala to Singapore: Voices from the Singapore Malayalee community (pp. 16–65). Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. Pillai, A. D. (2018). Malayalee community and culture in Singapore. In M. Mathews (Ed.), Te Singapore ethnic mosaic: Many cultures, one people (pp. 265–302). Singapore: World Scientifc Publishing Co. Pillai, A. D. (in press). Te story of Onam. Singapore: Indian Heritage Centre, National Heritage Board. Pillai, A. D., & Arumugam, P. (2017). From Kerala to Singapore: Voices from the Singapore Malayalee community. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. Portes, A., & Hao, L. (1998). E pluribus unum: Bilingualism and loss of language in the second generation. Sociology of Education, 71(4), 269–294. Public Service Division. (2020). Housing a nation, building a city. Retrieved from www.psd. gov.sg/heartofpublicservice/our-institutions/housing-a-nation-building-a-city/ Rai, R. (2015). Indians in Singapore: 1819–1945. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. Sandhu, K. S. (2010). Indians in Malaya: Some aspects of their immigration and settlement (1786–1957). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Scorpio. (1982, October 4). No Malayalam shows. Te Straits Times, p. 17. Silver, R. E. (2005). Te discourse of linguistic capital: Language and economic policy planning in Singapore. Language Policy, 34, 47–66. Te Singapore Free Press. (1948, January 6). 240 elections jobs ofered. Te Singapore Free Press, p. 1. Te Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. (1941, April 10). First Malayalam broadcast. Te Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser, p. 7. Singapore Government Vacancies. (1960, February 22). Te Straits Times, p. 13. Singapore Government Vacancies. (1962, August 1). Te Straits Times, p. 17. Starhub. (2005, April 1). Starhub launches frst Malayalam channel. Retrieved from www. starhub.com/ Te Straits Times. (1929, October 21). Advertisements column 3. Te Straits Times, p. 4. Te Straits Times. (1938, June 26). Professional writers of love and business letters. Te Straits Times, p. 14. Te Straits Times. (1941, September 3). Advertisements column 3. Te Straits Times, p. 7. Te Straits Times. (1948, March 20). Singapore goes to the polls. Te Straits Times, p. 8. Te Straits Times. (1949, September 24). Malayalam broadcasts. Te Straits Times, p. 5. Te Straits Times. (1951, March 29). Mr V P Abdullah. Te Straits Times, p. 8. Te Straits Times. (1984, August 17). Don’t say goodbye to this play. Te Straits Times, p. 4. Tanagopalasamy, S., & Pillai, A. D. (2020). Home and school literacy practices of children attending Malayalam classes in Singapore. Journal of Modern Languages, 30, 121–140. Tomas, S. (1956). Te Malayalees of Singapore: A study into their customs, manners and mores which keep them a separate community (Unpublished academic exercise). University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. Vaish, V. (2008). Mother tongues, English, and religion in Singapore. World Englishes, 27, 450–464. Varghese, C. K. (1998). Te living sacrifce. Kerala: T. Daniel, Turuthel Press & Book Depot.

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Vlieland, C. A. (1932). British Malaya: A report on the 1931 census. London: Crown Agents for the Colonies. Wee, L. (2003). Linguistic instrumentalism in Singapore. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 24, 211–224. Wee, L. (2014). Te minoritization of languages in Singapore. In P. Sercombe & R. Tupas (Eds.), Language, education and nation-building: Assimilation and shift in Southeast Asia (pp. 181–199). London: Palgrave Macmillan.

1

1931

1947

32,456 51,019 73,496 Language maintenance (1900–1960s) 1,379 4,390 9,712 1,267 4,144 8,223 112 246 1489

1921

21,783 16,474 5,309

124,084

1957

19803

145,169 154,634 Language shift (1970–1980s) 17,371 12,451 11,256 7,243 6,115 5,208

19702

16,329 8,996 7333

190,907

19904

2010

257,169 348,119 Language revitalisation (1990–the present) 21,745 26,348 11,394 13,573 10,342 12,775

2000

26,541 13,616 12,925

354,952

2015

First ofcial census of population record indicating Malayalee population; 2 Te following factors afected language use and demography: Bilingualism Policy (1966); British forces pulling out of Singapore (1971); Home Ownership for People Scheme (urbanisation program) (1964); 3 Ethnic Integration Policy introduced (urbanisation program) (1989); 4 Te Manpower 21: Vision of a Talent Capital introduced (1998). (Marriott, 1911; Nathan, 1922; Vlieland, 1932; Del Tufo, 1949; Chua, 1964; Arumainathan, 1973; Khoo, 1981; Lau, 1992; Leow, 2001; Department of Statistics, 2011, 2015).

1,208 1,185 23

27,990

Indians in Singapore Status of Malayalam

Malayalees in Singapore Malayalee males Malayalee females

19111

Year

Table 6.1 Population of Malayalees and status of Malayalam in Singapore (1911 to 2015)

Appendix

7

Singapore’s other Austronesian languages Geofrey Benjamin

Introduction Tis chapter is unavoidably conjectural, as the current situation of Singapore’s ‘other’ Austronesian languages has yet to be researched in depth. I will therefore deal mostly with the reasons why they deserve closer attention, with special regard to the Austronesian array that characterises the region around Singapore. My interest derives largely from courses on Southeast Asian linguistics that I have been teaching at a Singapore university, two of which are on the history and linguistics of Malay throughout the region. Enquiries made during those courses and elsewhere suggested that several diferent varieties of Malay and certain other Austronesian languages might still be spoken in Singapore. My subsequent fndings on the matter form the main body of this chapter. First though, to properly situate these ‘other’ varieties within their historical context, I examine the Austronesian background as it relates to Singapore and its immediate region. Te Austronesian languages Before colonialism spread Indo-European languages all round the world, the vast Austronesian family of more than 1250 languages had extended more than half-way across the globe, mostly by sea across the Pacifc and Indian Oceans (see Figure 7.1).1 Tis is not the place to discuss the attendant processes or the resulting subdivisions that emerged during the approximately 4500 years following the initial move out of Taiwan, the presumed homeland of Proto-Austronesian. We are concerned here only with the so-called ‘Western Malayo-Polynesian’ (WMP) branch (Figure 7.1), which covers our area of interest and to which belong all the Austronesian languages mentioned later. However, it has recently been confrmed by Smith (2017) that ‘Western Malayo-Polynesian’ is not an authentic genealogical grouping, since it has proved impossible to reconstruct an ancestral Proto-WMP. Instead, he shows, the erstwhile ‘WMP’ languages probably devolve onto eight or more primary top-level groups within Malayo-Polynesian2 that do not nest within each other, having presumably resulted from independent ancestries and languagemovements. In Smith’s terminology (see Figure 7.2), these include Western

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Figure 7.1 Te Austronesian family Source: Language Gulper website, with the permission of Alejandro Gutman. Redrawn by Lee Li Kheng

Figure 7.2 Te western sphere of the Malayo-Polynesian languages Source: Wikipedia Commons, after Smith (2017). Redrawn by Lee Li Kheng

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Indonesian (Malayic,3 Javanese, Malagasy, and so on), Sumatran (including the Batak and Barrier Island languages), South Sulawesi (including Buginese, which may label more than one language), Moklenic (Moken and Moklen, spoken on or near the west coast of Tailand and Myanmar), and Philippine (a cover term for what might possibly amount to a dozen or more primary branches; it includes Tagalog and Cebuano, as well as some languages located outside the Philippines).4 Tis means that the erstwhile ‘WMP’ languages are not necessarily closely related to each other, and that the earlier linguistic history of the wider region around Singapore therefore needs revision. It certainly involved more than just Malay. Given Singapore’s situation along the ancient sea lanes, many of these languages (or their ancestors) must have been spoken here in the past, if only feetingly – just as many Philippine and Indonesian languages are spoken here today by non-residents working in the Republic. Among those no longer spoken here but which must have touched on Singapore as they moved westward are the ancestors of Moken,5 Batak and Malagasy, which have left no discernible trace in our immediate vicinity. Other traces, however, have been left. Te substantial presence of pre-Malay Austronesian loanwords in the Peninsula’s non-Austronesian Aslian languages (Blagden, 1906, and other later sources) implies that Singapore too would have been involved in the earlier commonality between the languages of western Borneo and the Peninsula proposed by Blust (2006, pp. 81–87) as part of his ‘Greater North Borneo’ grouping hypothesis (Blust, 2010). On Blust’s view, this continuity was later broken up by the levelling efect of the intervening spread of ancestral Malayo-Chamic languages out of Borneo, from around 2,300 years ago. Te initial spread of Malay did not happen overnight. On current evidence, the ancestral Malayic languages probably frst emerged some 2,000– 2,300 years ago in Borneo, from within Smith’s ‘Proto-Western Indonesian’ branch of Austronesian. Malay (possibly still associated with early Chamic) then began to emerge from within Malayic around 2,000 years ago, spread by seafaring speakers throughout the area displayed in Figure 7.3, linking Borneo and southern Sumatra. Tis left most of the other Malayic languages relatively land-bound in Borneo and Sumatra, where they remain today. But the closely related Chamic languages did move out of Borneo, to what is now southern Vietnam and parts of Cambodia, where they may have engendered language-shifts from Austroasiatic to Austronesian.6 Te next stage in Malay’s rise to importance is neatly summarised by Blust (2013): After trade and cultural exchange commenced between India and China some 2,000 years ago an overland route was impractical, and travel between the two areas was largely by sea. Because the outer route west of Sumatra is dangerous, most shipping passed through the narrow Strait of Malacca between Sumatra and the Malay Peninsula. Since Malay was

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Figure 7.3 Malayic languages Source: Bellwood (1993)

spoken on both sides of this passage it is not surprising that Malay speakers became involved in the India – China trade from an early time. (Blust, 2013, p. 39) Singapore and its attendant islets, being situated at the narrowest point of that sea-lane, must therefore have been directly involved in the early long-distance

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spread of Malay. Te later stages of the process were tied up with the emergence of Malay-speaking maritime trading kingdoms in Sumatra in the sixth century ce or earlier. Prime among these were Srivijaya (centred on Palembang) and/or Malayu (centred on Jambi). Over the succeeding centuries this led to the spread of Malay throughout what was to become the Malay World (Alam Melayu) and far beyond (including Sri Lanka) – in the latter case as a trade (second-)language. Eventually, Malay also came to serve as a written vehicle for spreading Islamic learning and for diplomatic communications with regional and European powers. By employing Malay-speaking middlemen, the pre-colonial European spice trade amplifed the spread of the language eastwards beyond its primary area around Singapore, to such ports as Brunei, Banjarmasin, Manado, Ambon and Kupang. Even today, these places employ their own divergent Malay varieties as their primary language, especially in the urban areas.7 In the early 1440s, Zheng He’s voyages throughout the region led to the setting up of an entrepot in Melaka, where some of his Hokkien-speaking crew (Groeneveldt, 1960) settled and married into the local Malay-speaking community. Tis gave rise to so-called Baba Malay, which (sometimes under alternative labels) later came to be spoken by ethnic-Chinese in several other entrepots, such as Penang, Semarang, Kuala Terengganu – and of course Singapore. Te similar, but not identical, Malay dialect of Jakarta known as Betawi Malay also emerged through interaction and/or intermarriage with ethnic Chinese, but there are disagreements over the process involved. Other varieties of Malay arose further west, in the Cocos Islands (where slaves had been transported) and Sri Lanka (following the Dutch takeover of the spice trade in 1656). Sri Lanka Malay may even have begun in Srivijayan times, according to Ansaldo and Lim (2014, p. 112). Tese developments resulted in the complicated array of dialects shown in Figure 7.4, some of which underwent varying degrees of standardisation after written forms emerged in a few places from the late seventh century. But – as Mukhlis and Wee also emphasise in this volume – it is the spoken forms that are of primary interest here, and they are extremely variable, even in the ‘canonically Malay’ speech-area. When the various frst- or second-language trade-based varieties of Malay are added to the picture, matters become very complicated indeed. Singapore, of course, lies at the geographical centre of the region where Malay came to be spoken as a frst-language, either in ‘canonical’ varieties (by Orang Melayu in the narrow sense and their immediate relatives) or ‘trade-Malay’-based varieties (by most other speakers – the majority). Despite the relative uniformity of Malay in present-day Singapore, direct evidence of this earlier variability still exists, or recently existed, both within Singapore itself and in neighbouring parts of Malaysia (Johor) and Indonesia (Kepulauan Riau), less than 200 kilometres away. On Singapore and its southern islands, various Aboriginal Malay dialects were spoken by the truly indigenous populations (Mariam, 2002, p. 274–280). Of these, the Seletar variety survived here until at least the mid-1980s, when I heard it spoken on the

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Figure 7.4 Some non-standardised Malay varieties Source: Adelaar (2005, p. 203)

north coast near Tanjong Irau (Figure 7.5). It is still spoken in several settlements on the Johor side, and is discussed by Hidayah (2017) and briefy in the ethnographic study by Juma’at (2017, pp. 146–149). Important linguistic sources on Seletar include the theses by Samsur (2015), Pok (2017) and Tan (2020). Tese all indicate that the Seletar lexicon is more than 90 per cent cognate with normal local Malay; but it is pronounced with a strong wordfnal accent (Pok, 2017), disguising its otherwise Malay character and implying an Aslian (Austroasiatic) substratum (Tan, 2020, pp. 23–25).8 Other evidence of within-Malay(ic) variability can still be found close to Singapore. For example, the non-Malay but possibly Malayic language Duano is still spoken on both sides of the Melaka Strait by a population also known as the Desin Dolaq or the Orang Kuala. Tese seafarers live on the west coast of Johor (less than two hours’ drive from Singapore) and in larger numbers (perhaps 18,000) on islands of the facing east coast of Sumatra. Duano was described in some detail by Kähler (1946–49); its relevance to the early history of Malay in the Straits is discussed in Benjamin (2009, pp. 317–318) and Anderbeck (2012, pp. 272–274). Te Indonesian island of Batam, lying within sight to the immediate south of Singapore, has become increasingly urbanised. But just two generations ago its interior, coasts and neighbouring islands were inhabited by tribal populations following hunter-gatherer modes of subsistence. Teir four or more speech-varieties, as described in some detail by Kähler (1960), were clearly Malay dialects, but highly divergent from what would be considered ‘Malay’ in Singapore. Te people that Kähler referred to as Orang Darat and Orang Utan – that is, inland forest-dwellers – appear to have since merged into the broader Batam population. But the coastal Orang Laut and

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Figure 7.5 Orang Seletar settlement on the north coast of Singapore, 1984 Source: Photos by the author

Orang Akit still maintain their settlements and their distinctive Malay dialects in various parts of the Riau Archipelago, some of which lie very close to Singapore. Singapore Having spelled out the broader Austronesian and Malayic background, let me now turn to what is known of the current situation in Singapore. More than 40 years ago, a group of researchers at the University of Singapore produced a listing of all the ethnic labels (not ‘groups’) then known in Singapore (Clammer, 1977). Of these, some 52 were at least potentially relatable to Austronesian speech-varieties. Today, this fne-grained set of distinctions has probably ceased to be meaningful to most of the Singaporeans who could otherwise have claimed some connection to the listed ethnicities. Wikipedia (2020b), for example, in its otherwise up-to-date article on ‘Languages of Singapore’ states only that (apart from varieties of Malay) ‘other Austronesian languages, such as Javanese, Buginese, Minangkabau, Batak, Sundanese, Boyanese (which is a dialect of Madurese) and Banjarese, are also spoken in Singapore, but their use has declined’. Unfortunately, no evidence or sources

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are provided for this statement. Likewise, even after making the enquiries mentioned earlier, my tentative list of extant minority Austronesian languages remained small. Nevertheless, it included several Malayic varieties (Singapore Malay, Orang Seletar, other Orang Laut varieties,9 Baba Malay, Minangkabau, Chitty Malay, Banjarese, Karimun Malay, Iban) as well as some non-Malayic languages (Javanese, Buginese, Baweanese, Batak languages, Cebuano, and other Philippine languages). More information appears in the book by Hidayah Amin (2017), which lists the following as ‘Malay’ languages in Singapore: Malay, Banjar, Bawean, Buginese, Javanese, Minangkabau, Slitar [Seletar] and Tagalog, with a useful appendix presenting information about the individuals she consulted. Linguistically, of course, these are not all varieties of Malay even though they are certainly all Austronesian, and some are indeed Malay dialects or Malayic languages. With the exception of Tagalog, though, these could be considered ‘Malay languages’ culturally to the extent that their speakers, being mostly Muslims, have assimilated to the Singapore-Malay way of life. Hidayah’s consultants remember some lexicon, but it is not always clear whether they actively speak the languages. A wider Internet search has produced much anecdotal information, but little hard data. Among the more data-rich sources are Eberhard, Simons, and Fennig (2019) and LeClerc and Jean (2019). Eberhard et al. provide what appears at frst sight to be accurate data that should nevertheless be regarded as tentative. In some cases, their listing is clearly out of date, especially as regards the claimed numbers of speakers (as opposed to ethnic identities). It is therefore of limited linguistic value. Leclerc is a French-language Canadian website (created in 2004), the Singapore portion of which has been updated by Lionel Jean (in LeClerc & Jean, 2019) to include recent frst-hand researches, including his own. Jean’s fndings are summarised in Table 7.1. But, like most other such studies, they relate primarily to ethnic distinctions Table 7.1 Austronesian-linked ethnicities of Singapore Ethnicity

Population

Malay Philippine Indonesian Javanese Madurese (Baweanese) Chinese Creole (Baba) Riau-Island Malay Buginese Bazaar Creole Palembangian Orang Seletar Batak

391,000 155,000 118,000 91,000 28,000 19,000 16,000 11,000 11,000 11,000 1,200 1,100

Percentage 6.7 2.6 2.0 1.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.1 0.1 0.0 0.0

Mother tongue

Religion

Malay Filipino Indonesian Javanese Madurese (Baweanese) Malay (Baba) Malay Bugis Bazaar Malay Palembang (Malay) Orang Seletar Toba Batak

Islam Christian Islam Islam Islam Ethnic religion Islam Islam Islam Islam Ethnic religion Christian

Source: Translated and re-tabulated from Leclerc and Jean (2019)

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rather than specifcally to the associated ‘mother tongues’, most of which must surely now be spoken in Singapore, if at all, by just a small fraction of the people so labelled. Clearly, the several sources just referred to employ disparate categories that cannot be mapped easily onto a single common list or relied on as sources of information on actual language use. (Such uncertainty is perhaps inevitable whenever an attempt is made to move beyond the illusory frmness of the ‘Chinese–Malay–Indian–Other’ categorisation that underpins much of the social research done on Singapore.) One feature that the accounts do agree on, though, is that hardly any younger Singaporeans can speak the minority languages that they may have heard spoken around them as they grew up. At best, they might retain some passive understanding of certain recurrent words or phrases. Te reasons for this are presumably the same as those that Pakir (in this volume) has adduced in explaining the moribund status of Baba Malay in Singapore: the pressure of English and Standard Malay in most domains of life; and the employment of women outside the home so that they no longer serve as the chief domestic transmitters of the minority language. Unfortunately, we lack detailed research data on the demise of these languages, and must resort (for the moment at least) to anecdotal evidence. However, as with Baba Malay, this has not come about through simple lack of concern. As discussed later, the Internet and local newspapers contain reports of classes and other activities aimed at revitalising interest in some of these heritage languages. Tese sources include a Facebook group dedicated to the topic; but apart from a few mentions of Malay and Baba Malay, this site has no information on any of Singapore’s Austronesian languages.10 In the rest of this chapter I look at what is known of the backgrounds and current situations of some of the speech varieties mentioned earlier. Te Malayic varieties

Exactly how Singapore Malay fts into this picture is uncertain, as (to my knowledge) it has never been examined in specifc detail against the wider Malayic or Austronesian perspectives. Te usual assumption is that the Malay spoken in Singapore is the same as so-called ‘Johor-Riau’ Malay, but this too needs examination (see also Mukhlis and Wee in this volume). Spoken Riau Malay is quite variable from island to island (Dahlan et al., 1989),11 and ‘Johor-Riau Malay’ refers primarily to the written language, which is more uniform than the spoken varieties.12 Orang Suku Laut from nearby Indonesian Riau regularly visited in the past and were allowed entry into Singapore waters, as long as they did not set foot on the mainland (see Figure 7.6).13 In 1979 on the now destroyed Pulau Seking I tape-recorded the speech of one such visitor who had sailed in from Moro island, 60 kilometres to the south of Seking. One striking feature is that he pronounced the normal Malay word pungut [pʊŋʊt] ‘to collect, gather’ as [mɔgɔt] – an example of sound shifts more typical of

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Figure 7.6 Orang Suku Laut from the Riau Islands (Indonesia) visiting Pulau Seking (ofshore Singapore), 1979 Source: Photos by the author

(non-Austronesian) Aslian phonology (Benjamin, 2012, pp. 186–187). More recently (August 2019), when talking to people (presumably Orang Selat) who had grown up on one of Singapore’s formerly populated Southern Islands, I noted that they pronounced the /r/ phoneme fricatively as velar [ɣ] when talking to each other but often switched to fapped [ɾ] when talking to me. Tis suggests that the Southern Islands variety is – or was – a true ‘canonical’ local form of Malay (in which /r/ is regularly pronounced as [ɣ] or even uvular [ʁ]), as opposed to the more creolised variety typical of ‘mainland’ Singapore.14 Further confrmation that Selat Malay is (or was) viewed as distinctive appears in a university student’s essay on his family’s linguistic history, which bears on the processes by which Singapore’s indigenous Malay(ic) dialects disappeared. His parents’ family home was at Kampong Kuchai, a village of piled houses over the water along the Kallang river, which is known to have been an Orang Selat settlement.15 His maternal great-grandmother spoke only Selat, as did the other older villagers, but the variety was lost when the site was repossessed by the government and the people dispersed elsewhere. His mother was unable to speak Selat; at best, she could understand a few Selat words. Te essay-writer’s paternal grandmother was from Karimun Besar island in Kepulauan Riau, just visible to the west of Singapore, and spoke a variety that the family referred to as ‘Karimun’. But because she used Malay with her children, this too was not picked up by the rest of the family. Tis family history deserves further comment. Karimun Regency does indeed have its own distinctive dialects.16 More signifcantly, Karimun Besar island is home to some of the Orang Akit people mentioned earlier, whose

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settlement I visited several years ago. Tis student’s account therefore probably presents a last echo of the linguistic web that formerly held between the various tribal Malays of the region around Singapore before the levelling efects of Singapore Malay took efect. Unfortunately, apart from Kähler’s (1960) accounts, it is difcult to know exactly how these dialects difered linguistically. In my experience (especially in island Riau and Singapore’s former Southern islands), the people sometimes claim not to ‘understand’ varieties that are actually more similar than, say, British and American English – a tendency reinforced by the fact that bahasa in Malay can refer to any speech variety, whether a discrete ‘language’ or just a local dialect. Tese very local Malay varieties have now all but disappeared from Singapore. Other Malay varieties are still just extant, however, especially the trade-Malay-derived creole known as Baba Malay, and perhaps Chitty Malay. Te former, sometimes under the label ‘Peranakan’, is undergoing a degree of revival (Chan & Tompson, 2018; Lee, 2014, 2019; Pakir, this volume). Chitty Malay, also known as Malaccan Creole Malay, is now moribund in Singapore, even though it is still spoken and used in (Hindu) prayers in Melaka (Pillai, 2015, pp. 52–54; Noriah, 2009). On the other hand, Pidgin Bazaar Malay (Daw, 2005) is still widely employed – as, for example, on university campuses between some of the cleaning staf. Other Malay and Malayic varieties from further afeld are known to have been spoken in Singapore in the past by at least a few people. Tese include Banjarese from southern and eastern Borneo as well as such non-Malay Malayic languages as Iban (Peter Kedit, personal communication) and Minangkabau (Zubir Said, personal communication in the late 1960s); there are probably others. It is not known to what extent any of these varieties are still actively spoken here. However, one university student reported that her Malay respondent still spoke Kelantan–Pattani Malay with friends when she met them once a week at the mosque in Kampong Glam, but had failed to pass the language down to her adult children. Minangkabau is still understood by those who revisit their ancestral villages in West Sumatra, but it is no longer actively spoken in Singapore (Leow, 2017). Te non-Malayic languages

Non-Malayic varieties of Austronesian known to have been spoken in Singapore, some of which may still be extant here, are Javanese (and perhaps also Sundanese), Baweanese (a dialect of Madurese, from Bawean island north of Madura), Bugis (or Buginese, from southern Sulawesi), Cebuano from central and southern Philippines (especially among an older generation of professional musicians), and Batak languages from North Sumatra’.17 Te most recent census data that I can locate specifcally on language rather than ethnicity (‘race’) is the 1911 Straits Settlements census. Table 7.2 presents the Austronesian languages listed in that census as still being spoken in Singapore at the time.

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Table 7.2 Austronesian languages spoken in Singapore, 1911 Languages

Speakers

Percentage of total population

Malay Javanese Baweanese Buginese Banjarese Aboriginal dialects Bundu18 Acehenese

49,425 7,353 3,858 686 24 8 4 3

15.8% 2.4% 1.2% 0.2% 0.01% 0.003% 0.001% 0.001%

Source: Modifed from Tan (2014, p. 20)

Table 7.3 Changes in Singapore-‘Malay’ sub-ethnicities ‘Malays’

1931

1947

1957

1970

1980

Total Melayu Javanese Baweanese Buginese Banjarese Others

65,104 57.5% 24.5% 14.4% 1.2% 0.7% 1.7%

113,803 61.8% 21.7% 13.5% 0.6% 0.3% 2.1%

197,059 311,379 351,508 68.8% 86.1% 89.0% 18.3% 7.7% 6.0% 11.3% 5 .5% 4.1% 0.6% 0.2% 0.1% 0.2% 0.1% – 0.9% 0.4% 0.8%

1990

2000

2010

384,338 68.3% 17.2% 11.3% 0.4% – 2.9%

455,207 68.3% 17.7% 11.4% 2.6%

503,868 67.7% 17.6% 11.3% 3.4%

Source: Based on Roksana (2015) and Hidayah (2017)

In their investigations of minority Austronesian speakers in Singapore, both Roksana (2015, p. 48) and Hidayah (2017, pp. 200–201) provide census data on several of the ethnicities associated with these Austronesian varieties. As shown in Table 7.3, which combines data from both authors, Malayness in Singapore has been highly assimilatory. Until 1990, the percentages of Javanese, Baweanese and other sub-ethnicities fell, as their descendants became Singapore Malays and switched linguistically to Malay. Te 1990 fgures, however, showed a sudden threefold (and continuing) increase in the percentages of people aligning themselves with these ethnicities. Tis was partly due to changes in the census categories, coupled presumably with a renewed concern for ‘heritage’ in Singapore. However, the shift was not accompanied by a revival of the associated languages, apart from the instituting of lessons in some of them. Indeed, Hidayah’s remarks (2017) on the current circumstances of the associated ethnicities show that the non-Malayic languages – Buginese, Javanese, Baweanese – have all but ceased to be spoken in Singapore, even though her respondents were still able to supply isolated words from them, and in some cases display some conversational ability. (Banjarese, a Malayic variety, has also dropped out of the picture.) Te most detailed published study of this process is Roksana’s sociolinguistic account (2015) of Baweanese language-shifts in Singapore, based on her

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feld research in 2014. Even today, Baweanese appears to be the most resilient of the non-Malayic varieties. Roksana (2015) attributes this partly to the distinctive pondok residence system (Kartini, 2015) that gave them a greater sense of language-based community than the more dispersed residence patterns of migrants who arrived here from other parts of Indonesia.19 However, that resilience has been relative, not absolute. As with all such communities, the Baweanese also experienced a frst language-shift to Malay, with a second shift to English, such that the younger third- and fourth-generation descendants can no longer either speak or understand their heritage languages. Nevertheless, Roksana found that fve times as many respondents were interested in learning Baweanese than those who showed no such interest! (I mention the revivalist classes later.) A high degree of linguistic levelling has therefore been caused by the adoption of Malay (and now English), in a local replay of the process that Blust identifed as active throughout the wider region in earlier millennia. Illustrative snapshots of this process are provided in several of the students’ essays on family linguistic history written for one of my university courses. Tese essays confrm the complicated ethnolinguistic history that attends ‘Malayness’ in Singapore, with Javanese and Baweanese as the most mentioned heritage languages. One student’s grandfather spoke ‘fuent’ Javanese, but her ‘ethnically Javanese’ mother spoke good Malay, passable English and basic Hokkien – but no Javanese. A second student, from a Malay- and Englishspeaking home, mentioned Javanese as one of the languages that her father knew passively, along with Bazaar Malay, some Cantonese, and bits of Tamil, Indonesian and Hokkien. Her mother (of part ethnic-Chinese descent) spoke Mandarin as well as English and Malay. But no one in the family could now speak Javanese. A third student’s maternal great-grandparents spoke Javanese and Tamil as their frst languages. Her mother’s mother, however, whose husband was Bugis, had only a passive knowledge of these languages, gained by ‘picking up’ a few words through listening to conversations; nevertheless, she managed to pass some Javanese to her daughter, the student’s mother. Te essay-writer herself, however, was brought up in a solely English- and Malayspeaking household, with much code-switching between the two. Not unusually for Singapore, these students came from households with a very mixed linguistic ancestry; but their accounts refect the strong levelling efect of both Malay and English, acting in parallel. Tis same pattern was typical of students with a Baweanese background, sometimes mixed with Javanese. Te patrilateral grandparents of one such student moved to Singapore from Java with their families in the late 1930s, when they were still children; and one of her maternal great-grandfathers also moved here from Java. But her maternal grandmother had moved here from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, where there was a Baweanese-speaking community; she spoke both Javanese and Baweanese. Tey used these languages both within the family and also outside because there were still enough speakers in Singapore. However, in the wider public domain they used Bazaar

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Malay. After the War, though, they came under pressure to use Malay, even to the extent of writing letters in jawi (Malayo-Arabic) script. Te student’s parents retain only a passive knowledge of Javanese and Baweanese, and only use Malay as frst language in the home and with friends, along with English (because they went to school in Singapore). Te paternal grandparents of a second Baweanese-descended student migrated to Singapore directly from Bawean island, and spoke only Baweanese and ‘simple’ Malay. Te student’s father spoke just English and Malay. However, the student discovered that his family’s Baweanese was specifcally of the Panyalpangan dialect, and that the older relatives remained well aware of the dialectal variation on Bawean island. Te student’s matrilateral heritage was more complicated, however: the previous three generations variously spoke Malay, Baba Malay, Hokkien, Cantonese, Tamil and English. Of these his mother retained Malay, Baba Malay, Hokkien and English. His great grandfather was a Malay of raja class who had married a Chinese woman from Riau. Yet, despite this very rich linguistic heritage, the student himself speaks only Malay and English. A third student’s patrilateral relatives were originally from Bawean, but her mother’s side were Tamils. Tis diference was bridged by using Malay, which she herself now uses with her parents, alongside English with her siblings. But she also reported that ‘as a Malay speaker myself, I tried picking up Boyanese language and to understand how the language works, but it was rather difcult for me’ because of ‘interference’ from Malay,20 and because it was being taught informally by her grandparent and father. A fourth student’s maternal grandparents both migrated from Bawean. Her mother’s oldest siblings can still speak Baweanese, but most had switched to Malay. Indeed, her grandmother deliberately stopped speaking Baweanese to her children, so that they would speak Malay instead. Members of her wider family, though, speak or read Arabic, Korean, Mandarin, Baweanese, Gujarati and Urdu. Revival eforts and language classes

Most of what I have presented is anecdotal. Without further feldwork, it will not be possible to ascertain more frmly the current situation of any of the minority Austronesian languages of Singapore. Enough is known, however, to confrm that none of the languages currently meets the standard requirement for safeguarding as Intangible Cultural Heritage (UNESCO, 2005) – namely, that it should be supported by active use and transmission within a persisting community. However, the lack of functioning speech communities in presentday Singapore for any of these languages does not mean that interest in them has completely waned. Nor does it reduce the linguistic and historical value of any information that might emerge on them. Te publication of a new textbook of Baba Malay (Chan & Tompson, 2018) and the organising of lessons based on it was mentioned earlier. Of the non-Malayic languages, Baweanese has the strongest revivalist following. Te Persatuan Bawean Singapura, founded in 1934, celebrated its eightieth anniversary by publishing a celebratory volume

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(Rohaya & Sundusia, 2015) of short authoritative essays on various aspects of Singapore Baweanese culture and society, including language. Tis was followed by introductory Bawean language classes commissioned by the Malay Heritage Centre (Nur Asyikin, 2017), which have now been held several times. Language classes have also been held at the Centre for Buginese,21 a language that was formerly more widely spoken in Singapore.22 It is still spoken nearby in parts of Johor, such as Pontian and Batu Pahat, where even young people can still understand it (Zhaki, 2017a).23 Classes in Javanese have been less well served, apart from an attempt in 2014, even though other parts of Javanese cultural heritage are actively followed in Singapore.24 Zhaki (2017b) reports that there are few people here who could serve as teachers of the language. Moreover, the socially ranked speech-levels that famously pervade Javanese would make it a difcult language to teach in Singapore’s egalitarian context. Conclusion Most of Singapore’s other Austronesian languages are not yet endangered elsewhere in the region. But within Singapore they are locally moribund and functionally extinct as vehicles of even familial communication. Te primary cause of this loss has been the levelling efect of Malay within the erstwhile Austronesian-speaking sectors of the population, combined with the massive spread of English into all domains of Singaporean life. In this regard, and perhaps regrettably, Singapore refects the uniformatizing pressures that now confront most of the world’s languages. It may therefore be too late to pursue satisfactory linguistic research on these other languages as spoken in Singapore. I hope nevertheless that anyone who might wish to do so will fnd the information provided in this account to be a useful starting point. Notes 1 For an encyclopaedic account of the Austronesian family, see Blust (2013). 2 ‘Malayo-Polynesian’ refers to all the Austronesian languages apart from those – the ‘Formosan’ languages – that are indigenous to Taiwan. 3 ‘Malayic’ refers to the twenty or more speech varieties (such as Iban, Minangkabau, Serawai, Kerinci, and some say Kelantanese) that are regarded as the immediate relatives of Malay (Adelaar, 1992). 4 Smith’s other top-level Malayo-Polynesian branches are Celebic, Central-Eastern MalayoPolynesian, Chamorro and Palauan. It is possible that languages of the Celebic branch may also be relevant to Singapore, but I know of no direct evidence for this. For an up-to-date summary of views on Malayo-Polynesian, see Wikipedia (2020a), to which both Blust and Smith contributed. 5 Some of the maritime Moken-speakers I interviewed in Phuket, southern Tailand, in 1991 said that they used to sail as far as Singapore, and that such journeys were within their traditional range. 6 In a strange twist, a branch of Chamic later moved from the Mainland, along the Peninsular east coast into northern Sumatra, where it became Acehnese. Although this movement left traces in the Peninsula’s Aslian languages, no such traces remain in Singapore.

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7 For a survey of the diferent types of Malay that emerged from this range of functions, see Ansaldo (2009). 8 Te Orang Seletar refer to themselves and their language as Kon (Mariam, 2002, p. 289), an Austroasiatic (and Aslian) etymon meaning ‘child’ (Shorto, 2006, p. 318) or ‘member of ethnic or other social group’ (Shorto, 1971, p. 53). Tis also occurs as the second syllable of the ethnonym ‘Jakun’, a Malayic Orang Asli population in inland Johor and Pahang. 9 Skeat and Ridley (1900) give a few words used by the Orang Laut (Orang Kallang) living in piled houses at Kampong Rokok over the (former) mouth of the Kallang river, Singapore: ‘they now speak Malay only, with a slight residuum of their older dialect occurring in it’. Mariam (2002, p. 279) states that their settlement was destroyed in 1921. Tirty years later, Williams-Hunt (1952, pp. 13, 19, 44) included the Orang Selat and Orang Seletar among the at least 34,737 ‘Aborigines’ that he estimated as living in the Colony of Singapore in the early 1950s. Tese people had been nominal Muslims for several generations and were regarded by almost all outsiders simply as Orang Melayu. Tey regarded themselves as Orang Melayu too, but as Orang Melayu who had not yet forgotten their distinct tribal-group (suku) origins in particular parts of the Riau archipelago. 10 A Facebook page dedicated to heritage language: www.facebook.com/groups/ heritagelanguage 11 An Indonesian website (www.genpi.co/gaya-hidup/7443/kepulauan-riau-beda-tempatlain-dialek-melayunya) lists a dozen or more Riau-Island dialects, without however providing much linguistic data. 12 One set of sources that could be exploited for further research are the Malay-language feature flms produced in Singapore between the late 1940s and early 1970s. In some of these, there was no control over the pronunciation employed, such that members of the same on-screen Singaporean family can be heard talking to each other in diferent regional varieties of Malay, including some from Indonesia. 13 Blagden (1906, pp. 497, 503) lists vocabularies of two Orang Laut varieties, Galang and Temiang, as having been collected in Singapore in or around 1900. Tese islands are situated some 80 and 100 kilometres south of Singapore, respectively, though well within the range of Suku Orang Laut seafaring. 14 See Collins (1986, pp. 181–183) and Adelaar (1992, pp. 86–89) for discussions of the problems attending this alternation in the rhotic phoneme. Fokker (1895, p. 27) explicitly mentions having heard the ‘guttural’ (velar or uvular) pronunciation in Singapore in the late nineteenth century. 15 See, for example, http://singapurastories.com/2016/09/seminar-11-kg-kuchai-lorong3-geylang-from-tg-rhu-and-singapore-river-kampong-community-domestic-architectureand-a-long-history (accessed 13 May 2020). 16 See, for example, the website www.genpi.co/gaya-hidup/7443/kepulauan-riau-beda-tempat-lain-dialek-melayunya (accessed 13 May 2020). Unfortunately, the information given there is too abbreviated to be linguistically useful. 17 Karo Batak is said to be regularly employed in Lutheran church services in Singapore, but there is little confrmation of this available on Internet sources. Te relevant website, www. facebook.com/hkbpsg (accessed 13 May 2020), associated with the Huria Kristen Batak Protestan (HKBP) Singapore, mostly contains contributions in Indonesian, with just a few words in (Karo?) Batak. In any case, the number of ethnic Bataks in Singapore is small, consequent on intermarriage with local Malays, conversion to Islam, and assimilation into Malay ethnicity. 18 ‘Bundu’ is presumably the Sabahan language now known as Kadazandusun, the BunduLiwan dialect of which was confrmed in 2018 as Sabah state’s standard variety for ofcial and educational purposes. 19 A countervailing tendency would have resulted from the fact that Baweanese migration was overwhelmingly male (Vredenbregt, 1964, pp. 113–114), followed by intermarriage with women who could not speak Baweanese, and therefore could not pass the language on.

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20 As already noted, Baweanese is a dialect of Madurese, which in Blust’s view (2010, pp. 90–91) has ‘always been something of an anomaly’: ‘Lexically it is quite close to Malay, but its phonology and morphology are strikingly diferent. It appears likely that Madurese was originally a language that subgrouped with Javanese but underwent heavy relexifcation from Malay’. 21 For details of the Buginese classes held in 2018, see https://sirrinapesse-workshop-bugislanguage.peatix.com (accessed 13 May 2020). 22 Riaz Hassan has informed me that when he and Michael Walter carried out feld research in the mid-1970s on Pulau Sudong, one of Singapore’s now depopulated Southern Islands, the inhabitants were heard speaking a ‘strange’ language, which was identifed as Buginese. 23 People of acknowledged Bugis descent now form less than 0.4 per cent of the population of Singapore. But in the 1824 census, 18 per cent of the population were identifed as ethnic Bugis. Tey were counted separately from the Malays and spoke Buginese. In 1842, it was reported that Bugis manuscripts were being collected in Singapore (Schalk, 2019, p. 20). Literacy in the language, with its distinctive script, has since disappeared from the region – even among the Bugis-descended aristocrats in the Riau Islands. 24 Javanese cultural activities are reported online at www.facebook.com/groups/JavaneseSingaporeans (accessed 13 May 2020). However, very little use is made of Javanese language on this site.

References Adelaar, K. A. (1992). Proto-Malayic: Te reconstruction of its phonology and parts of its lexicon and morphology. Canberra: Pacifc Linguistics. Adelaar, K. A. (2005). Structural diversity in the Malayic subgroup. In A. Adelaar & N. P. Himmelmann (Eds.), Te Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar (pp. 202–226). London: Routledge. Anderbeck, K. (2012). Te Malayic-speaking Orang Laut: Dialects and directions for research. Wacana, 14, 265–312. Ansaldo, U. (2009). Contact languages: Ecology and evolution in Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ansaldo, U., & Lim, L. (2014). Te life cycle of Sri Lanka Malay. In H. C. Cardoso (Ed.), Language endangerment and preservation in South Asia (pp. 100–118). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press. Bellwood, P. (1993). Cultural and biological diferentiation in Peninsular Malaysia: Te last 10,000 years. Asian Perspectives, 32, 37–60. Benjamin, G. (2009). Afxes, Austronesian and iconicity in Malay. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 165, 291–323. Benjamin, G. (2012). Te Aslian languages of Malaysia and Tailand: An assessment. In P. K. Austin & S. McGill (Eds.), Language documentation and description (Vol. 11, pp. 137–231). London: School of Oriental and African Studies. Blagden, C. O. (1906). Language. In W. W. Skeat & C. O. Blagden (Eds.), Pagan races of the Malay Peninsula (Vol. 2, pp. 377–775). London: Palgrave Macmillan. Blust, R. (2006). Whence the Malays? In J. T. Collins & A. Sariyan (Eds.), Borneo and the homeland of the Malays: Four essays (pp. 64–88). Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Blust, R. (2010). Te Greater North Borneo hypothesis. Oceanic Linguistics, 49, 44–118. Blust, R. (2013). Te Austronesian languages (Rev. ed.). Canberra: Pacifc Linguistics, Open Access Monographs. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1885/10191 Chan, K., & Tompson, A. (2018). Mari chakap Baba: A comprehensive guide to the Baba Nyonya language. Singapore: Gunong Sayang Association.

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Clammer, J. (Ed.). (1977). Te ethnographic survey of Singapore, fnal report (Unpublished typescript). Geneva: World Health Organisation and Singapore: Department of Sociology, University of Singapore. Collins, J. T. (1986). Antologi kajian dialek Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Dahlan, S., et al. (1989). Geograf dialek Bahasa Melayu Riau Kepulauan. Jakarta: Departemen Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan. Daw Khin Aye. (2005). Bazaar Malay: History, grammar and contact (PhD thesis). National University of Singapore, Singapore. Retrieved from https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/ handle/10635/15028 Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (Eds.). (2019). Languages of Singapore: An Ethnologue country digest. Based on their Ethnologue: Languages of the world (22nd ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Fokker, A. A. (1895). Malay phonetics. Leiden: E. J. Brill. Groeneveldt, H. P. (1880/1960). Historical notes on Indonesia & Malaya compiled from Chinese sources. Jakarta: Bhratara. Reprint. Hidayah, A. (2017). Bahasa: A guide to Malay languages – Banjar, Bawean, Buginese, Javanese, Malay, Minangkabau, Slitar and Tagalog. Singapore: Helang Books. Juma’at, M. (2017). Orang Seletar. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Kähler, H. (1946–49). Ethnographische und linguistische Studien von den Orang Laut auf der Insel Rangsang an der Ostküste von Sumatra. Anthropos, 41(44), 1–31. Kähler, H. (1960). Ethnographische und Linguistische Studien über die Orang Darat, Orang Akit, Orang Laut und Orang Utan im Riau-Archipel und auf den Inseln an der Ostküste von Sumatra. Berlin: Dietrich Rimmer. Kartini, S. (2015). Odik e ponthuk [Living in pondok]. In R. M. Lani & S. Rosdi (Eds.), Masyarakat Bawean Singapura La-A-Obĕ (pp. 13–21). Singapore: Persatuan Bawean Singapura. LeClerc, J., & Jean, L. (2019). L’aménagement linguistique dans le monde: Singapour. Retrieved from www.axl.cefan.ulaval.ca/asie/singa.htm Lee, N. H. (2014). A grammar of Baba Malay with sociophonetic considerations (PhD thesis). University of Hawai’i at Mānoa, Hawai’i. Retrieved from ling.hawaii.edu/wp-content/ uploads/NalaHuiyingLeeFinal.pdf Lee, N. H. (2019). Peranakans in Singapore: Responses to language endangerment and documentation. Language Documentation & Conservation, 19, 123–140. Leow, A. (2017, May 11). Minangkabau matriarchs rule the roost. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from http://str.sg/46fe Mariam, M. A. (2002). Singapore’s Orang Seletar, Orang Kallang and Orang Selat: Te last settlements. In G. Benjamin & C. Chou (Eds.), Tribal communities in the Malay world: Historical, cultural and social perspectives (pp. 273–292). Leiden: IIAS and Singapore: ISEAS Publishing. Noriah, M. (2009). Te Malay Chetty creole language of Malacca: A historical and linguistic perspective. Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 82, 55–70. Nur Asyikin, M. S. (2017, January 12). Tuning in to Baweanese with strains of La-A-Obe. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from http://str.sg/4WSP Pillai, P. (2015). Yearning to belong: Malaysia’s Indian Muslims, Chitties, Portuguese Eurasians, Peranakan Chinese and Baweanese. Singapore: ISEAS Publishing. Rohayah, M. L., & Sundusia, R. (Eds.). (2015). Masyarakat Bawean Singapura La-A-Obĕ. Singapore: Persatuan Bawean Singapura.

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Pok, L. J. H. (2017). A preliminary study of Bahasa Orang Seletar (Final Year Project). Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Roksana, B. B. A. (2015). Bahasa Bawean di Singapura: Satu kajian pengalihan dan pengekalan. In M. L. Rohayah & R. Sundusia (Eds.), Masyarakat Bawean Singapura La-A-Obĕ (pp. 47–57). Singapore: Persatuan Bawean Singapura. Samsur, R. B. Y. (2015). Analisis etnograf dan semiotik sosial pertuturan masyarakat Seletar (PhD thesis). University of Malaya, Malaysia. Retrieved from http://studentsrepo.um.edu. my/id/eprint/5768 Schalk, V. (2019). U.S. EX. EX: An expedition for the ages. Biblioasia, 13(2), 16–22. Shorto, H. L. (1971). Dictionary of the Mon inscriptions from the sixth to the sixteenth centuries. London: Oxford University Press. Shorto, H. L. (2006). A Mon-Khmer comparative dictionary. Canberra: Pacifc Linguistics. Skeat, W. W., & Ridley, H. N. (1900). Te Orang Laut of Singapore. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 33, 247–250. Smith, A. D. (2017). Te Western Malayo-Polynesian problem. Oceanic Linguistics, 56, 435–490. Tan, L. J. G. (2014). Charting multilingualism in Singapore: From the nineteenth century to the present (Final Year Project). Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Tan, Z. X. (2020). Some aspects of the language of the Orang Seletar (Final Year Project). Division of Linguistics and Multilingual Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. UNESCO. (2005). Criteria for inscription on the lists established by the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Paris: UNESCO. Vredenbregt, J. (1964). Bawean migrations: Some preliminary notes. Bijdragen tot de Taal-, Land- en Volkenkunde, 120, 109–139. Wikipedia. (2020a). Malayo-Polynesian languages. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Malayo-Polynesian_languages Wikipedia. (2020b). Singapore Stone. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_ Stone Williams-Hunt, P. D. R. (1952). An introduction to the Malayan Aborigines. Kuala Lumpur: Government Press. Zhaki, A. (2017a, March 30). Infuence of Bugis in many place names. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from http://str.sg/48MA Zhaki, A. (2017b, February 16). Javanese spoken to share secrets. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from http://str.sg/4eAZ

8

Baba Malay Anne Pakir

Introduction Baba Malay (henceforth BM) refers to a variety of Malay that is spoken by the Straits-born Chinese, also known as the Baba Chinese. One of the earliest descriptions of Baba Malay was published in the Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (Shellabear, 1913). To date, two comprehensive doctoral dissertations have provided a thorough linguistic investigation of the language conducted almost four decades apart (Pakir, 1986; Lee, 2014). Both attempt a synchronic description of Baba Malay that was relevant at the time of their studies. BM is believed to have arisen from a pidgin spoken by early Chinese settlers in the Malay Archipelago but has been asserted to be a Malay dialect in its own right (Pakir, 1986). Te Baba are descendants of the frst migrants from the southern regions of China who settled in Malacca, Singapore and Penang (trading centres along the Strait of Malacca) collectively known as the Straits Settlements formed in 1826. Te majority of them are Hokkiens although some have identifed themselves as Teochew and Cantonese. While Baba Malay probably came into existence even before the formation of the British Crown Colony on the Strait of Malacca in 1867, its prominence heightened as its speakers grew in status and prosperity in society and called themselves Straits-born Chinese, to distinguish themselves from China-born migrants who had come to settle in the region. Within the community, the men are referred to as Babas while women are called Nonyas. However, the generic term ‘Babas’ refers to the community as a whole. Babas are also referred to by other terms like Peranakans, Straits Chinese, Straitsborn Chinese and embok-embok. Concomitant with the numerous terms used to describe the community of Babas, BM has also been synonymously referred to as Baba language, cakap Peranakan (‘Peranakan speech’), cakap embok embok, the language of the Straits Chinese/Straits-born Chinese. In tracing the possible historical origins of Baba Malay (Pakir, 1986, p. 3), I found that while its exact origins are difcult to ascertain owing to the lack of reference works before the 19th century, documentary evidence did exist to show that the Chinese settled in Malacca back in the 15th century and that it was possibly the inter-marriage between the Chinese and the local Malay

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women that gave rise to the beginnings of BM. Malacca is thus considered to be the birthplace of BM. Many Malaccan Babas emigrated to Singapore after its founding in 1819 by Sir Stamford Rafes. Penang, founded by Sir Francis Light in 1786, also attracted many Chinese migrants but the Baba community there spoke Peranakan Hokkien rather than BM. Te linguistic origin of BM is associated with Bazaar Malay as acknowledged by scholars such as Tan (1980) and Lim (1981). Other scholars like Clammer (1980, 1983) and Grimes (1974, 1984) consider it to be a creole, that is, a pidgin which has second-generation speakers, and which has borrowings from both Bazaar Malay and Chinese. As most of the Babas are Hokkiens, one can surmise that the Chinese variety referred to is Hokkien. BM had not earned its status as a dialect of Malay and was, in fact, been denigrated as a ‘corrupt form of Malay’ by early scholars such as Chia (1899). Whilst surveying the dialects of Malay in Indonesia and Malaysia, Uhlenbeck (1971) omitted mention of BM. Reinecke, Tsuzaki, de Camp, Hancock, and Wood (1975) associated BM with Pidgin Malay. Lim (2015) defnes vernacular BM as ‘a restructured variety of Malay with southern Sinitic infuences’. Scholarly works discussing the linguistic typology of BM (Lee, 2014, p. 314) may be divided broadly into those that consider BM to be a dialect of Malay (Pakir, 1986; Turgood, 1998), and those that consider BM as a creole (Lim, 1981, 1988; Ansaldo & Matthews, 1999; Ansaldo, Lim, & Mufwene, 2007; Shih, 2009). However, the focus of this chapter will not be a linguistic typology of BM. I believed, in the 1980s, that BM was a dying language since there were fewer and fewer native speakers and the truly monolingual speakers of BM could only be found in the over-70 age group (Pakir, 1986, p. 2). Almost four decades on, in contemporary Singapore, eforts are being made to revive interest in the language via plays and church services. However, its speakers are conscious, with an air of carpe diem, that within the next generation or two, the number of absolute fuent speakers of BM will further dwindle. I estimated only about 5000 native speakers of BM living in Malacca and another 5,000 fuent and non-fuent speakers of BM residing in Singapore, giving a total of only about 10,000 speakers of BM in the 1980s. Lee (2018, p. 136) asserts that there are two varieties of BM spoken presently, one spoken by Peranakans residing in Malacca and the other by those living in Singapore. She terms the former variety as Malacca Baba Malay (MBM) and the latter as Singapore Baba Malay (SBM). Te main reason for this diference, she postulates, is due to the diferent substratum language infuences in the two cities. Malacca, being part of Malaysia, has Malay as its national and ofcial language of law and education. Apart from Malay, English, and mainly Cantonese and Hokkien are used widely by the Malaccans. Since 1987, English has been the medium of instruction (MoI) in all schools. A bilingual education policy was introduced in 1966 resulting in what Pakir (1991) calls ‘English-knowing bilinguals’ in Singapore, that is, one who is profcient in English and at least one other ethnically ascribed mother tongue (Mandarin for the Chinese, Malay for the Malays and Tamil for the Indians).

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Using Pakir’s (1986) estimation of there being at about 10,000 BM speakers, Lee (2014, p. 13) states that ‘BM has become a moribund language that is no longer learnt by younger generations. Speakers themselves often cite that there are less than 1,000 people in Singapore who can speak the language fuently’. Pakir’s (1986) fuent 70-year-old monolingual BM speakers would also be in their late 90s if they are still alive. Lee cites Salleh (2006) who reported only about 2,000 Peranakans residing in Malaysia with no further information of how many actually speak BM. Lee (2014) estimates no more than 1,000 BM speakers in Malaysia. Taken together, therefore, speakers of SBM and MBM total only about 2,000. Singapore underwent a dramatic alteration of its linguistic landscape since independence in 1965, with direct language policy and management leading to language shifts especially among the Chinese. Te strong resurgence of interest in the Baba Nonya culture (traditionally transmitted in BM by Baba Chinese) have led to community eforts to promote their own language. Te rest of this chapter assesses the state of play vis-à-vis the Baba language, BM. Language management and language shift Tis section will highlight the policies in independent Singapore (post-1965) that have impacted the already severely endangered status of BM mentioned in the preceding section. English was and is still privileged in independent Singapore (post-1965) as the premier co-ofcial language of the country. Stroud and Wee (2010, p. 181, cited in Low & Pakir, 2018, p. 44) noted that ‘Singapore’s language policy was designed as a strategy for managing a multi-ethnic society, via a mother tongue policy that encouraged Singaporeans to be bilingual in English and an ofcial mother tongue’. In 1979, the government introduced the Speak Mandarin Campaign which encouraged the use of Mandarin over the use of other Chinese dialects. In 1987, English was made the medium of instruction for all schools in Singapore and this landmark policy has remained in force to the present. In 2006, the Ministry of Education (MOE) set up the Malay Language Learning and Promotion Committee (MLLPC) with the aim of enthusing students to learn ‘the Malay language and to develop in them an abiding interest in the language, literature and culture’.1 Language planning and management in post-independent Singapore has dramatically altered the linguistic landscape of Singapore and the languages spoken by the diferent ethnic groups as evidenced in the following table. Table 8.1 traces the languages spoken most frequently at home by the Chinese and the Malays from the 1980 census of population to the 2010 census, spanning a period of 40 years. In 40 years, the use of English as the most frequent home language has jumped by 22.4 per cent for the Chinese and 14.7 per cent for the Malays. Te efect of the Speak Mandarin Campaign is poignantly seen by the drastic drop of 57 per cent in the use of dialects at home from 76.2 per cent in 1980 to only 19.2 per cent in 2010. Te use of Mandarin over the same period has

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Table 8.1 Resident population aged 5 years and over by language most frequently spoken at home Ethnic group/ Languages spoken

1980 (by percentage)

1990 (by percentage)

2000 (by percentage)

2010 (by percentage)

CHINESE English Mandarin Chinese dialects Others

10.2 13.1 76.2 0.5*

21.4 30.0 48.2 0.4*

23.9 45.1 30.7 0.4

32.6 47.7 19.2 0.4

MALAYS English Malay Others

2.3 96.7 1.0*

5.7 94.1 0.2*

7.9 91.6 0.5

17.0 82.7 0.3

Source: Low and Pakir (2018), Bolton and Ng (2014), Department of Statistics (2010), Lau (1993) Key: Te symbol * denotes my calculation of the Others category for the 1980 and 1990 census of population by adding up the percentages of all languages listed and deducting from 100 as these fgures were not listed in the 1980 and 1990 Censuses.

accordingly increased by 34.6 per cent providing further evidence of the success of the Speak Mandarin Campaign over the decades. Te use of Malay as the most frequently spoken language at home by the Malays has dipped by 14 per cent in tandem with the rise in the percentage of English being spoken by the Malays over the same period. Table 8.1 shows the percentage of Chinese and Malays speaking other languages apart from English and their ethnic mother tongue languages at home during the period from 1980 to 2010. Te percentages had to be manually calculated from the 1980 and 1990 Censuses following the methods used and presented in the 2000 and 2010 census data as exemplars. Amongst the Chinese, the percentage of speakers using a minority language most frequently at home has stayed fairly stable for the last 40 years, at about 0.4–0.5 per cent. Tis is important as a reference point because in this category of ‘Others’ might possibly lie BM, Bazaar Malay and other languages not spoken by the majority ethnic Chinese population. Te Speak Mandarin Campaign (launched in 1979) has often been associated with the dramatic linguistic shift amongst the Chinese community in Singapore and associated with contributing to the language loss of the Chinese dialects. It is not unreasonable to associate the success of this campaign as contributing also to the language endangerment of BM. As noted by Baba Walter Woon ‘the Speak Mandarin Campaign was the death blow for the Baba language’ (Aaron, 2015). Language endangerment amidst cultural resurgence Younger generations of Singaporean Chinese are English-knowing bilinguals, competent in English and their ethnically ascribed mother tongue, that is,

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Mandarin as their second language in school. Te future seems bleak for BM as the Chinese move on to become more fuent in English and Mandarin Chinese and the use of ‘other languages’ stays at a dismal 0.4 per cent. Of this percentage, one cannot assume that these are BM speakers since there is almost little or no evidence of intergenerational transmission as clearly observed by BM scholars like Lee (2014) and Pakir (1986) (see also Lee, 2018). Scholars working on BM in the 1980s have already described it as an endangered language (Chia, 1983; Lau, 1984; Pakir, 1986; Tan, 1988). Lee (2014, pp. 14–20) uses Van Way and Lee’s (2013) Language Endangerment Index (LEI) to derive a current language vitality score that categorises BM as being ‘severely endangered’. Te score is derived based on four indicators, that is, intergenerational transmission, absolute number of speakers, speaker number trends and domains of use (see Table 8.2 at the end of this chapter). Van Way and Lee’s index has a 6-point scale with ‘critically endangered’ being labelled 6 and ‘safe’ being labelled 0. As such, BM is veering more towards the ‘critically endangered’ end of the Language Endangerment Index continuum. Te LEI will be re-visited in the concluding section of this chapter. Language and culture are inextricably linked. Kramsch (1998, p. 1) states that when language is used ‘in contexts of communication, it is bound up Table 8.2 Te Language Endangerment Index with reference to Baba Malay Inter-generation Absolute number of transmission speakers

Speaker trends and age group

Domains of use

Declining and almost disappearing

Younger Peranakans (below 20 years old) are beginning classes in BM Peranakan youth (20–40 years) are engaged in the culture but use English most of the time Middle-aged Peranakans (40–60) are mostly semifuent speakers of BM, if at all Older Peranakans (60 and above) are the most fuent speakers but their numbers are dwindling

Language classes on the GSA premises on a weekly basis Annual production of Peranakan plays allow participation on stage (performances, dances, songs). See Appendix II. Production of plays allow active participation as roles of the Nyonya matriarch, and the extended family members, usually involve this age group. Dondang Sayang sessions, pantun sessions, worship and church services

40 fuent speakers of BM among the 210 members of the GSA; 2,020 members, many Peranakan, use English most of the time

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with culture in multiple and complex ways’. Kramsch asserts that language both helps us to express and to embody cultural realities because when we use language, we are also creating our own experiences through the use of language. Furthermore, language as a system of signs also carries cultural value. Speakers identify with each other through the use of language and hence language is also viewed as a symbol of speakers’ social identities. Te question that needs to be asked is whether BM among the Baba and Nyonya will remain the symbol of their speakers’ social identity. Kramsch (1998, p. 7) highlights ‘the culture of everyday practices’ that draws upon ‘the culture of shared history and traditions’. Importantly, the historical, diachronic dimension of culture is concerned about how the social group identity is carried via material productions such as ‘works of art . . . and popular culture’ that helps in fostering historical identity development. We see much evidence of such robust community eforts to revive the culture of the Peranakans. Arguably, the cultural resurgence eforts appear to have gained greater traction than the language revival eforts. Tis is due to the fact that the language revival eforts are subject to external forces over which the community has little control. For example, Singapore’s language planning and education policies earlier described, and the rise in status of English as a global language have resulted in many young Singaporean Chinese becoming English-dominant speakers with Mandarin as their second language. Within the community, it is easier to preserve, promulgate and promote the Peranakan culture and its shared history and traditions, rather than the language. In what follows, I will suggest that in spite of the endangered status of BM, the Peranakan culture is still being transmitted through what Kramsch (1998) calls the historical, diachronic dimension of culture. While the language spoken by the Peranakans may be severely endangered, the community remains tightly knit and the social networks, defned using Milroy and Milroy’s (1992, p. 5) conceptualisation as ‘a boundless web of ties that reaches out through a whole society, linking people to one another, however remotely’ remain strong. Tese ties tend to be formed through kinship, friendship, collegiality, neighbourliness, religious congregating, and association activities.2 Tese ties are kept strong through clan gatherings, performances, publications, and language and culture classes. Tese ties allow members of the Baba community to contribute extensively to cultural representations of their community in the cultural repositories housed at the Peranakan Museum of Singapore, which is an integral part of the Asian Civilisations Museum, and the NUS Baba House. Te Peranakan Museum on Armenian Street was opened in May 2008, documenting the history, tradition and culture of the Peranakans and is a good repository of the artefacts that were cherished by this unique community and defne their material culture. Te Baba House at 157 Neil Road, was opened in September 2008 as a heritage museum, curated to display the domestic life and culture of the Peranakan Chinese at the turn of the 20th century and facilitates research into conservation of architectural traditions established in Singapore by the Peranakans.

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Two associations recognised as being actively involved in the cultural resurgence of the Baba community are the Peranakan Association of Singapore (TPAS) and the Gunong Sayang Association (GSA). TPAS (established in 1900) and GSA (established in 1910) both boast a long history, and have been instrumental in preserving, promoting, and promulgating Peranakan culture and its associated language, BM. Interview data from two prominent leaders of TPAS and GSA yield a picture of valiant and appreciable eforts to ensure the vitality of the community. Te open-ended interview consisted of ten questions (see Appendix I) which were sent via email to the respondents, and returned together with signed permission forms allowing this author to make use of the audio-recorded and transcribed speech collected from a personal interview and any e-mail correspondence on the related matter in any printed publication. Te questionnaire aimed to fnd out whether these associations focused on aspects of preserving and transmitting the language and/or culture and their membership size and the respondents’ own linguistic repertoire in diferent domains of usage and their views about the decline of BM. Te two respondents are Baba Colin Chee, current President of TPAS and Baba Frederick Soh, First Vice-President of GSA. In what follows, themes arising from the open-ended interview responses are highlighted and discussed. When referring to the responses from Baba Colin, the abbreviation BC will be used henceforth while the responses provided by Baba Frederick will be referred to as BF throughout. Teir responses provide an interesting list of the eforts to preserve and promote Peranakan culture. In terms of membership of both association in 2019, TPAS has the larger number at 2020, many of which are non-Peranakan. In contrast, ‘GSA has only 210 members in 2019, the majority of whom are in the 40–60 years age group. Te pool of younger members below 40 years of age is growing as well’ (BF). Membership numbers are just an approximate proxy of active interest in these associations that articulate specifc vision/mission statements with regard to the preservation and continuation of the Peranakan culture, language and traditions. Besides membership numbers, there are interesting points of contrasts, especially with regard to target audiences and activities. As evident from the mission and vision statements articulated in the websites of the respective associations, each association has a slightly diferent focus. TPAS focuses on the preservation of all things Peranakan and is interested in promoting Baba cultural heritage, artefacts, traditions and practices. GSA, on the other hand, is clearly focused on the performance arts with their staging of the Wayang Peranakan and using BM as its medium of communication as much as possible and sharing of its resources to promote the BM language. Tey also focus on the preservation of Peranakan traditions such as embroidery of intricate Peranakan designs for slippers usually, and how to play traditional card games enjoyed by nyonyas of a bygone era (for example the cherki card game). Te maintenance of BM is a key focus for GSA. In line with their vision and mission, each association organises activities to promote their Peranakan culture. For GSA, performance arts are the focus

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with the organisation of many social activities for outreach to the community of Peranakans and non-Peranakans. For example, TPAS is ‘not organized for the performance arts. Tis is left to the Gunong Sayang Association’ (BC). A prime example would be the GSA Wayang Peranakan, an annual highlight, which clearly demonstrates that ‘We are the only theatre company that still uses the Baba Malay as the language medium for all our shows. Te Wayang presents in itself the culture, our heritage, the diferent traditions and also the language’ (BF). For TPAS, the social integration element is paramount with the promotion and preservation of Peranakan culture as its primary focus. TPAS focuses on organising the annual Baba Nonya convention when it is Singapore’s turn to play host as the role of host is being shared between Singapore, Malacca, Penang and Indonesia. Both associations, however, play an active role in encouraging their members to attend the annual convention held in the region and publicise this in their respective association magazines and newsletters. Additionally, for the promotion of Peranakan culture and heritage, TPAS ‘organizes talks by leading scholars and well-regarded practitioners and experts, documents them and re-enacts key rituals as traditionally practised by Peranakans as part of our teaching and cultural transmission’ (BC). For TPAS, it is evident that their fagship award-winning magazine, Te Peranakan, is a clear means to reach out to its membership and beyond about traditional cultural practices, social fagship events in the calendar like the annual Peranakan ball, insights and interviews about notable Peranakan personalities. Likewise, GSA uses their quarterly newsletter to advertise its past and upcoming activities. It is clear that the diachronic transmission of culture is progressing strongly, via English and not BM. Furthermore, the intergenerational transmission of Baba values and what constitutes Peranakan culture, attitudes and behaviours will persist- both tangibly and intangibly. However, it is less clear that the language transmission process for BM is assured. Language revival eforts By current estimates, there might only be only 40 fuent speakers of the language in the GSA membership, judging from Baba Fredrick’s comment, ‘We have approximately 210 members and within this membership, we can safely say that approximately 20 per cent can speak the language fuently’ (BF). In the context of declining use of BM, valiant eforts are being made by the GSA to transmit the language via weekly BM classes, with successive stages of completion, modelled on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) and GSA revises its syllabuses accordingly.3 GSA takes these classes very seriously and has produced a course book in 2018 entitled, Mari Chakap Baba, a comprehensive guide to the Baba Nyonya language which received high accolades. Te proceeds from the brisk sale of the course books were channelled back into helping the GSA to further promote the language and culture to the community. Interest among younger Babas and

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Nyonyas was further piqued by this publication as noted by Baba Frederick (BF), ‘Headed by Baba Kenneth Chan who has written a text book on Baba Malay, we were able to get a pool of young people that are interested in their roots and mother tongue’. GSA weekly BM classes on its premises (80 Joo Chiat Place, Singapore 427797), are currently the only formal way to gain access to the language. TPAS is currently, trying to ‘fnd champions in the community to sustain weekly sessions in conversational BM, before we launch a programme for it’ (BC). Another active way that GSA promotes the use of BM is via their many performances, ‘Other than our Wayang Peranakan where the language medium is Baba Malay, we will always pepper our performance with a bit of Baba Malay everywhere we go’ (BF). For TPAS, the focus on promoting BM has been an issue for debate. Te general consensus is ‘that Baba Malay is best taught and preserved when used regularly as part of everyday conversation’ (BC). Tere is an awareness that the language is not being transmitted intergenerationally unless both parents are frequent speakers of BM and for this reason, ‘the Association collaborated with Baba William Gwee in publishing the frst Baba Malay Dictionary. Tis book is now out of print and serves as the only reference for our magazine, Te Peranakan’ (BC). As BM was mainly a spoken, rather than a written language (although early BM literature did exist during the heyday of the Peranakan community), these contemporary attempts are truly laudable. Yoong and Zainab (2002) noted that between 1889–1950, Chinese literary works had been translated into BM. Tese works are no longer read even by the existing Baba speech community leading them to conclude that English Language education diminished the demand for literary works in BM. Baba Colin also noted the death knell of BM literature stating that ‘What little literature there was in Baba Malay has ceased to exist. Only a handful of practitioners like Baba William Gwee, Baba G.T. Lye, Nyonya Jessie Cheang and Baba Chan Eng Tye are truly familiar with Baba Malay pantons and continue to write plays in Baba Malay and to perform in them’ (BC). TPAS organised their inaugural Baba Nyonya Literary Festival in July 2019 in an attempt to revive interest in BM literature. In 2019, Baba Kenneth Y.K. Chan launched his book on Chrita-Chrita Baba, a full rendition of Baba stories. Te GSA Wayang Peranakan’s annual play scripts written in BM ofer a rich insight into the language and idioms of the Baba community. Note that whilst literature written in BM has almost ceased to exist, interest about the Babas and their culture is disseminated in English (Cheo, 1983; Chia, 1983; Wee, 2009; Gwee, 2006, 2013a, 2013b; Chee, 2015; Lee, 2011, 2013, 2017). Additionally, many recipe books on Peranakan cuisine, a large part of the culture, are all written in English. Te Baba community use bibles that have been translated into BM (as well as Bahasa Indonesia and Bahasa Malaysia). At the Kampong Kapor Methodist Church (KKMC), Sunday services (11 am to 12 noon) are ofered in any of these three languages, depending on who the invited guest preachers are.

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Members used bibles translated into BM, Bahasa Indonesia, or Bahasa Malaysia. Te regular attendance number is between 15–20 at each, and KKMC acknowledges that ‘Te generation that worships in Baba Malay is small and reducing. Many who come from Peranakan families worship at the English services’ (KKMC, personal communication). Te future of Baba Malay On the topic of why BM has become a severely endangered language, BC talks about language policy and the dominance of the English Language in the Singapore education system, ‘Modernisation and the ascendance of English and now Mandarin. One could also talk about the language and school policy which does not recognise Baba Malay as a language. More a dialect perhaps’. Baba Colin points to the fact of Peranakans marrying outside the community, ‘probably the most important contributing factor would be the constant dilution of Peranakan families as their descendants marry out of this very unique hybrid group’ (BC). He asserts that there is a need to constantly fnd ways of evolving with the times to try to keep the culture alive and relevant with these changing times. Baba Frederick (BF) speaks about the passion needed by the members of the community to keep the culture alive, ‘As long as there are Peranakans that are passionate, selfess and are willing to sacrifce personal time for the culture, there will be no threat. Just like our association, we have been around for 109 years and we are adapting to modernisation to make our culture current for this generation of Singaporeans’. Baba Colin ends with a poignant reminder that ‘We must not forget that our unique hybrid Baba Nyonya culture evolved from changing political, social, and economic circumstances’ (BC). Many scholars have written about language endangerment and death, especially in recent years with the rise of English as an ascendant global language. Some of the notable scholars on topic of endangered languages include Fishman (1991), Dixon (1997), Crystal (2000), Skutnabb-Kangas (2000), Mufwene (2001), Phillipson (2003) and Harrison (2007). While these works do broadly explain the causes of language shift, endangerment and death, it is important for this chapter to contextualise the reasons for the endangered status of BM. One of the factors earlier discussed has to do with the language policy and language management in Singapore, leading to the rise and dominance of the English language and the nation-wide attempt to ensure that Singaporeans learn their ethnically ascribed mother tongues in school. It was earlier mentioned that the Speak Mandarin Campaign which prioritises Mandarin above all other Chinese dialects has led to the decline in the use of the Chinese dialects in Singapore. BM, as a non-standardised language, has no place in the education landscape of Singaporeans and this has led to its rapid decline. Mufwene (2004, p. 218) mentions that globalisation has led to inequities in the status of diferent languages spoken in the local communities. In the

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case of Singapore, it is undeniable that English is the language that symbolises educatedness, prestige and socio-economic power and consequently, non-standard forms of languages like BM sufer from a loss of users especially among the younger generation. Te massifcation of education with English being used as the medium of instruction in all Singapore schools since 1987 and the education of both males and females alike means that the Nyonya ladies are unlikely to stay at home as housewives, desiring to be part of the educated professional workforce of Singapore. In fact, the education of women forms the entire focus of a scholarly book written by Teoh (2018) with an entire chapter dedicated to the education of the Nyonyas from the 1890s to 1940s, mentioning the Singapore Chinese Girls School (SCGS) which was established in 1899 as an all-girls Peranakan school founded by prominent Straits-born Chinese men like Dr Lim Boon Keng. Te next challenge has to do with what Fishman (1991, p. 57) calls ‘physical and demographic dislocation’. He further states that one of the major threats of intergenerational transmission of languages is that of ‘voluntary or involuntary out-migration’ (Fishman, 1991, p. 57). In the case of the Peranakans, many have married outside of the community of Babas, while some have also married non-locals. In such cases, the voluntary out-migration of the community of Peranakans prevents intergenerational transmission at home. Another case of voluntary out-migration is when members of the community relocate to other English-speaking centres of the world either for educational or occupational reasons. Another reason for the decline of BM has to do with its de-commodifcation. Holborow (2018, p. 58) describes language commodifcation as ‘how language has become reconfgured for market purposes and treated as an economic resource’. In the later 18th century through to the 1940s, BM was seen as a language for conducting business and trade in the Malay Archipelago. As Yoong and Zainab (2002, p. 2) state, ‘Te baba language was popular because it was the trading language and the lingua franca of the Straits Settlements’. Presently, BM no longer has relevance as a language of trade nor is it a language that is commonly spoken even within the family let alone outside the family domain. As Mufwene (2004, p. 219) states, ‘languages and cultures at any given point in time are commodities with ‘market values’ – ‘linguistic capitals’ according to Bourdieu (1991) – which are subject to competition and selection’. BM has, like other Chinese dialects in Singapore, lost out to the standard languages ofered in the classroom like English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, its four ofcial languages. Fishman (1991) asserted that for language maintenance to occur, there must be intergenerational transmission of the language. Once this is disrupted, language shift has happened as the primary means of communication and socialisation is now expressed through another language. In the case of BM, intergenerational transmission is clearly missing. We started this chapter with the proposition that BM is a severely endangered language according to a classifcation made by Lee (2014). Linking back to the Language Endangerment Index status of BM mentioned at the start of this chapter, measured

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by the four indicators of intergenerational transmission, absolute number of speakers, speaker number trends and domains of use, it is not hard to predict it is a matter of time that the present ‘severely endangered’ status of BM will move towards a ‘critically endangered’ status. Table 8.2 simply illustrates quite starkly how the distant future is bleak for the language, even though the Peranakan culture and heritage will long continue. Ultimately, the future of BM lies with the number of fuent speakers in existence today. Te fact that these numbers have dwindled to about 1,000 living in Singapore today and are mostly elderly puts BM into a classifcation of being ‘nearly extinct’ (Crystal, 2000, p. 20) defned as the language being considered to be beyond the possibility of survival and being spoken by only a few elderly members of the community. While the threats to the survival of BM are real, what is clear from the data presented in this chapter is that the community’s eforts to promote and preserve the Peranakan culture will ensure that the cultural values and traditions of the Babas will be passed on for generations to come even if the language of transmission has shifted to English. Conclusion Te essence and charm of the Peranakan identity and culture will still enthral many who perceive themselves as being part of the Baba community. Tree recent events attest to the interest in this unique culture and heritage. Prominent Baba Tan Tock Seng who founded schools and has a hospital named after him has over 3000 descendants spread across the globe who gather every three years for a grand reunion for the Tan clan reunion.4 TPAS organised a highly successful Peranakan identity forum entitled ‘Who am I?’ at the Asian Civilisations Museum on 2 August 2019. Te defnition of the Peranakan identity has been illusive – how are they defned? (Hardwick, 2008). Tis forum served a lively platform where a sharing of the views of Peranakan identity was based on genetics, history, language and literature and culture. Two scientists reported their fndings from a ground-breaking study funded by the Genome Institute of Singapore of Peranakan DNA collected in 2017 and 2018 from Singapore Peranakans.5 Tere will long be a celebration of the rich heritage of the Baba community whose unique culture integrates eastern and western infuences over some centuries: Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, Indian, Portuguese, Dutch and British. Among its richest legacies would be its language that was used along the Straits of Malacca for close to 200 years, as the trade language and the lingua franca of the Straits Settlements under British rule. BM survived the test of time till post-independent Singapore. As the analysis in this chapter has shown, its continuation as a language in its own right, depends on crucial factors like intergenerational transmission, the absolute number of speakers, speaker trends and age groups and domains of use. It is noted that the Baba speech community has shifted its linguistic repertoire to the most important language of the world today, English. However, they are promulgating, celebrating and preserving their Peranakan culture in this

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global language. As Baba Colin Chee succinctly sums up, ‘We are concerned that the language is slowly being lost. Because language is an integral and very colourful part of our intangible culture. It is also a very important carrier for cultural transmission, although English can serve this purpose as well’.6 Acknowledgements I would like to gratefully acknowledge Professor Low Ee Ling from the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore for her inputs and insights into this chapter. I would also like to acknowledge all those whose input I have sought, including Kenneth Chan. Any errors or omissions remain my own responsibility. Special thanks are due to the following institutions that allowed me to conduct an informal interview of its key personnel: Te Peranakan Association of Singapore (TPAS) and its President, Baba Colin Chee; Gunong Sayang Association (GSA) and its Vice-President, Baba Frederick Soh; Kampong Kapor Methodist Church (KKMC) and Reverend Kenneth Huang, Pastor. I am also deeply grateful to the National University of Singapore for granting me sabbatical leave from January to June 2019 and to Sciences Po (Paris and Menton campuses), the University of Melbourne and the University of Sydney for hosting me at different parts of my sabbatical journey. Notes 1 Source: www.mllpc.sg 2 Having just attended the 32nd International Baba Nonya Convention in Malacca from 22–24 November 2019, my takeaway is that the Peranakan diaspora are able to gather together under one roof at least once a year precisely because they do not have the tight networked connections on a daily basis. It was observed that a lot of the conversations were conducted in Baba Malay as well as in English so there is the glimmer of possibility that the language will remain a little longer in use than it would have been otherwise. 3 See www.gsa.org for more details. 4 Source: www.peranakan.org.sg/wp-content/uploads/pdf-light-viewer/770-pdfs/page-00044.pdf 5 Source: www.peranakan.org.sg/events/peranakan-identity-forum-sho-am-i 6 It is timely to ask the question of what is sufcient and necessary for a culture’s survival because language and culture are inextricably linked. In the case of Baba Malay, the culture is surviving because of some remnant BM spoken still in the frst two decades of the 21st century. But in tandem with Baba Colin’s observation, I am making the assumption that the Peranakan culture could be transmitted but through the vehicle of English.

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Ansaldo, U., & Matthews, S. (1999). Te Minnan substrate and creolization in Baba Malay. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 27, 38–68. Bolton, K., & Ng, B. C. (2014). Te dynamics of multilingualism in contemporary Singapore. World Englishes, 33, 307–318. Bourdieu, P. (1991). Language and symbolic power. Cambridge: Polity Press. Chee, J. (2015). A tapestry of Baba poetry (4th ed.). Malaysia: Johnny Chee. Cheo, K. B. (1983). A Baba wedding. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. Chia, C.-S. (1899). Te language of the Babas. Te Straits Chinese Magazine, 3, 11–15. Chia, F. (1983). Ala sayang! A social history of Babas and Nyonyas. Singapore: Eastern Universities Press. Clammer, J. R. (1980). Straits Chinese society: Studies in the sociology of the Baba communities of Malaysia and Singapore. Singapore: Singapore University Press. Clammer, J. R. (1983). Te straits Chinese in Melaka. In K. S. Sandhu & P. Wheatley (Eds.), Melaka: Te transformation of a Malay capital, circa 1400–1980 (2 Vols., pp. 156–173). Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. Crystal, D. (2000). Language death. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Department of Statistics. (2010). Census of population 2010. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Retrieved from www.singstat.gov.sg/-/media/fles/ publications/cop2010/census_ 2010_release1/cop2010sr1.pdf Dixon, R. M. W. (1997). Te rise and fall of languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Fishman, J. (1991). Reversing language shift. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Grimes, B. F. (Ed.). (1974). Ethnologue 1974. Huntington Beach, CA: Wyclife Bible Translators. Grimes, B. F. (1984). Ethnologue (10th ed.). Huntington Beach, CA: Wyclife Bible Translators. Gwee, W. T. H. (2006). A Baba Malay dictionary: Te frst comprehensive compendium of Straits Chinese terms and expressions. Singapore: Tuttle Publishing. Gwee, W. T. H. (2013a). A Baba boyhood: Growing up during World War II. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. Gwee, W. T. H. (2013b). A Nyonya mosaic: Memoirs of a Peranakan childhood. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. Hardwick, P. A. (2008). ‘Neither fsh nor fowl’: Constructing Peranakan identity in colonial and post-colonial Singapore. Folklore Forum, 38, 36–55. Harrison, K. D. (2007). When languages die: Te extinction of the world’s languages and the erosion of human knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Holborow, M. (2018). Language, commodifcation and labour: Te relevance of Marx. Language Sciences, 70, 58–67. Kramsch, C. (1998). Language and culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lau, A. G.-L. (1984). Language death with particular reference to the Baba Malay of Singapore (Unpublished Master’s dissertation). University of York, York. Lau, K. E. (1993). Singapore census of population 1990. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Lee, N. H. (2014). A grammar of Baba Malay with sociophonetic considerations (Unpublished PhD thesis). Te University of Hawaii, Hawaii. Lee, N. H. (2018). Baba Malay: Diverging trends in two ecologies. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 33, 136–173. Lee, S. K. (2011). Kebaya tales: Of matriarchs, maidens, mistresses and matchmakers. Malaysia: Marshall Cavendish. Lee, S. K. (2013). Sarong secrets: Of love, loss and longing. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. Lee, S. K. (2017). Manek mischiefs: Of patriarchs, playboys and paramours. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish.

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Lim, S. H.-L. (1981). Baba Malay: Te language of the Straits-born Chinese (Unpublished Master’s dissertation). Monash University, Melbourne. Lim, S. H.-L. (1988). Baba Malay: Te language of the straits-born Chinese. Papers in Western Austronesian Linguistics, 3, 1–61. Lim, L. H.-L. (2015). Coming of age, coming full circle: Te (re)positioning of (Singapore) English and multilingualism in Singapore at 50. Asian Englishes, 17, 261–270. Low, E. L., & Pakir, A. (2018). English in Singapore: Striking a new balance for futurereadiness. Asian Englishes, 20, 41–53. Milroy, L., & Milroy, J. (1992). Social network and social class: Toward an integrated sociolinguistic model. Language in Society, 21, 1–26. Mufwene, S. S. (2001). Te ecology of language evolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Mufwene, S. S. (2004). Language birth and death. Annual Review of Anthropology, 33, 201–222. Pakir, A. (1986). A linguistic investigation of Baba Malay (Unpublished PhD thesis). Te University of Hawaii, Hawaii. Pakir, A. (1991). Te range and depth of English-knowing bilinguals in Singapore. World Englishes, 10, 167–179. Phillipson, R. (2003). English-only Europe? Challenging language policy. London and New York: Routledge. Reinecke, J. E., Tsuzaki, S. M., de Camp, D., Hancock, I. F., & Wood, R. (1975). A bibliography of pidgin and creole languages. Honolulu: Te University Press of Hawaii. Salleh, H. (2006). Peoples and traditions. Kuala Lumpur: Archipelago Press. Shellabear, W. G. (1913). Baba Malay: An introduction to the language of the Straits-born Chinese. Journal of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 65, 49–63. Shih, M.-Y. (2009). Te Hokkien substrate in Baba Malay (Unpublished Master’s dissertation). National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Skutnabb-Kangas, T. (2000). Linguistic genocide in education or worldwide diversity and human rights? Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Stroud, C., & Wee, L. (2010). Language policy and planning in Singaporean late modernity. In L. Lim, A. Pakir, & L. Wee (Eds.), English in Singapore: Modernity and management (pp. 181–204). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press. Tan, C. B. (1980). Baba Malay dialect. Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 53, 150–166. Tan, C. B. (1988). Te Baba of Melaka: Culture and identity of a Chinese Peranakan community in Malaysia. Petaling Jaya, Malaysia: Pelanduk Publications. Teoh, K. M. (2018). Schooling diaspora: Women, education and the overseas Chinese in British Malaya and Singapore, 1850s-1960s. New York: Oxford University Press. Turgood, E. (1998). A description of nineteenth century Baba Malay: A Malay variety infuenced by language shift (Unpublished PhD thesis). University of Hawaii, Hawaii. Uhlenbeck, E. M. (1971). Indonesia and Malaysia. In T. A. Sebeok (Ed.), Current trends in linguistics (Vol. 8, pp. 55–111). Te Hague and Paris: Mouton de Gruyter. Van Way, J., & Lee, N. H. (2013). Assessing levels of endangerment in the catalogue of endangered languages (ELCat). Poster presented at the 3rd International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation, February 28–March 3, University of Hawaii at Mānoa. Wee, P. (2009). A Peranakan legacy: Te heritage of the Straits Chinese. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish International (Asia). Yoong, S. K., & Zainab, A. N. (2002). Chinese literary works translated into Baba Malay: A bibliometric study. Malaysian Journal of Library and Information Science, 7, 1–23.

Appendix I: Questionnaire

1 Te principal activity of your association is to promote Peranakan culture, heritage, traditions and language. In your year-to-year planning, how much time is spent on each aspect? Do you spend more time with these aspects than on preserving and transmitting the language? What are your active initiatives to preserve the language? 2 What is the current size of your membership? And who are your members? What is your estimate of the current size of active speakers? 3 How often do you put on performances that features Baba Malay? 4 In your own family, what percentage of the time do you use English, Baba Malay or other languages? 5 Did you learn Mandarin or Standard Malay in school? What is your understanding of Standard Malay in the era when we were preparing to join the Federation of Malaysia? How much of Standard Malay has infuenced your use of Baba Malay? 6 Are you sad that the language is being lost even though the culture, traditions and heritage are being preserved? 7 For community measures, besides the hosting of Peranakan balls, performance, plays, what are the other activities they are engaged in as a community? List all your measures that ensure that the language, culture, traditions and heritage are being kept. 8 How many of your family members, social network, friends have migrated? And where did they go? 9 What do they see as a threat to the preservation of Baba Malay? For example, modernisation, globalisation, language policy? 10 What kind of literature do they read for improving their own understanding of the language?

Appendix II: Wayang Peranakan (Peranakan Plays, mainly produced by GSA)

2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996 1995 1994 1993 1992 1991

Ayer Di-Tetak Takleh Putus (‘Blood Is Ticker Tan Water’) Lu Siapa (‘Who Are You?’) Kain Chik Dua Mungka (‘Double-faced’) --Udang Sebalek Batu (‘Te Hidden Truth’) Biji Mata Mak (‘Mother’s Pet’) Tanda Mata Mak (‘Heirloom’) Makan Nangka Kena Getah (‘Te Blame Game’) --Pagar Makan Padi (‘Unreliable’) Ayer Pasang Ayer Surut (‘Ebbs & Flows’) Bilek Roda Hidop (‘Bedrooms’) Makchim (‘Te Stepmother’) [‘Te Little Nyonya’ (Mandarin TV drama series)] [Peranakan Museum Opening, May 2008] --Mama Rosa (‘Grandma Rosa’) Belom Mati Belom Tau (‘Te Unpredictable’) Buang Kerong Pungot Jerneh (‘Let Bygones Be Bygones’) Kipas Cendana (‘Te Sandalwood Fan’) Anak Udang, Anak Tenggiri (‘Blood Is Ticker than Water’) Bibiks Behind Bars (PAS) Hujan Balek Ka- Langgit (‘Te Impossible’) Chueh It Chap Goh (‘Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining’) Janji Perot (‘Pre-birth Pact’) --Bulan Purnama (‘An Auspicious Full Moon’) Kalu Jodoh Tak Mana Lari (‘Destiny of Love’) Manis Manis Pahit (‘Bitter-sweet Memories’) --Salah Sangkah (‘Misunderstood’) Nasib (‘Fate’) Sudah Di Janji (‘Fated’)

Baba Malay

1990 1989 1988 1987 1986 1985 1984 1983 1959 1958 1957

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Tak Sangkah (‘Unexpected’) Biji Mata Mak (‘Te Apple of His Mother’s Eye’) Zaman Sekarang (‘Times Have Changed’) Menyasal (‘Regrets’) Lepas Jembatan Buang Tongkat (‘Te Ingrate’) Buang Keroh Pungot Jernih (‘Let Bygones Be Bygones’) Pileh Menantu (‘Choosing a Daughter-in-Law) (1960–1983: a long hiatus with little evidence of annual play productions) Kaseh Ibu Tiri (‘Love of a Step-Mother’) Rusiah (‘Secret’) Tidak Berdosa (‘Not Guilty’)

9

Pronouncing the Malay identity Sebutan Johor-Riau and Sebutan Baku Mukhlis Abu Bakar and Lionel Wee

‘Eh cakaplah betul-betul, kenapa nak kena cakap macam tu’. ‘Hey, speak properly, why do you have to speak like that’. —A frequent reaction of the father of a student teacher whenever he sees a youngster speaking with Sebutan Baku on BERITA, a Malay television news programme

Introduction Te Johor-Riau dialect constitutes the basis for two social dialects in Singapore – Colloquial Malay and Standard Malay. Colloquial Malay is used in what might be described as ‘naturalistic’, ‘informal’ or ‘ordinary’ settings while Standard Malay is used in more formal settings such as language instruction and the media. Whether one speaks Colloquial Malay or Standard Malay, there is a general tendency to characterise the pronunciation patterns of both social dialects as belonging to Sebutan Johor-Riau (Johor-Riau Pronunciation), a naturalised standard pronunciation based on the Johor-Riau accent. In contrast, Sebutan Baku (Standard Pronunciation) is an artifcially created system of pronunciation, built on the principle ‘pronounce as it is spelled’ and ofcially prescribed as the preferred or more appropriate way of speaking ‘proper’ Malay. Whether such a prescription is feasible from a language policy perspective is, as we shall see, a matter of some controversy. Singapore introduced Sebutan Baku in 1993 as the standard pronunciation for Standard Malay as part of the state’s support for the standardisation of the Malay language in the region (Te Straits Times, 1993). Tis geopolitical initiative, however, has since fallen through. Malaysia returned to Sebutan Johor-Riau in 2000 while Singapore retained Sebutan Baku despite opposition from Malay Singaporeans who generally do not see it as authentically indexing their Malay identity (Sakinah, 2019; Berita Harian, 2011a; Osman, 2013). Te excerpt at the start of this chapter exemplifes such non-afliation towards Sebutan Baku. In this chapter, we trace the development of Sebutan Johor-Riau, provide a critique of Sebutan Baku and the state’s rationale for continuing its adoption, and discuss the implications this tension between Sebutan Johor-Riau and Sebutan Baku has on the Malay Singaporean identity.

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Background to the Malay language Malay (or Bahasa Melayu) is an indigenous language of Singapore and the surrounding region which includes Peninsular Malaysia and southern Tailand to the north, the central eastern parts of Sumatra to the west and south, and the western coasts of Borneo to the east (Asmah, 1992). Malay is also a second language for other indigenous communities living beyond its native shores – from Sumatra in the west through to the coastal West Papua in the east – a region commonly known as Nusantara or the Malay Archipelago. In this vast maritime area, Malay was once ‘the formal written language of palaces and creeds, like Latin, and at the same time the everyday working language of business and public interaction in markets and harbours, like lingua franca in the Levant’ (Collins, 1998, p. 25). Tis was attributed to the power and infuence of successful Malay kingdoms then, namely the Srivijaya Empire in Palembang, Sumatra, from the 7th to 12th century and the Melaka sultanate around the 15th and 16th centuries. Te defeat of Melaka by the Portuguese in 1511 gave rise to smaller sultanates in the Malay indigenous areas including the Johor-Riau-Lingga sultanate (17th–19th centuries) (Collins, 1998). Te local Johor-Riau dialect became the de facto Malay dialect in the territories held by this sultanate. Its dialectal infuence reigns over what are now the Malaysian states of Melaka, Pahang and Johor and the central eastern Indonesian provinces of Sumatra including the Riau Islands (Asmah, 1992). Te Malay variety spoken in Singapore belongs to this widely distributed Johor-Riau dialect group. In 1824, the Malay-speaking world was divided politically for the frst time in its long history with the signing of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Under this treaty, the British controlled the Malay peninsula and the northern third of Borneo while the Dutch the rest of the archipelago. Te language of the colonial masters (English and Dutch) began to efect an infuence on Malay in their respective areas of control (Alisjahbana, 1976; Asmah, 1993; Collins, 1998). In places under Dutch rule, native Malay speakers were outnumbered by non-Malay indigenous speakers (Javanese, Sundanese, Bugis, and so on), which added another layer of infuence to the Malay language there. Tese sowed the seeds for the emergence of a variety of Malay in Indonesia which grew increasingly diferent from the variety used in Singapore and Malaysia. Te former was later declared the national language of Indonesia and renamed Bahasa Indonesia. Johor-Riau dialect in the formation of Standard Malay A shared colonial past, a similar dialect group, and close proximity between Singapore and Malaysia have kept the Malay language in Singapore on a common path with its cousin in Malaysia for much of its development. Historically, while there existed several Malay dialect groups, it was the JohorRiau dialect that formed the basis for the standard Malay language, refecting

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the rich literary past of the Johor-Riau sultanate (Asmah, 1988; Asraf, 1984; Winstedt, 1992). Singapore, together with the nearby islands in what is now Indonesia, was the centre for cultural, political and socioeconomic activities before and during the colonial period. Trough Singapore, Malaya welcomed its frst Malay press in the late 19th century as well as the radio service that commenced operation half a century later. With the establishment of printing – initially using the Jawi script (Amat Juhari Moain, 1996; Hashim Musa, 2006) – the local Johor-Riau dialect which was already then the model of written language became the language of printed materials. Its grammar and vocabulary were further developed, codifed and expanded to become what is known as Bahasa Melayu Standard (or Standard Malay), a supralocal Malay dialect (Asmah, 1988). Printing helped spread it quickly to schools and government ofces throughout Singapore and Malaya. Similarly, with the establishment of Radio Malaya in 1946 in Singapore, the Johor-Riau accent was ‘borrowed’ to accompany Standard Malay. It was the natural choice for radio announcers and newsreaders who themselves were native speakers of the dialect (Asmah, 1988, 1992). Te accent developed as it fulflled its wider function including accounting for the pronunciation of new words from other languages. Tis accent spread to Kuala Lumpur when Radio Malaya moved to the city and further north when Penang established her own radio station (Asmah, 1992). Over time, this Johor-Riau-based accent evolved to become the naturalised standard Malay pronunciation which this chapter refers to as Sebutan Johor-Riau, the term ‘Johor-Riau’ being used to recognise its origin. Asmah (1992) names this accent kelainan /ə/ (or /ə/ variety). Te printing and broadcasting media thus played an important role in the formation of Standard Malay and its accompanying accent, Sebutan Johor-Riau (SJR), and establishing for them an infuence that was far beyond the reach of their parent dialect, the Johor-Riau dialect. Tat Standard Malay and Sebutan Johor-Riau evolved from an existing dialect with its large base of native speakers was crucial to their development.1 Note that standard Malay pronunciation is dual centred in that there are two living standard Malay pronunciations. Other than Sebutan Johor-Riau (the /ə/ variety), there is also kelainan /a/ (or /a/ variety) spoken in northern Peninsular Malaysia and East Malaysia. Between the two, Sebutan Johor-Riau is more widespread as it is the variety adopted by the media and the schools. It is quite normal for speakers of the /a/ variety to switch between the two standard accents. On the other hand, native speakers of Sebutan Johor-Riau are familiar with the /a/ variety only in songs and in poetry recitals (Asmah, 1992). Eforts at standardisation Te increasing non-uniformity of Standard Malay within the Malay Archipelago, namely between Indonesia and the rest of the Malay-speaking countries (Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore) prompted a move by Malay language activists in the 1950s to unify the language across the region (Mohamed

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Pitchay Gani, 2004). Starting with reforms in spelling, these were followed by reforms in terminology, grammar, and lastly pronunciation (Asmah, 1992). Success, however, has been elusive, as is expected of any move towards language standardisation across political boundaries especially with regard to pronunciation (Milroy & Milroy, 2012). Several factors served as impediments to standardisation (Asmah, 1993; Alisjahbana, 1976). First, external infuence: Bahasa Indonesia’s spelling and morphology involving foreign words and afxes followed Dutch grammar while Malay looked to English as its reference. Second, internal infuence: Bahasa Indonesia is the common language of speakers of diferent languages which infuence the lexicon of Bahasa Indonesia; Malay interacts only with dialects of the same language. Tird, limited contact between speakers aggravated by the Indonesia-Malaysia Confrontation in the 1960s: radio and television broadcast rarely cross political borders; so too were printed materials published in these two countries. Fourth, pride and identity: Bahasa Indonesia and Malay have become a marker of identity for their respective speakers who over time developed the tendency to maintain their own system. Today, Bahasa Indonesia continues to diverge from Malay. Te increasing polarity between the two varieties is evidenced by the publication of a ‘bilingual’ Bahasa Melayu-Bahasa Indonesia dictionary (Rusdi Abdullah, 2016). Te attempt at standardisation of pronunciation since the late 1980s has been particularly controversial. Sebutan Baku was proposed as the pronunciation to unify the Malay language speakers in the region. An artifcially created system of pronunciation based on the principle ‘pronounce as it is spelled’, Sebutan Baku (SB) requires its speakers to pronounce words as they are spelled and all the letters that appear in a word must be pronounced (Ismail, 1994).2 By this principle, Sebutan Baku difers from Sebutan Johor-Riau primarily in the pronunciation of certain letters in the word unit: 1) the letter ‘a’ in open fnal syllable is pronounced /ə/ in Sebutan Johor-Riau but /a/ in Sebutan Baku; 2) the letters ‘i’ and ‘u’ in closed fnal syllable are pronounced /e/ and /o/ respectively in Sebutan Johor-Riau but /i/ and /u/ respectively in Sebutan Baku; and 3) syllable fnal ‘r’ is silent in Sebutan Johor-Riau but pronounced in Sebutan Baku (see Table 9.1).3 Based on the three features, Sebutan Baku is identical to Bahasa Indonesia pronunciation while Sebutan Johor-Riau is diferent from both of them. As such, asking a Malay speaker from Singapore and Malaysia to speak with Sebutan Baku is akin to asking him/her to sound like an Indonesian. He/she would have to pronounce pada (‘to’) as /pada/ and not /padə/; sakit (‘pain’) as /sakit/ and not /saket/; takut (‘frighten’) as /takut/ and not /takot/; tukar (‘change’) as /tukar/ and not /tuka/. Imagine asking a British English speaker to give up his pronunciation of ‘car’ (/kɑː/) and ‘ask’ (/ɑːsk/) in favour of the American model (/kɑːr/ and /æsk/ respectively). Such a proposal is not likely to go down well for it means giving up part of one’s identity as a British, which, among others, is indexed by pronunciation or accent (Lippi-Green, 1997). Unlike Sebutan Johor-Riau, Sebutan Baku has no native speakers. It is

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Table 9.1 Major features of standard pronunciations in Malay Pronunciation system Letter position 1. ‘a’ in open fnal syllable 2. Syllable-fnal ‘r’ 3. ‘i’ & ‘u’ in closed fnal syllable: a. before ‘n’, ‘ng’; b. before other consonants

SJR (/ə/ variety) SB pronunciation pronunciation

Bahasa Indonesia pronunciation

Northern (/a/ variety) pronunciation

/ə/

/a/

/a/

/a/

silent

/r/

/r/

/r/

/e/ & /o/ /e/ & /o/

/i/ & /u/ /i/ & /u/

/i/ & /u/ /i/ & /u/

/i/ & /u/ /e/ & /o/

a created phenomenon, a pronunciation model based on the prescriptive rule ‘pronounce as it is spelled’. Tis system of pronunciation is named Sebutan Baku with the word baku (translated as ‘standard’ or ‘accepted’) ostensibly placed in the name. Tis, however, does not automatically qualify the pronunciation to be ‘baku’ or standard, a view that contrasts with Pairah (2007) and Awang (2000). Te geopolitical initiative to unify the pronunciation across the archipelago fell through eventually. Malaysia switched back to Sebutan Johor-Riau in 2000 after adopting Sebutan Baku for 12 years. Explaining Malaysia’s decision to drop Sebutan Baku, the Minister for Education was quoted to have said that Sebutan Baku ‘is diferent from the pronunciation commonly used by the people of this country’ (Utusan Online, 2000a). Malaysia’s relinquishing of Sebutan Baku could be due to the realisation that giving up Sebutan JohorRiau, and with it, Malaysia’s Malay identity, is not worth the sacrifce when Bahasa Indonesia as a linguistic system continues to develop into a variety (and linguistic identity) of its own.4 In Singapore, the standardisation eforts were spearheaded by the Malay Language Council, Singapore (Majlis Bahasa Melayu Singapura or MBMS).5 Following Malaysia, MBMS, through the Ministry of Communications, Information and the Arts (now Ministry of Communications and Information) proposed to the Ministry of Education (MOE) the use of Sebutan Baku in the formal education system. In June 1990, MOE approved the MBMS’ proposal, and in August 1990, the cabinet decided in principle to accept Sebutan Baku for implementation in schools starting in 1993 (Pairah, 2007). Unlike Malaysia, Singapore did not retract its Sebutan Baku policy despite the idea of a pan-Malay standard pronunciation being a lost cause. Sebutan Johor-Riau and Malay social dialects When Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965, it inherited the standard variety of Malay, both in print and spoken form. Standard Malay was, and is,

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one of four social dialects of Malay spoken in Singapore; the other three being Bahasa Melayu Basahan or Colloquial Malay,6 Bahasa Melayu Pasar or Bazaar Malay,7 and Baba Malay.8 Of the four dialects, Standard Malay and Colloquial Malay are the more widely spoken. Standard Malay has evolved into a primarily educated/formal variant and is used in formal occasions (classroom settings, parliamentary sittings, news broadcasts) while Colloquial Malay is a largely unwritten form of Malay, an everyday variety used in a wide range of situations, particularly informal ones (conversations with family, friends, or colleagues). Standard Malay is characterised by a complex system of afxation (the addition of prefxes and sufxes to a root word – menolak from tolak (‘to push’), berlari from lari (‘to run’), a feature that is largely absent in Colloquial Malay (Benjamin, 1993; Koh, 1990). Discourse markers and some lexical items also difer between the dialects. In Colloquial Malay, frequently used function words appear in a shortened form (tidak /tidaʔ/ (‘no’) becomes tak /taʔ/, hendak /həndaʔ/ (‘want’) becomes nak /naʔ/); the intervocalic /h/ is deleted (mahu /mahu/ (‘want’) becomes mau /mau/, kasihan /kasihan/ (‘pitiful’) becomes kesian /kəsijan/); and the glottal stop is added to words ending in ‘i’ and ‘a’ (nasi /nasi/ (‘rice’) becomes nasik /nasiʔ/, bawa /bawə/ (‘bring’) becomes bawak /bawaʔ/). Both Standard Malay and Colloquial Malay in Singapore, however, share the same pronunciation features, namely Sebutan Johor-Riau. Whether one uses the truncated tak cukup (‘not enough’), as in the colloquial variety, or tidak cukup, in the standard variety, cukup is pronounced the same way, that is, /tʃukop/; similarly, the syllable pa in tidak apa (Standard Malay) or takpa (Colloquial Malay) (‘it doesn’t matter’) is uttered in the same way (/tidaʔ apə/ and /taʔpə/ respectively). Terefore, the distinction between Standard Malay and Colloquial Malay is largely neutralized at the level of pronunciation. Tis means that whether a Malay Singaporean speaks Standard Malay or Colloquial Malay, he or she speaks with the naturalised Sebutan Johor-Riau accent. In diglossic terms (Fishman, 1972), Standard Malay is typically regarded as a ‘High’ variety while Colloquial Malay a ‘Medium’ variety (Asmah, 1986). Sebutan Johor-Riau is thus both ‘High’ and ‘Medium’ given its association with both Standard Malay and Colloquial Malay. With the introduction of Sebutan Baku, Sebutan Johor-Riau’s association with Standard Malay is severed and it is reduced to a ‘Medium’ status only. From the point of view of the state, Sebutan Baku is to be used with Standard Malay in formal or ‘High’ situations while Sebutan Johor-Riau with Colloquial Malay in informal or ‘Medium’ situations. Te decoupling of Sebutan Johor-Riau from Standard Malay is lost on the Malay community. Tere has been a tendency to demonise those who do not speak Standard Malay with Sebutan Baku as speaking Colloquial Malay, or worse Bazaar Malay (Berita Harian, 2004), when in fact they are speaking Standard Malay with Sebutan Johor-Riau. Te older generation (40 years old and above) did not go through school learning Sebutan Baku. Tey speak Standard Malay with Sebutan Johor-Riau, some impeccably so such as the Mufti and President of Singapore. Tose who speak

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Standard Malay with Sebutan Baku tend to be students and those tasked with the implementation of Sebutan Baku such as newsreaders, Malay language teachers and government leaders. Tere is reason to believe that except for television newsreaders who are specially trained to read in Sebutan Baku, other speakers of Sebutan Baku are not as profcient especially in spontaneous speech (Maisarah, 2019; Sakinah, 2019). Accent and identity As alluded to earlier, accent is an important linguistic indicator of identity. While a speaker’s vocabulary range may index her professional identity, in the case of ethnic or national identity, it is accent, understood as ‘loose bundles of prosodic and segmental features distributed over geographic and/or social space’ that serves to identify the speaker as belonging to a particular communal grouping (Lippi-Green, 1997, p. 42). Tis is not to say that speakers may not want to identify with an external group. Sung (2016), for example, notes that whether non-native speakers of English want to speak with ‘a native-like accent’ depends on whether they want to be seen as linguistically competent: In terms of identity-related reasons, participants’ desire to speak English with a native-like accent was found to be related to their wish to express their identities as competent L2 speakers of English, whereas participants who indicated a preference to speak English with a local accent tended to emphasize the need to project their lingua-cultural identities and avoid native speaker associations. (Sung, 2016, p. 55) However, in the case of Malay Singaporeans, the adoption of Sebutan Baku (as opposed to Sebutan Johor-Riau) for use with Standard Malay is not about coming across as being more competent. Moreover, whether or not a speaker uses Sebutan Baku or Sebutan Johor-Riau, he or she is still clearly acknowledged to be a native speaker of Malay. Te issue, then, revolves around the motivation for adopting what seems to be a non-natural accent as opposed to one that is considered more natural. Tis is a point of some importance. While there are native English speakers of British and American models of pronunciation, there are no native Malay speakers of Sebutan Baku. Furthermore, as argued earlier, the phonological features of Sebutan Baku are closer to the standard Indonesian pronunciation than to Sebutan Johor-Riau. Tis means that Malay Singaporeans who adopt Sebutan Baku tend to sound more like their Indonesian counterparts than their Malay brethren in Malaysia. Motivations for retaining Sebutan Baku Here, we present and comment on two of the motivations for the retention of Sebutan Baku in Singapore as expressed by Malay political leaders

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and past chairmen of MBMS over the years (Berita Harian, 2004; Berita Minggu, 2018). Sebutan Baku is ‘more systematic and consistent’ than Sebutan Johor-Riau

Proponents of Sebutan Baku perceive it to be more ‘systematic and consistent’ than Sebutan Johor-Riau (Berita Harian, 2004). In Sebutan Johor-Riau, there are seen to be many exceptions to the rule (Asraf, 1984; Suratman, 1989). For instance, while the phonological rule that governs the realisation of wordfnal /a/ as /ə/ applies to words like suka (/sukə/, ‘when’) and bahasa (/bahasə/, ‘language’) but not to words like bola (/bola/, ‘ball’) and wanita (/wanita/, ‘lady’). Similarly, the phonological rule that lowers high vowels /i/ and /u/ in closed word-fnal syllable to /e/ and /o/ respectively applies to bukit (/buket/ ‘hill) and lanun (/lanon/ ‘pirate’) but not to aiskrim (/aiskrim/ ‘ice cream’) and kasus (/kasus/ ‘case’). Sebutan Baku’s prescriptive rule of ‘pronounce as it is spelled’ was designed to ‘put right’ these seemingly inconsistent pronunciations.9 It is worth noting that the endearment towards Sebutan Baku has to do not only with the frustration at seeing the imperfect letter-sound correspondence of Sebutan Johor-Riau but also with the supposed confusion these ill correspondences may present to speakers and learners of the language. However, native speakers of Sebutan Johor-Riau have no difculty pronouncing the words mentioned earlier. Tey pronounce suka as /sukə/ and bola as /bola/ no matter how inconsistent that appears to be. Similarly, they require no conscious efort to pronounce the letter ‘i’ in closed syllable-fnal position diferently in bukit (/buket/) and in aiskrim (/aiskrim/). Tey also pronounce the letter ‘u’ diferently in lanun (/lanon/) and in kasus (/kasus/) without batting an eyelid (Asraf, 1984). Tere is high uniformity among Sebutan Johor-Riau speakers in how these words are pronounced even if current phonology has yet to properly account for these irregular pronunciations. Sebutan Johor-Riau is a living, naturally occurring pronunciation governed by phonological rules that are descriptive of speakers’ linguistic behaviour. While the rules that account for the three features that distinguish Sebutan Johor-Riau from Sebutan Baku are quite robust in that it accounts for a large amount of phonetic data (Farid, 1980), there are still data, as shown earlier, that run counter to these rules. Te apparent inconsistency in pronunciation perhaps refects the state of scholarship in Malay phonology. Te way forward is to respect Sebutan Johor-Riau as a system to be further studied in order to gain a better understanding of the ‘defects’ refected in native speakers’ pronunciation rather than, as proponents of Sebutan Baku would have it, change these speakers’ pronunciation on the basis that it is not ‘systematic and consistent’. Nonetheless, scholarship in phonological studies of Malay may not necessarily be in dire need of an overhaul. Exceptions to descriptive rules are not unique to Malay. For instance, in English, there are many verbs that do not follow the usual tense infectional patterns. Tere are regular verbs

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(‘jump’-‘jumped’; ‘reel’-‘reeled’; ‘brew’-‘brewed’) but there are also irregular verbs (‘buy’-‘bought’; ‘eat’-‘ate’; ‘throw’-‘threw’). Tese irregular infections have been accepted as part of the English language and there has been no attempt to ‘regularise’ them. Sebutan Baku is ‘easier to learn and teach’ than Sebutan Johor-Riau

As mentioned earlier, native speakers of Sebutan Johor-Riau have little diffculty pronouncing words in Malay. However, there is genuine concern that the ‘inconsistencies’ inherent in Sebutan Johor-Riau present difculties to young children learning to read in Malay (Pairah, 2007; Suratman, 1989) especially those without adequate exposure to the language at home and are learning it for the frst time in school. Tis is essentially a learning or pedagogical issue. Te common practice of teaching reading in Malay is the use of phonics – decoding sounds of printed words by syllables. Students are taught that each consonant and vowel has one sound, for example, ‘k’, ‘t’ and ‘a’ are pronounced /k/, /t/ and /a/ respectively. Combining each consonant with ‘a’ produces /ka/ and /ta/ syllables, and stringing the two syllables together yields /kata/ (kata, meaning ‘word’ or ‘say’). Tis does not work if kata is to be read as /katə/ as in Sebutan Johor-Riau. Unfortunately, instead of reviewing the teaching method and developing a pedagogy that would help students read kata as /katə/, it is the pronunciation of the word that is deemed to be the problem and in need of change. Malay has an apt way of describing this phenomenon: tak tahu menari dikatakan lantai jongkang-jongket (‘one does not know how to dance but blames the foor for seesawing’). It is thus not surprising that having ‘fxed’ the pronunciation, Malay is ‘easier’ to read. In a survey of 300 Secondary 3 students and 76 secondary school Malay teachers, Pairah (2007) found that 88.3 per cent of student respondents reported that Sebutan Baku helps them in reading and spelling. In addition, 92.1 per cent of teacher respondents believe that Sebutan Baku has successfully facilitated students’ reading and spelling. Te study, however, did not examine the students’ accent. It can be rightly assumed that they speak in a ‘sanitised’ Malay that is diferent from their parents and grandparents. Without Sebutan Baku, Malay is already easier to read (in terms of decoding) compared to English. While Malay orthography is not completely phonemic, it has a more transparent letter-sound correspondence than English. If teaching kata is difcult because the letter ‘a’ in the frst and second syllable represents two sounds (/a/ and /ə/ respectively), consider teaching the letter ‘a’ in English. It represents not two but four sounds – /æ/ (man), /ɑː/ (can’t), /ɜː/ (sofa) and /eɪ/ (ancient). Likewise, ‘c’ represents four sounds – /s/ (city), /k/ (cotton), /ʃ/ (species) and /tʃ/ (cello), and the string /ʌf/ is represented in spelling as ‘uf’ (‘stuf’) and ‘ough’ (‘enough’). English teachers have to grapple with a lot more ‘inconsistencies’ but they teach the language as it is, warts and all. Tinkering with the pronunciation has never been an option.

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In teaching reading in English, letters that are not amenable to phonics are taught by sight or word recognition. Students learn that the letter ‘b’ represents the sound /b/ in ‘bee’, ‘bus’, ‘boot’. On the other hand, words such as ‘once’ and ‘cough’ that are not easy to decode are taught as whole words. Te two approaches – phonics with an emphasis on decoding, and word recognition, on meaning – are often integrated in English reading programmes (Jones & Deterding, 2007). In teaching reading in Malay, there is no urgent need to using the word recognition method, sufce that the phonics method is expanded to accommodate letters that represent more than one sound. Children learning to read can be taught that most letters in Malay represent one sound but there are a few that represent more than one sound. Sebutan Johor-Riau as an index of Malay identity For Malay Singaporeans who oppose the state’s push for Sebutan Baku, the issue is that of sounding less like their ancestors. Consider the following extracts from a plea by Guntor Sadali, then Editor of Berita Harian, a Malay daily newspaper. Speaking at an award presentation dinner organised by Berita Harian, he was reported to have questioned the need to create a new way of speaking (Berita Harian, 2011a): After almost two decades since Sebutan Baku was introduced in schools, I think it’s time for Majlis Bahasa Melayu Singapura to review the objective of the move seriously and whether it should be continued. Sebutan bahasa Melayu Johor-Riau now used by the Malay community should be accepted as standard or baku. We do not have to have a new way to talk. Members of the Malay community generally fnd that Sebutan Baku is very awkward, and that is why they do not use it in their daily lives. Malaysia, which embarked on this venture with Singapore, also no longer uses Sebutan Baku in their broadcasting media. So the question is, should we continue to teach Sebutan Baku in school? To me, it’s a waste of efort. Let’s talk in a way that allows words to leap of our tongues easily without being rigid or forced. (Our translation) Guntor was not the frst to voice his concern as there were many others before him (Mohd Zulkifi, 2003; Awalludin, 2007). His speech triggered debates in the mainstream newspaper, on social media and even at social gatherings. Maarof Salleh, former President of the Muslim Religious Council of Singapore, in a commentary in Berita Harian, suggested that ‘as long as a policy or regulation is man-made, it is desirable that it be revised from time to time,

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amended if necessary, and even revamped if that is what is needed’ (Maarof, 2011). Te debate has put pressure on MBMS to issue a preliminary statement (Berita Harian, 2011b): [T]he decision on the teaching of Sebutan Baku in school cannot be based on whether the speakers are comfortable with it. Te decision must be based on comprehensive considerations covering education and the development of the Malay language. (Our translation) In the absence of a robust defence of Sebutan Baku, voices continue to call for a review of, or critiquing, the Sebutan Baku policy (Annaliza, 2013; Yurni Irwati, 2015; Rawi, 2019). In a letter to the press, a Malay Singaporean parent shared his concern about how his daughter would sound if she were to, as insisted by the state, speak with Sebutan Baku, which he refers to as ‘Melayu Baku’ (Osman, 2013; cited in Yurni Irwati, 2015): Putting ‘Melayu Baku’ to the test at the dinner table one evening, my school-going daughter sounded diferent from me, my wife, our parents and grandparents. . . . Like the Malays of old, we speak with a pronunciation known as ‘Melayu Johor-Riau’. . . . While I can understand what my daughter is saying in ‘Melayu Baku’, . . . the question is why our education system want to make her Malay sound diferent from that of her parents and ancestors? If it is for the sake of a pan-Malay linguistic unity, it does not seem logical because this efort is actively undertaken only in Singapore, where the Malay population is miniscule compared to that of the wider Malay-speaking world. Te wider Malay world continues to be proud of its spoken heritage and values the diversity in pronunciation and accents, as well as regionspecifc slangs and colloquialisms as part and parcel of a living, dynamic heritage. Singapore’s ‘Melayu Baku’ venture betrays an obsession to sanitise a complex heritage for convenient teaching purposes. Eventually it will lead to Singaporean Malays’ loss of their vocal heritage. Please rethink this policy before this development becomes irreversible. Tat Sebutan Johor-Riau is a cherished index of Malay identity resonates with the undergraduate community (18–25-year-olds). In a survey of 100 Malay respondents spread across six local universities, Sakinah (2019) found that 94 per cent of respondents reported that Sebutan Johor-Riau (rather than Sebutan Baku) represents Singaporean Malays, 91 per cent thought that Sebutan Johor-Riau accurately describes how they themselves speak Malay, and 86 per cent prefer to use Sebutan Johor-Riau when communicating in Malay. It is worth noting that in Malaysia, the issue of identity also fgured in the

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country’s decision to abolish Sebutan Baku in 2000. A prominent linguist, Asmah Haji Omar, a professor at the University of Malaya, was quoted as saying (Utusan Online, 2000b): Te Sebutan Baku system of pronunciation practiced since 1988 can eliminate the identity of the original Malay language. . . . Sebutan Baku does not refect the Malay identity when spoken. . . . [It] . . . does not at all refect the Malay language, a language that is known for its beautiful melody and rhythm. . . . Sebutan Baku when used does not sound like Malay; moreover, it is a created language and its intonation when spoken is rather rough. . . . Sebutan Baku does not at all represent the authentic Johor-Riau Malay whose model have been used since long ago. (Our translation) Impact of Sebutan Baku on the Malay ‘tongue’ and identity A subtle efect of the ‘pronounce as it is spelled’ approach to pronunciation is the potential loss of the natural ‘tongue’ of the speakers and their identity. Odd pronunciations

Words that are not spelled phonemically in one language can sound strange if pronounced as they are spelled in another language. In English, /bɜːɡə/ is represented in spelling as ‘burger’ which is also how it is spelled in Malay. Proponents of Sebutan Baku would pronounce ‘burger’ as /burgər/ which instantly renders it unrecognisable. In contrast, Sebutan Johor-Riau speakers base their pronunciation on how the word is pronounced in the source language and adapt it to the Malay tongue. In the case of ‘burger’ it is pronounced as /bəɡə/, a similar sound sequence in existing Malay words such as peta (/pətə/, ‘map’), kena (/kənə/, ‘must’) and teka (/təkə/, ‘to guess’). Sebutan Baku also brings about pronunciations that fout phonotactic constraints in Malay. In the case of the word ‘video’, Sebutan Baku requires it to be pronounced as it is spelled (/video/) but the /eo/ sequence is alien to Malay. What is common is the sequence /io/ such as found in bersiul (/bəsijol/, ‘whistle’) and biola (/bijola/, ‘violin’).10 Sebutan Johor-Riau speakers thus pronounce ‘video’ as /vidijo/ which is close to how it is pronounced in English. Te attempts at imposing Sebutan Baku merely exacerbate the ‘problems’ that are associated with any spelling system that is in active use. Te very fact that language is a form of social practice and moreover that this practice necessarily also involves borrowings and innovation means that the supposed ‘dilemma’ that arises from not having an ideal phonemic spelling system cannot, and will not, ever go away.

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Hybrid pronunciations

In her study, Sakinah (2019) undertook a phonetic analysis of the spontaneous speech of 10 of her respondents and their reading of a text and word list. Te fndings reveal less than perfect Sebutan Baku despite overt instruction for them to speak and read using Sebutan Baku. In the reading of the text and word list, the consistency in pronouncing ‘a’ as /a/ in open fnal syllable and in voicing ‘r’ in syllable-fnal position is high (90 per cent). Pronouncing ‘i’ as /i/, and ‘u’ as /u/, in closed fnal syllable is also high (80 per cent). In spontaneous speech, on the other hand, where there is less time for the respondents to monitor their pronunciation as compared to when they read, consistency level in the pronunciation of ‘i’ and ‘u’ falls sharply to around 30 per cent. For the other 70 per cent of the time, the respondents lapse into Sebutan JohorRiau pronouncing ‘i’ and ‘u’ as ‘e’ and ‘o’ respectively. Tis suggests that the respondents are practicing a hybrid pronunciation, that is, the Sebutan Baku is limited to pronouncing ‘a’ and ‘r’ while the pronunciation of ‘i’ and ‘u’ follows the Sebutan Johor-Riau model. Similar fndings were obtained by Maisarah (2019) in her study of 20 respondents that comprised professionals namely Malay political leaders, television and radio newsreaders, and radio deejays. She analyzed the read speech of political leaders, the reading of the news by television and radio newsreaders, and the conversation of radio deejays. Television newsreaders were found to be the more profcient users of Sebutan Baku while political leaders, radio newsreaders and deejays clearly could only aford a hybrid pronunciation. Te professionals learned Sebutan Baku in their adult years while the undergraduates were among the earliest batches of students to be taught using Sebutan Baku. Both could only manage a hybrid Sebutan Baku.11 It appears that after 25 years of Sebutan Baku, the ability to speak in proper Sebutan Baku is limited to only a handful of speakers. Tere are consequences if this continues. Singapore could witness the emergence of a new model of Malay pronunciation that is neither Sebutan Baku nor Sebutan Johor-Riau, a situation best described by the proverb yang dikejar tak dapat, yang dikendong berciciran (‘what one pursues is out of one’s reach, what one possesses is lost’). Conclusion Tis chapter examines the concept of standard language and standard pronunciation with a particular focus on Sebutan Johor-Riau and Sebutan Baku as two contending standard pronunciations for the Malay language. While the written and spoken forms of the language – Standard Malay and Sebutan Johor-Riau – have evolved naturally from a regional dialect into a supralocal dialect, Sebutan Baku is a created model of pronunciation that was enforced through legislation. It is neither defensible as a concept nor can it stand as a legitimate standard from a linguistic, socio-historical standpoint. Tinkering with the pronunciation has also skewed the Malay tongue. Te hybrid

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Sebutan Baku spoken by the professionals and undergraduates (Maisarah, 2019; Sakinah, 2019) may be refective of the way Malay Singaporeans adapt to Sebutan Baku. Even if younger Malay Singaporeans pick up Sebutan Baku in the classroom,12 they would in all probability sound like the youngster in the excerpt at the beginning of this chapter and the girl who spoke to her parents in Sebutan Baku which the latter could not identify with (Osman, 2013). Either way, Sebutan Baku or its hybrid could distance the Singapore Malay community from its linguistic and cultural heritage that is anchored to Sebutan Johor-Riau. Notes 1 Native speakers include people from other parts of the Malay Archipelago (Java, Bawean, Sulawesi, and so on) who migrated to Singapore and Peninsular Malaysia before and during the British colonial period. Tey settled there and assimilated to the Malay way of life (see Benjamin, this volume) embracing the Nusantara creed ‘di mana bumi dipijak, di situ langit dijunjung’ (wherever we live, we must embrace the local language and custom). 2 Tis needs unpacking. Sebutan Baku assumes that Malay spelling is phonemic in that each letter corresponds to one sound which, in reality, is not. For instance, the letter ‘k’ does not represent one but two sounds, /k/ and /ʔ/, as in kakak (/kakaʔ/) (‘sister’). On the other hand, the letter ‘e’ represents three sounds, /e/, /ə/ and /ɛ/, as in sate (/sate/, ‘a meat dish’), emas (/əmas/, ‘gold’), and sel (/sɛl/, ‘cell’). Sebutan Baku proponents regard these as exceptions. But unknown to them, there are more exceptions which only careful phonological analysis would reveal. For instance, Sebutan Baku speakers could not but pronounce the sufx ‘an’ in at least four diferent ways: /ʔan/ in duga‒an (‘test’), /jan/ in tepi‒an (‘edge’), /wan/ in tiru‒an (‘imitation’), and /kan/ in tepuk‒an (‘pity’) (Asmah, 2008; Farid, 1980). For more discussion on the linguistic anomaly of Sebutan Baku, see Mukhlis (2019). 3 IPA (International Phonetic Association, 1999) alphabets are used to represent sounds (or phonemes) and these are enclosed in tilted brackets (/ /). Symbols within single quotes (‘’) represent letters of the Latin alphabet. 4 Te decision may have political undertones. Sebutan Baku was associated with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who promoted it while holding ofce as Malaysia’s Minister for Education in the 80s (Nik Safah Karim, 1989). Te retraction of Sebutan Baku in 2000 came not long after he was sacked from ofce in 1998. 5 MBMS, a council in the Ministry of Communications and Information was established in 1981 to standardise Malay spelling in Singapore. Its strategic role expanded to encompass the promotion and development of the Malay language. Its present objectives focus on promoting the use of the Malay language in the community, to build a community of Singaporean Malays with a strong command of the Malay language and an appreciation of Malay heritage and culture (National Heritage Board, 2019). 6 According to Asmah (1986), Colloquial Malay is spoken across the native Malay-speaking areas and is subject to the phonological patternings of the regional dialects, which in Singapore is the Johor-Riau dialect. Colloquial Malay may thus be regarded as a lexicalgrammatical system with no phonological form of its own. Koh (1990), however, is of the view that the diferent varieties of Colloquial Malay across the dialect groups share a common core of phonological properties other than their own. 7 Tis is a Malay-lexifed pidgin spoken in the marketplace of Singapore and elsewhere in Southeast Asia (Bao & Aye, 2010). It was once a lingua franca in Singapore but has since lost this status after English was made the primary medium of instruction in schools. A new variant of English, Singlish, has since emerged as the main language of communication between ethnic groups in Singapore.

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8 See Pakir, this volume. 9 As shown in footnote 2, Sebutan Baku too is not free of inconsistent pronunciations. 10 /j/ is the phonemic representation for the letter ‘y’ in saya /sajə/ (‘I/me/my’) or yuran /juran/ (‘fee’). In Malay phonology, the sound /j/ is inserted between two adjacent high vowels such as /i/ and /u/ in /iu/, or /i/ and /o/ in /io/ (Farid, 1980). 11 Research on second dialect acquisition shows that after the age of 7 years, the capacity for perfect learning of a new accent diminishes and it is virtually absent after the age of 14 (Chambers, 1992). 12 Tis is a likely scenario given the rapid shift to English as the dominant home language in Malay households (Cavallaro & Serwe, 2010; TodayOnline, 2013).

References Alisjahbana, S. T. (1976). Language planning for modernization: Te case of Indonesian and Malaysian (Vol. 14). Te Hague: Mouton de Gruyter. Amat Juhari Moain. (1996). Perancangan bahasa: Sejarah aksara Jawi. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Annaliza Binte Bakri. (2013). Te vision of Arif Budiman: A case study of Malay language education in Singapore (Master’s dissertation). National University of Singapore, Singapore. Asmah, H. O. (1986). Sociolinguistic varieties of Malay. In A. Fishman, A. Tabouret-Keller, M. Clyne, B. Krishnamurti, & M. Abdulaziz (Eds.), Te Fergusonian impact, Vol. 2: Sociolinguistics and the sociology of language (pp. 191–206). Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Asmah, H. O. (1988). Susur Galur Bahasa Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Asmah, H. O. (1992). Kajian dan Perkembangan Bahasa Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Asmah, H. O. (1993). Essays on Malaysian linguistics. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Asmah, H. O. (2008). Nahu Kemas Kini: Panduan bahasa yang baik dan betul. Kuala Lumpur: PTS Professional. Asraf. (1984). Sebutan Baku Bahasa Melayu Berdasarkan Prinsip Fonemik. Dlm Awang Sariyan (1984). In Prosiding Kongres Bahasa dan Persuratan Melayu IV. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Awalludin. (2007, December 1). Sebutan baku mungkin kurang sesuai di sini. Berita Harian, p. 30. Awang, S. (2000). Warna dan Suasana: Perancangan Bahasa Melayu di Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Bao, Z., & Aye, K. K. (2010). Bazaar Malay topics. Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages, 25, 155–171. Benjamin, G. (1993). Grammar and polity: Te cultural and political background to Standard Malay. In W. A. Foley (Ed.), Te role of theory in language description (pp. 341 − 360). Te Hague: Mouton de Gruyter. Berita Harian. (2004, March 19). Sebutan baku bantu murid Melayu, p. 8. Berita Harian. (2011a, July 14). Editor BH saran disemak dasar penggunaan sebutan baku, p. 1. Berita Harian. (2011b, July 15). Kenyataan Majlis Bahasa Melayu Singapura, p. 2. Berita Minggu. (2018, February 25). Sidek teruja pemimpin generasi baru ambil langkah segar bangunkan bahasa.

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Cavallaro, F., & Serwe, S. K. (2010). Language use and language shift among the Malays in Singapore. Applied Linguistics Review, 1, 129–170. Chambers, J. K. (1992). Dialect acquisition. Language, 68, 673–705. Collins, J. T. (1998). Malay, world language: A short history. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Farid, M. O. (1980). Aspects of Malay phonology and morphology: A generative approach. Bangi: Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Fishman, J. (1972). Sociolinguistics: A brief introduction. Rowley, MA: Newbury House. Hashim, M. (2006). Epigraf Melayu, sejarah sistem tulisan dalam bahasa Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. International Phonetic Alphabet Association. (1999). Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ismail, D. (1994). Pedoman Sebutan Baku Bahasa Melayu. Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. Jones, S. A., & Deterding, D. (2007). Phonics and beginning reading: A practical guide for teachers in Southeast Asia. Singapore: McGraw-Hill. Koh, A. S. (1990). Topics in colloquial Malay (PhD thesis). University of Melbourne, Melbourne. Lippi-Green, R. (1997). Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States. London: Routledge. Maarof, S. (2011, August 5). Meminda aturan bikinan manusia. Berita Harian, p. 18. Maisarah, Z. (2019). Antara yang ‘Baku’ dan yang Biasa: Sebuah kajian fonetik sebutan bahasa Melayu Singapura (BA thesis). Academic Exercise, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Milroy, J., & Milroy, L. (2012). Authority in language: Investigating standard English. London: Routledge. Mohamed Pitchay Gani bin Mohamed Abdul Aziz. (2004). Laporan khas perlaksanaan dan perkembangan Sebutan Baku di Singapura 1990–2003. Sekata, 2004, 9–26. Mohd Zulkifi Rahmat. (2003, July 17). Macam tak ada kerja, cari kerja. Berita Harian, p. 7. Mukhlis Abu Bakar. (2019). Sebutan Johor-Riau dan Sebutan Baku dalam Konteks Identiti Masyarakat Melayu Singapura. Issues in Language Studies, 8(2), 61–78. National Heritage Board. (2019). National language campaigns. Retrieved from www. nhb.gov.sg/what-we-do/our-work/community-engagement/public-programmes/ national-language-campaigns Nik Safah Hj Ab. Karim. (1989). Ke arah pembakuan bahasa Melayu: “Pengalaman Malaysia”. Sekata, 7(2), 9–26. Osman, S. (2013). Review teaching of Malay pronunciation in schools. Forum letter. Te Straits Times. Pairah, S. (2007). Kurikulum Bahasa Melayu Peringkat Sekolah Menengah di Singapura: Satu Penilaian Terhadap Pembentukan dan Pelaksanaannya (Master’s dissertation). National University of Singapore, Singapore. Rawi, R. (Ed.). (2019). Balik ke Pangkal Jalan: Isu Sebutan Baku di Singapura. Singapore: National Institute of Education. Rusdi, A. (2016). Kamus kata: Bahasa Melayu Malaysia – Bahasa Indonesia. Bangi: Penerbit Universiti Kebangsaan. Sakinah, M. M. (2019). ‘Sebutan Baku’ as perceived and practiced by university undergraduates. URECA research report. National Institute of Education, Singapore. Te Straits Times. (1993, July 30). Use bahasa baku, PM urges Malays, p. 30.

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Sung, M. (2016). Does accent matter? Investigating the relationship between accent and identity in English as a lingua franca communication. System, 60, 55–65. Suratman, M. (1989). Sebutan Baku Satu daripada Aspek Bahasa Baku. Paper presented at Riverside Secondary School, Singapore. TodayOnline. (2013). ‘Mother tongue profciency afected’ as more students speak English at home. Retrieved from www.todayonline.com/singapore/mother-tongue-profciency-afectedmore-students-speak-english-home Utusan Online. (2000a, January 26). Sebutan baku dimansuh – Kementerian Pendidikan akan mansuhkan penggunaan bahasa baku. Utusan Online. (2000b, January 26). Bahasa baku lenyapkan identiti bahasa Melayu. Winstedt, R. O. (1992). A history of Johore, 1365–1895 (M.B.R.A.S. Reprints, 6.). Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. Yurni Irwati, M. S. (2015). Singapore’s bilingual policy: Te ideological construction of the Singapore Malay identity in the globalized word (PhD thesis). National University of Singapore, Singapore.

10 Te curious case of Mandarin Chinese in Singapore Ng Bee Chin and Francesco Cavallaro

Introduction It is impossible to evaluate or discuss the role and status of Mandarin Chinese in Singapore without bringing in the other languages it co-exists with. It is like a root ball so intricately bound that any meaningful examination of this topic can only be illuminated when the other language players, especially English, Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) or Singlish, and other Chinese languages such as Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew, are introduced into the discussion. Tis chapter demonstrates how Singapore Mandarin Chinese started life as an immigrant language and a home language to only 0.1 per cent of the population in the late 1950s, to become a seemingly viable home language, spoken natively by 34.9 per cent of the population in 2015. Despite this, today its hold on the average Chinese in Singapore trails behind English, which is the lingua franca not only across ethnic groups, but also amongst the Chinese community. Tis has resulted in moral panic is some quarters and a rally to preserve or to stem the downward slide of the use and signifcance of Singapore Mandarin Chinese in Singapore. Tis chapter will explore the ambivalent role of Singapore Mandarin Chinese both as an interloper and facilitator and evaluate its ofcially assigned role as the bearer of culture and heritage. We will also highlight the trajectory of the perceived rise and loss of Singapore Mandarin Chinese in Singapore and the argument and debates from a range of diferent perspectives, and will also discuss the wide-ranging repercussions of the Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC) and its lasting legacy. Pre-independence: the period of diversity As early as 1200s, Singapore was a major trade stop between the Indian Ocean and the South China Sea. Rafes (1819) outlined a bustling hub of diverse ethnic groups in Singapore. Te list of speakers/inhabitants included Malay, Bugis, Javanese, Siam, Burmese, Arabic, Pali, Madurese and Chinese. Te early history of Singapore is characterised by heterogeneity of the settlers, including the Chinese immigrants. Tough the Chinese were known to have been in South East Asia before the 18th century, their destination was

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mainly the port city of Malacca (Song, 1923/2020; Trocki, 1990). Te earliest Chinese migrants arrived in Singapore in the 19th century from the South Eastern coastal towns of China (Fujian and Guangdong), and the main infux of Chinese immigrants stemmed from several internal events in China, such as famine and civil unrest. Tis, together with the opportunities that the new trading centre in Singapore provided, led to a major wave of migrants arriving in Singapore. Apart from Fujian and Guangdong, other migrants started arriving from Hainan provinces, and the Teochews arrived from Swatow and other cities in Northern China (Soon, Xing, & Tong, 2018). Te number of Chinese migrants swelled during this period and the ethnic makeup also changed in that time from 60 per cent Malays in the 1820s to 56.2 per cent Chinese as early as the 1880s (Lim, 2008). From around 10,683 people living on the island in the frst census of 1824, this number increased to more than 200,000 by the turn of the century and the bulk of this number was made up by the infux of Chinese migrants from various regions in China. Tough they were all from China, they have roots in culturally diverse parts of China. Tong (2018) pointed out that ‘Chineseness’ is defned as much by its common traits as its heterogeneity and to understand this phenomenon efectively, we need to grasp the diferent weaves in the tapestry of what constitutes ‘Chinese’. Tese diferences would later lay the foundation for the Singapore Mandarin Chinese and its drive for homogeneity. It also lies at the core of what it means to have a Chinese identity for present day Singaporeans. Te cultural and linguistic diversity of these early settlers are evident in many ways. Soon et al. (2018) and Tong (2018) documented that the largest of these migrant groups, the Hokkiens, were involved in trading, shipping and banking and they presided over the Chinese Chamber of Commerce. Te Teochews, the next largest group were engaged in agricultural production and processing and fshing. Tey recorded that the Cantonese were mainly artisans, craftsmen and miners as well as involved in the medicinal trade. Te smallest migrant groups, the Hainanese and the Hakkas mostly took up work as manual labour work (for example, servants and labourers). Each cultural group not only had their own special occupations and preferred places to live, they also became associated with specifc types of food (see Soon et al., 2018, for a full description of the diferences across the dialect groups). Essentially, these early migrants grouped and aligned themselves according to ‘regional, locality or dialect ties’ (Tong, 2018, p. 4). What followed was the proliferation of clans and associations similarly aligned. Many of these clans and associations are still in operation today (such as Te Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan, Singapore Teochew Poit Ip Huay Kuan, Singapore Nanyang Khet Community Guild, and so on). Tis diversity of Chinese sub-ethnicities is a psychological reality for many Singaporeans, more so in the past but it is certainly still meaningful today. Te Hokkiens, by virtue of their greater numbers and their longer history in the region grew to dominate. Hokkien became the lingua franca amongst the various Chinese group and also gradually took on features

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of local languages, especially Malay and evolved into a distinct variety unique to Singapore. As we know, culture is a relative construction and among the Chinese, there are frm and clear demarcation lines for each language group marking their distinctions both in customs, language and traditions. Tere are many anecdotes and folk stereotypes associated with each language groups giving rise to many cultural stereotypes testifying to the diversity of the group. Png (1969) reported intergroup disparagement and rivalry as far back as 1897 when a Peranakan of Hokkien descent dismissed one of Teochew descent as being a simpleton. In many ways, there are still signs of this cultural diversity evident even today and census data still shows (Lee, n.d.) the signifcant diversity of the Chinese Singaporeans (see Figure 10.1). Tong (2018) reported that very little was known about education for the Chinese in Singapore before 1828. Under colonial rule, the British paid scant attention to education of the local population and education was left mainly to local communities. By and large, education system was highly compartmentalised (Kwan-Terry, 2000). For the Chinese, wealthy individuals and clan associations took up responsibility for funding and organising schools. Te British only gave funding to English and Malay schools because they saw the Malay language as the vernacular of Singapore (Doraisamy, 1969) and

Figure 10.1 Dialect groups in Singapore in 1990 and 2000 by population and percentages Source: Lee (n.d.)

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no support was given to Tamil or Chinese schools by the colonial government. Tere was no common national syllabus in Singapore, and this meant that Chinese schools were free to promote and inculcate Chinese values, languages, customs, tradition and beliefs. Chinese education during this period took place separately within each dialect group, with instruction via that group’s vernacular, Despite this multiplicity of Chinese voices, from the turn of the 20th century education was mainly in Mandarin Chinese, for those who could aford it (Abshire, 2011). Te teaching of Mandarin Chinese increased after 1900, as Chinese schools started using Mandarin Chinese as the medium of instruction. Lee (2006) showed that there was a spurt in the growth of Chinese schools at the turn of the 20th century which was in direct response to the modernisation of educational practices in China. Around this time, we saw the founding of schools like Tao Nan and Ai Tong, which are still in operation today. Te frst Chinese medium school, Te Chinese High School, was established in 1919. Tis school merged with the Hwa Chong Junior College in 2005 and is now known as Hwa Chong Institution. It is regarded as a premium educational institution in Singapore. Tese schools adopted standard Mandarin and not the vernaculars as the medium of instruction and used teaching material from China (Abshire, 2011). Tis growth in Mandarin Chinese education inadvertently created a fssure in the Chinese world where increasingly Mandarin Chinese was associated with education and the educated elites and the other Chinese languages were relegated to the role of vernaculars. Lee (2006) reported that as the teachers were mainly intellectuals from mainland China, these schools became convenient fermenting grounds for Chinese nationalism and patriotism. Tis became a concern for the British colonial government and provoked the introduction of an Education Ordinance in 1920 which mandated compulsory registration of schools in a bid to control and rein in the perceived threat of the fourishing of Chinese schools. Tis had little impact on the schools and enrolment in Chinese schools continued to outstrip enrolments in all other language schools (Tong, 2018). Abshire (2011, p. 75) points out how this ‘led to a greater cohesion within the Chinese immigrant community. Te diferent bangs were still present, but ties that formed the basis of a communal identity began to surface’. It was also during this period that there was wide and long running circulation of two main Chinese newspapers, Nanyang Siang Pau (established in 1923) and Sin Chew Jit Poh (established in 1929). A signifcant event for local Singaporean Chinese was the establishment of Nanyang University in 1956 and it remains the only University in Singapore that taught in Chinese. Tough it closed and was merged with Singapore University in 1980, its founding in Singapore in 1956 was a boost to the status of Singapore Mandarin Chinese, giving it visibility and prominence. All this indicates that by 1956, Mandarin Chinese already had a robust footing in the Chinese community. Although, it still had not made much inroads

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in the homes where 99 per cent of Chinese Singaporeans spoke a Chinese vernacular instead. Hence, when we refer to Mandarin Chinese replacing vernaculars, it should be remembered that this did not happen solely due to the Speak Mandarin Campaign, the seed was planted in the early 1900s when Mandarin was chosen as the medium of instruction. As Mandarin Chinese was increasing in infuence and practice in Singapore, a division within the Chinese community started developing along another language fault line. Te cracks started early in the 1930s when many Singaporeans began to favour English education because of its better job prospects. Te fact that English-educated Singaporeans were drawing higher incomes and the employability of English-educated Chinese was much higher than the employability of the Chinese educated led to signifcant discontent in the community (Kuo, 1985). Enrolment in non-English-medium schools including Chinese schools started to decline (Abshire, 2011). By 1959, less than 50 per cent of Singaporean Chinese opted for Chinese-medium instruction and this number continued to decrease to the point that schools with Mandarin Chinese as the medium of instruction were no longer viable. In 1987, the last Chinese medium school was closed as pragmatic parents preferred sending their children to English-medium schools to ensure that they had better job opportunities (Ho, 2016). Singapore adopted four ofcial languages in the late 1950s, with English as the language of public administration, interethnic communication, education, and commerce; and declaring Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil as the home languages, ofcially referred to as ‘mother tongues’, of the three major ethnic groups1. Malay is the national language. Post-independence: the striving for bilingualism Te linguistic landscape of Singapore in the period preceding and after selfrule (1959–1965) and the times after 1965 have been intensively researched and documented elsewhere (Cavallaro & Ng, 2014; Ng & Cavallaro, 2019). In this chapter, we will focus on two key events – the bilingual policy and the Speak Mandarin Campaign – as both had immense repercussions on Singapore Mandarin Chinese. After the failed merger and Singapore’s independence in 1965, the government implemented a number of reforms, including a new common syllabus for all school subjects and restored English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil as the four ofcial languages of Singapore. English was selected to be the lingua franca for various reasons. Firstly, it was not ‘tied’ to any of the ethnic groups and therefore, it was seen to be a neutral entity. Secondly, English was seen to be synonymous with science and technology and, most important of all, it was seen to be critical to the progress and development of Singapore and its economy (Bokhorst-Heng & Caleon, 2009; Dixon, 2005; Morita, 2015). English was not only an ofcial language, it was implemented as the working language in education, government administration, business and law. Malay was given the status of national language, but this role remains largely symbolic. In contrast to English, the ‘mother

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tongues’ were promoted as anchors to the cultures, values and identities of the respective ethnic groups. Te government was apprehensive that English would result in the adoption of questionable Western cultural values. Te mother tongues, therefore, were expected to act as a ‘cultural ballast’, a sort of defence against corrupting forces that come from speaking the language of a Westernised society. In 1966, Singapore’s bilingual education policy was introduced. Te policy entailed a strengthening of the teaching of the three mother tongues – Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil – in English-medium schools; and English in the Chinese-, Malay-, and Tamil-medium schools. Tere are three signifcant tenets underpinning this policy: 1 2 3

English is the unifying common language among all ethnic groups; English is the language of modernity, connects Singaporeans to the globalised world and provides access to science and technology; Te ‘mother tongues’ are promoted (Tamil, Mandarin Chinese and Malay) to provide access to cultural heritage, roots and identity.

Te bilingual policy was vigorously implemented and enforced in all areas of life, with the most efective platform for its implementation being the education system. Bilingualism was promoted not only as an economic imperative, it was also pushed as a cultural panacea, one language, English, to unite diverse groups and help them along the path of modernisation – essentially, a must-have for a fedgling nation and another language, the mother tongue, to keep the population anchored to their Asian roots. In one of his emotive speeches (there are many) in 1972 on the topic of language use, the then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew imbued the bilingual policy with essentialist and life transforming qualities, arguing that ‘I am convinced that this efort has to be made, if we are to survive as a distinctive society, worth the preserving . . . [o]r we will become completely deculturalised and lost’, adding that ‘Te minimum we must achieve is to teach enough, in the mother tongue, of the basic values, and culture’ (Lee, 1972). In recent times, government ministers have made a range of similar arguments, arguing that ‘bilingualism and learning the mother tongue is the cornerstone of our education policy’ (Goh, 2004; Sim, 2015; Chee, 2019). Te simplistic promotion of English as a passport to the new world of economic opportunity and mother tongues as conduit to the old world redolent with culture, heritage and positive Asian values has been discussed and lambasted by several writers over the last few decades (Bokhorst-Heng, 1998, 1999; Gopinathan, 1979; Ho & Alsagof, 1998; Newman, 1988; Wee, 2003; Wee & Bokhorst-Heng, 2005). As the authors cited earlier have discussed the bilingual policy in some detail, we will not repeat these debates here except to note that the erroneous assumption that only Mandarin Chinese has a cultural heritage was an afront to many Chinese Singaporeans who have lived a culturally rich life through other Chinese languages. What has happened

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through time, however, is that speakers of Mandarin and those of the vernaculars have become socially stratifed. Te 2015 census data (Department of Statistics, 2015) shows that of the Singaporean residents who live in the most expensive dwellings, private condominiums and landed properties, 65.4 per cent came from English-speaking homes, 22.3 per cent from Mandarinspeaking homes and only 7.2 per cent from Chinese vernacular-speaking homes. Tis is also refected in the 2015 census data for the highest qualifcations attained, which shows that 50.9 per cent of Singaporeans without any qualifcations are found in Chinese vernacular-speaking homes, compared to 30.2 per cent in Mandarin-speaking homes and only 3 per cent from Englishspeaking homes (Leimgruber, Siemund, & Terassa, 2018). Tough the bilingual policy signifcantly enhanced the status of Mandarin Chinese, this is not refected on the ground when we look at other indicators. For the Chinese community, the English-Mandarin Chinese bilingualism policy coincided with plummeting numbers in enrolments in Chinese medium schools, and in 1980 the merger of Nanyang University with Singapore University took place, hence removing the relevance of Mandarin Chinese medium instruction from primary to tertiary level. Tere is no doubt that the bilingual policy bolstered the status of Mandarin Chinese and over the years, the ‘Speak Mandarin Campaign’ has put Mandarin Chinese frmly in the life of Singaporean Chinese below the age of 50. Te Speak Mandarin Campaign Because of its linguistic heterogeneity, the Singaporean Chinese community which spoke a multitude of Chinese languages, has been the focus of a determined endeavour by the government to unify it linguistically. Te choice for Singapore is simple – continue with dialects, and we will end up using only dialects and English. We will continue to have a fractured multilingual society. (Lee, 1978) It is clear that Lee Kuan Yew regarded the ‘dialects’ as the bogey men for multilingual harmony, even though there has never been any evidence that ‘dialects’ were the cause of any intergroup conficts. Te Speak Mandarin Campaign was launched in 1979. Trough this campaign the Chinese were encouraged to supplant their ‘dialects’ with Mandarin Chinese. Te then Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, said of the Speak Mandarin Campaign: We must not burden our children with dialects. Drop dialects, don’t let children speak dialects. In fact, dialects have no economic value in Singapore. Teir cultural value is also very low. English has economic value. Mandarin has cultural value and will also have economic value 20 years later. (Lee, as quoted in Tan, 17 November 1980)

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Te Speak Mandarin Campaign has been relentlessly and aggressively promoted with its anniversary celebrated every year from 1979 to date. Apart from active promotion of the use of Mandarin Chinese in all social contexts, other Chinese language programmes were taken of radio and television. Te slogans accompanying the campaign each year provide an interesting snapshot of the focus and the preoccupation of the Speak Mandarin Campaign in the last 40 years. From the slogans, you can see the preoccupation with stamping out ‘dialects’ in the earlier years (1979 to 1989). Te Speak Mandarin Campaign opened with ‘Speak More Mandarin, Speak Less Dialects’ and other slogans like ‘Mandarin’s in, Dialect’s out’ form the main message in the frst decade. Tis anti-dialect push was aggressively pursued and what Teo (2005) aptly refers to as ‘Mandarinising Singapore’ extended to intrusions into the home domain and local landscape. Children were told to only speak Mandarin Chinese at home and were actively punished in some schools for violating Mandarin Chinese-only policy in the classroom and the playgrounds. Children born during the early years of the Speak Mandarin Campaign were encouraged to change their names to the Romanised script for Chinese, hanyu pinyin, instead of the usual names that carries information of their other Chinese language afliations. Some place names were also Mandarinized. Hence, suburbs like ‘Nee Soon’ became ‘Yishun’ and ‘Au Kang’ became known as ‘Hougang’. At the same time, all other Chinese languages disappeared from the airwaves and television channels. Today, the evidence is that other Chinese languages have survived only in an emblematic form. Tis is evident in the marked reduction in the use of other Chinese languages in several key domains (Cavallaro, Tay, Wong, & Ng, Forthcoming; Ng, 2008; Tan & Ng, 2010). Te 1990s saw a shift in the efort to promote Singapore Mandarin Chinese. Te Speak Mandarin Campaign moved away from targeting dialect speaker, to encouraging English speakers to speak more and better Mandarin. Te new slogans (such as ‘Say it in Mandarin’. ‘Mandarin, Use it or lose it’, ‘Speak Mandarin, it helps’) focussed strongly on promoting the wider and active use of Mandarin Chinese. Tis dovetails with several reports of decrease in use and of falling standards of Mandarin Chinese (Lee, 2012; Soh, 2020). To address the difculty of coping with the demands of learning Chinese, the Ministry of Education convened a Chinese Language Review Committee in 1999 led by Lee Hsien Loong who was then the Deputy Prime Minister. Te committee revised the mother tongue language policy and altered the long-held objectives of Mandarin Chinese teaching to produce highly literate bilinguals. Tis was signifcant as it acknowledged that for many Singaporean Chinese, Mandarin is essentially a second language. In 2004, the Mandarin syllabi in the education system were refned to cater to diferent groups of students from diferent home-language backgrounds and with diferent levels of Mandarin Chinese abilities. Tis included a plan to lower expectations for most students, and only to expect a smaller group of students to learn Chinese at a high level. Tis smaller group of bilingual and bicultural elites

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would be able to assimilate Chinese language and cultural competence at a much deeper level (see Tan, 2006 for a discussion of the changes). Te details of the changes are only important in that it surfaces the problems that Singaporeans have been having vis-à-vis a language that is supposed to be their mother tongue. By 2000, the real foe to Mandarin Chinese was not the other Chinese languages, but English. As can be seen in Figure 10.2, over the years the census has been tracking a steady increase in the use of English in the home domain. Mandarin, on the other hand, has seen a plateauing in its numbers over the last 15 years and we expect this to continue or even decline in the new census due in 2020. Figure 10.3 highlights the real actors in this change towards a greater use and familiarity with English. Te chart shows a steady increase in the use of English as the dominant language at home over the last 15 years with the very young leading this shift. Te attrition of Mandarin Chinese in relation to English for the Chinese community has been a source of concern for the people behind the Speak Mandarin Campaign. Mandarin Chinese is seen to be difcult and often irrelevant. Arguably, calling it a ‘mother tongue’ was a misnomer as very clearly, in 1979, it was not the mother tongue for 90 per cent of the population. Tough it later became the home language for almost half of the Chinese population, it has had to jostle for space with English which became the lingua franca not just across all ethnic groups but within the Chinese community (Cavallaro & Ng, 2014; Cavallaro, Ng, & Tan, 2020). In sum, the Speak Mandarin Campaign had an astounding and dramatic efect on the Chinese vernaculars. Figure 10.2 shows how the home use of the other Chinese languages decreased to 16.1 per cent of the Singaporean Chinese in 2015. Tese

90% 80%

76.2%

70%

Percentage

60%

48.2%

50%

40%

30.0%

45.1% 30.7%

30% 20%

32.6% 13.1%

10% 0%

47.7%

21.4%

23.9%

1990 English

2000 Mandarin

19.2%

46.1%

37.4% 16.1%

10.2% 1980

2010 Chinese vernaculars

2015

Figure 10.2 Home language use in Singapore 1980–2015 Source: Cavallaro & Ng (2020), Department of Statistics (2001, 2006, 2010, 2015, 2018), Kuo (1980), Lau (1993)

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70%

Percentage

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0%

2005

Age

2010

2015

Figure 10.3 English as the home language of Chinese Singaporeans 2005–2015 by age Source: Department of Statistics (2005, 2010, 2015)

are now mainly elderly Singaporeans. Tis decrease corresponds to an increase in the use Mandarin and/or English at home. Singapore Mandarin Chinese as a distinctive variety of world Chinese While the linguistic world is well acquainted with the concept of world Englishes and is largely educated about the legitimacy of Englishes that are not the same as North American, British, Australian or New Zealand English, the Singapore education system continues to nominally target British English as the standard. Educators teaching Mandarin Chinese around the world often still assume Putonghua, or the standard variety used in the PRC as the norm. However, there is enough evidence pointing to the assumption that Putonghua is the best or only exemplar of Mandarin Chinese. Bradley (1992) described Chinese as a pluricentric language, and as pointed out by Cavallaro, Seilhamer, Ho, and Ng (2018), the Chinese diaspora is extremely difused, with the dispersion occurring over several centuries. Unlike world Englishes, world Mandarins is a feld that is still very much understudied. While studies on world Englishes have successfully created a discourse that challenges the normative approach to Englishes, the same cannot be said of Mandarin Chinese. Te few studies (Cheng, 1983; Khoo & Lin, 2016; Lee, 2010; Lin & Khoo, 2018; Ng, 1985; Shang & Zhao, 2017b) on this have been summarised in Cavallaro et al. (2018). Te most striking diference in Singapore Mandarin Chinese is in the lexicon, which has been infuenced by the other local languages (Zhao, Liu, & Goh, 2007). Te colloquial variety of Singapore Mandarin Chinese is typically characterised by the use of pragmatic discourse particles

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like la, leh, lor, and meh and frequent code-mixing with English, Malay, and other Chinese languages like Hokkien (Shang & Zhao, 2017a). Te terms used to address one’s grandmother derives from Hokkien – 阿嬤 a1ma4 ‘grandmother’–for both maternal and paternal grandmothers. In Putonghua we have 姥 lao1/外祖母 wai4zu2mu3 ‘maternal grandmother’ and 奶奶 nai3nai1/祖母 zu3mu3 ‘paternal grandmother’. Many words have been derived from transliterations from other local languages (such as from English, 德士 de2shi4 for ‘taxi’, Mandarin chū zū chē 出租车, 巴士 ba1shi4 for ‘bus’, Mandarin gong jiao che 公交车, from Malay, 巴刹 pasar meaning ‘market’). At the time that Mandarin frst began to be promoted in Singapore, Putonghua was not yet standardised resulting in certain words and expressions being used in Singapore in ways that are not used in the PRC now (Zhao et al., 2007). Singapore Mandarin generally follows the pronunciation of Putonghua as it is spoken in the PRC. Te overall rhythm and prosody, though, are noticeably distinctive. Phonetic diferences are, for example, the absence of retrofexes [zh], [sh] and [ch] in Singapore Mandarin (Chen, 1986; Ng, 1985), and the nasal sounds [n] and [ŋ] not being diferentiated. Observations have been made that some tone sandhi rules are not found in Singapore Mandarin, although such observations have not been empirically proven. Cheng (1983) also reported that compared to just four tones in Putonghua, Singapore Mandarin seems to have a ‘ffth’ tone in. Tis is possibly an infuence from other Chinese languages like Hokkien and Cantonese. Syntactic diferences between Singapore Mandarin and Putonghua have not been studied extensively, but they show similar infuences from other Chinese languages as well as English. According to (Shang & Zhao, 2017a) the word order in Singapore Mandarin is less rigid than Putonghua. Tey also note that in Singapore Mandarin certain grammatical constructions are used much more commonly than Putonghua. the passive marker, 被 bei4, is one such example. Tis, presumably, is due to the infuence of English. Te example of the following comparison construction shows how the word 过 guo4 ‘over’ is used in Singapore Mandarin and this is similar to comparison construction in Hokkien: Singapore Mandarin:

Putonghua:

‘He is taller than me’ 他 高 ta1 gao1 he tall

过 guo4 over

我 wo3 me

他 ta1 he

我 wo3 me

高 gao1 tall

比 bi3 compare

Te diferences between the two varieties include. For example, the use of 先 xian1 after the verb, as in 我先走 wo3 xian1 zou3 ‘I’ll go frst’ (literally, ‘I

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earlier go’) instead of the usual construction in Putonghua 我走先 wo3 zou3 xian3, (literally, ‘I go earlier’). Adverbs tend to be placed after the verb by Singapore Mandarin Chinese speakers. Tese mimic their placement in English. One other such example is 转左 zhuan3 zuo3 ‘turn left’ instead of the Putonghua 左转 zuo3 zhuan3. Another construction that is not found in Putonghua is the common use in Singapore Mandarin of 等一下 deng3 yi1 xia4 ‘wait a second’ as a marker of a conditional clause, as in 等一下,跌倒你才知道痛 deng3 yi1 xia4 die1 dao3 ni3 cai2 zhi1 dao4 tong4 ‘If you fall, you will really feel the pain’. More recently, Khoo and Lin (2016) have written about motion constructions which are diferent from other Mandarin varieties (see also Lin & Khoo, 2018 for a more comprehensive discussion of Singapore Mandarin Chinese). Singapore Mandarin Chinese language attitudes and identity As mentioned earlier, Singapore Mandarin Chinese has been spoken in Singapore for well over a century. While there is extensive discussion of what it means to speak Singapore English and its role in shaping attitudes and identity, it is interesting that we see much less discussion about what it means to speak Singapore Mandarin Chinese and its role in shaping the attitudes and identity of Chinese Singaporeans. Anecdotally, we often hear fondness expressed for Singapore Mandarin Chinese. Cavallaro et al. (2018) discussed how the recent surge in the presence of PRC migrants and new citizens in Singapore has led to social tension that has led some Singaporean Chinese to want to deemphasise their ‘Mandariness’. Tey cited examples from the internet which shows how some Singaporeans invoked their diferences in language experience as a way to distinguish themselves as a distinct cultural group. Tis has led to the speculation that there will be a marked increase in the solidarity rating for Singapore Mandarin Chinese. However, the three studies on attitudes to Singapore Mandarin Chinese (Cavallaro et al., 2018; Chong & Tan, 2013; Wong & Tan, 2017) pointed to some surprising fndings. In studies based on matched guise and verbal guises, Singapore Mandarin Chinese was not favoured in terms of status or solidarity over the other non-Singaporean varieties. Singaporeans in these studies rated PRC Mandarin Chinese to be higher in status when they were asked to compare the PRC and Singapore varieties of Mandarin Chinese using matched and verbal guise tests. Tis is in stark contrast to the negative sentiments expressed in the qualitative data towards Chinese nationals in Singapore. Chong and Tan (2013) interpreted this to indicate that perhaps, for Singaporean Chinese, the Singapore Mandarin Chinese was not a crucial marker of their identity. Cavallaro et al. (2018) instead argue that the years of having Putonghua held up as the exonormative standard have left an indelible mark resulting in the variety acquiring covert prestige. Cavallaro et al. (2018) found that across the board, solidarity traits were given higher ratings than status ratings for both Putonghua and Singapore Mandarin Chinese. Tey argued that this could be an indication that Mandarin Chinese on the whole

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is seen to be a language of solidarity in comparison to English – the other language in the participants’ repertoire. Chong and Tan (2013) and Cavallaro et al. (2018) arrived at very different conclusions about their participants relationship with Singapore Mandarin Chinese based on their results. Te latter group of researchers are more optimistic about Singapore Mandarin Chinese taking root in the identity construction of Singaporeans. Data from studies using direct questionnaires appear to support an emergent Mandarin Chinese identity. In a survey of ethnic identity in Singapore using direct questionnaires, Mathews, Lim, Shantini, and Cheung (2017) reported that on a 4 point scale, 90 per cent of their participants suggested that Mandarin Chinese is important (52.5 per cent) and somewhat important (37.6 per cent) to their identity. Tese fgures seem to show that the message in some of the overt Speak Mandarin Campaign slogans attempting to equate Mandarin Chinese with being Chinese (for example, 1985 ‘Mandarin is Chinese’, 2002 ‘Mandarin – Window to Chinese Culture’) has sunk in. Or perhaps, since the participants of both studies were born after the launch of the Speak Mandarin Campaign, for some of them, Mandarin Chinese may well be their home language. Wong and Tan (2017) conducted a study with a fner grained questionnaire where they probed what participants valued Singapore Mandarin Chinese for and they found that the participants mainly valued Mandarin Chinese for its role in communication and while Singapore Mandarin Chinese has a role in the formation of ethnic identity, it shares the space with other local languages including other Chinese languages and English. It is difcult to reconcile the disparate fndings of these studies because of the diferent instruments and questionnaires used. While there is no doubt that Singapore Mandarin Chinese plays a role in the sense of self for Singaporean Chinese, the question remains as to what degree and how does it interact with other languages in their repertoire. Researchers asking questions about the efect of individual languages on the construction of identity may be missing the point as identity is always more than the sum of the parts. Te future of Singapore Mandarin Chinese Where do we see Singapore Mandarin Chinese in the future? From being the home language of 0.1 per cent of Singaporeans, Mandarin Chinese was now spoken in 36 per cent of Singaporean homes and in 46.1 per cent of Chinese Singaporean homes in 2015. However, it is our opinion that this dramatic ascent is not accompanied by widespread use and its incorporation into the Singaporean identity is still debatable. Tat role seems to have been usurped by Singlish, which has thrived despite all past eforts at suppression and denigration. In this sense, though the Speak Mandarin Campaign succeeded in eradicating other Chinese languages and also succeeded in promoting the use of Mandarin Chinese, it seems that for the Chinese in Singapore, Mandarin Chinese will always be playing a supporting role.

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Tough the role may not be centre stage, Singapore Mandarin Chinese is nevertheless, important to many Singaporeans, not just as a tool for communication as over the years, speaking and using the language has left an indelible trace. Tere is no doubt that what English and Mandarin Chinese bilingualism mean for Chinese Singaporeans is clumsily articulated in the local bilingualism campaigns and makes naïve assumptions about how language and culture work, and how bilingualism does and can flter the way we view the world. Studies of emotion terms (Bai & Ng, 2012; Chun & Ng, forthcoming; Ng, 2008; Wong & Ng, 2018) found that Singaporean bilinguals who speak Mandarin Chinese with higher profciency are more likely to perceive emotion such as ‘shame’ or ‘pride’ in ways that are more typical or similar to Chinese monolinguals, even though there is no complete overlap between these bilinguals and their monolingual counterparts. What these studies show is that not only exposure, but the degree of exposure attenuates worldviews in nuanced and subtle ways that do not translate into an importation of entire value systems. For example, the research by Tan and Ng (2010) and Cavallaro et al. (forthcoming) have found that participants growing up in Mandarin Chinese speaking homes were more likely to feel positively about Mandarin Chinese and traditions typically associated with being Chinese than bilinguals who grew up in English speaking homes. In a study on attitudes of Singaporean Chinese youths towards bilingualism, Xie and Cavallaro (2016) report a correlation between higher sense of attachment towards Chinese identity with higher perception of profciency in Chinese. What these studies indicate is that our sense of self and identity is a relational construct that takes diferent forms depending on the contexts and our background. Singapore Mandarin Chinese bilinguals come in many variegated shades and their assessment of Mandarin Chinese ownership and its role in their lives is likely to depend on not only their background but their day to day encounters and needs. As we see increasing number of new mainland Chinese immigrants coming into our midst, some Singaporean Chinese may face the pressure to redefne who they are and feel the need to re-evaluate their identity. To do so they, some resort to the tools that will help them do that best, and the instrument that best expresses their sense of distinctiveness is not Singapore Mandarin Chinese but Singapore English. Te reality is that some Singaporeans actively resist the idea of being categorised as Chinese (Lee & André, 2015). Tis phenomenon is not unique to Singapore and has been also been reported in Taiwan and Hong Kong. In these places, Lee and André (2015) have argued that ‘Chineseness’ has become a liability which is being intensively redefned and repackaged. Tis could be the process that currently happening in Singapore and the future role of Singapore Mandarin Chinese may be tied to how this issue is resolved. Conclusion Language management in Singapore has always been highly intrusive. However, despite the government’s omnipresent control, it cannot force languages to take root in the hearts of the speakers. As Singlish organically grows without

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encouragement and in an environment of great hostility, perhaps, what is needed is for Singaporean Chinese to ideologically align to Singapore Mandarin Chinese in the same way that they have aligned with Singlish – a language that encapsulates what it means to be Singaporean. Te following blog by a netizen is germane to how speakers feel towards Singapore Mandarin Chinese and language use and towards the ofcial management of language use in Singapore. As a writer, language is how I defne my world. Growing up as a student under Singapore’s two language campaigns – frst the Speak Mandarin Campaign, then the Speak Good English Movement – I always felt caught in-between. Te Chinese language was supposed to root me to my ethnic culture, but it was alien to my English-speaking family and my elders who spoke Cantonese, Teochew or Hainanese. When I discovered Singlish connected me with my family and friends in Singapore, I was told to speak English to plug in to the world outside. Made to grow new roots and taught to cater to strangers outside of home, what have I become? A successful hybrid Singaporean or a failed translation of our bilingual policy? As the campaign slogans over the years reveal, language for a Singaporean is so we can speak to everyone outside of this city, but never amongst, nor for, ourselves. (Zhuang, 2013)

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Stringing together a series of slogans from the Speak Mandarin Campaign, Zhuang cleverly demonstrated his bilingualism and even though he lamented that he is expected to speak to everyone outside his city but never within it, he clearly can do so and is able to do it in two languages. Tis underscores the future of Mandarin Chinese in Singapore and the twinning of its fate with English. Note 1 Note that the term ‘mother tongue’ in the Singapore contexts refer to Mandarin Chinese, Malay and Tamil assigned by the government to all Singaporean residents, even if those languages are not spoken at home.

References Abshire, J. E. (2011). Te history of Singapore. Santa Barbara, CA: Greenwood. Bai, L., & Ng, B. C. (2012). Self-other dimension of Chinese shame words. International Journal of Computer Processing of Languages (IJCPOL), 24, 51–78. Bokhorst-Heng, W. D. (1998). Language planning and management in Singapore. In J. Foley, T. Kandiah, Z. Bao, A. F. Gupta, L. Alsagof, C. L. Ho, . . . W. Bokhorst-Heng (Eds.), English in new cultural contexts: Refections from Singapore (pp. 287–309). Singapore: Oxford University Press. Bokhorst-Heng, W. D. (1999). Singapore’s Speak Mandarin Campaign: Language ideological debates and the imagining of the nation. In J. Blommaert (Ed.), Language ideological debates (pp. 235–265). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Bokhorst-Heng, W. D., & Caleon, I. S. (2009). Te language attitudes of bilingual youth in multilingual Singapore. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 30, 235–251. Bradley, D. (1992). Chinese as a pluricentric language. In M. Clyne (Ed.), Pluricentric languages: Difering norms in diferent nations (pp. 305–324). Berlin and New York: Mouton de Gruyter. Cavallaro, F., & Ng, B. C. (2014). Language in Singapore: From multilingualism to English plus. In Y. Slaughter & J. Hajek (Eds.), Challenging the monolingual mindset (pp. 33–48). Bristol: Multilingual Matters. Cavallaro, F., & Ng, B. C. (2020). Multilingualism and multiculturalism in Singapore. In P. Siemund & J. R. E. Leimgruber (Eds.), Multilingual global cities: Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai (pp. 133–160). New York: Routledge. Cavallaro, F., Ng, B. C., & Tan, Y. Y. (2020). Singapore English. In K. Bolton, W. Botha, & A. Kirkpatrick (Eds.), Handbook of Asian Englishes (pp. 419–447). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Cavallaro, F., Seilhamer, M. F., Ho, Y. Y., & Ng, B. C. (2018). Attitudes to Mandarin Chinese varieties in Singapore. Journal of Asian Pacifc Communication, 28, 195–225. Cavallaro, F., Tay, Y. X. E., Wong, F., & Ng, B. C. (Forthcoming). ‘Enculturalling’ bilingualism: Family language ecology and its impact on bilingualism. International Multilingual Research Journal. Chee, H. T. (2019). Speech by Mr Chee Hong Tat, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Education, at the 8th Mother Tongue Languages Symposium, at Suntec Singapore Convention & Exhibition

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Centre. Retrieved from www.moe.gov.sg/news/speeches/speech-by-mr-chee-hong-tat-seniorminister-of-state-ministry-of-education-at-the-8th-mother-tongue-languages-symposiumat-suntec-singapore-convention-and-exhibition-centre Chen, C. Y. (1986). Salient segmental features in Singapore Mandarin. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 14, 114–152. Cheng, C.-Y. (1983). A ffth tone in the Mandarin spoken in Singapore. Journal of Chinese Linguistics, 11, 92–119. Chong, R. H.-H., & Tan, Y. Y. (2013). Attitudes toward accents of Mandarin. Chinese Language and Discourse, 4(1), 120–140. Chun, F. Y., & Ng, B. C. (Forthcoming). ‘A clash of prides’ in Chinese-English bilinguals. International Journal of Culture and Communication. Department of Statistics. (2001). Census of population 2000 statistical release 5: Households and housing. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Department of Statistics. (2005). General household survey 2005. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Department of Statistics. (2006). General household survey statistical release 1: Socio-demographic and economic characteristics. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Department of Statistics. (2010). Census of population 2010 statistical release 1: Demographic characteristics, education, language and religion. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Department of Statistics. (2015). General household survey 2015. Singapore: Singapore Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Department of Statistics. (2018). Population trends 2018. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade & Industry. Dixon, L. Q. (2005). Bilingual education policy in Singapore: An analysis of its sociohistorical roots and current academic outcomes. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 8, 25–47. Doraisamy, T. R. (1969). 150 years of education in Singapore. Singapore: TTC Publication Board Teacher’s Training College. Goh, C. T. (2004, March 21). Speech by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong at the Chinese High School’s 85th anniversary and Hwa Chong Junior College’s 30th anniversary dinner held at the Chinese High School on Sunday. Retrieved from www.nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/ speeches/ record-details/7771d4ad-115d-11e3–83d5–0050568939ad Gopinathan, S. (1979). Singapore language policies: Strategies for a plural society. In L. Suryadinata (Ed.), Southeast Asian afairs (pp. 280–295). Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Ho, C. L., & Alsagof, L. (1998). English as the common language in multicultural Singapore. In J. Foley (Ed.), English in new cultural contexts (pp. 201–217). Singapore: Oxford University Press. Ho, S. (2016). Vernacular education. Infopedia. Retrieved from https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/ infopedia/articles/SIP_2016–10–03_094744.html Khoo, Y. K., & Lin, J. (2016). Motion constructions in Singapore Mandarin Chinese: A typological perspective. In M. Dong, J. Lin, & X. Tang (Eds.), Chinese lexical semantics (pp. 743– 750). Cham: Springer. Kuo, E. C. Y. (1980). Te sociolinguistic situation in Singapore: Unity in diversity. In E. A. Afendras & E. C. Y. Kuo (Eds.), Language and society in Singapore (pp. 39–62). Singapore: Singapore University Press.

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Kuo, E. C. Y. (1985). Language and identity: Te case of Chinese in Singapore. In W.-S. Tseng & D. Y. H. Wu (Eds.), Chinese culture and mental health (pp. 181–192). London: Academic Press. Kwan-Terry, A. (2000). Language shift, mother tongue, and identity in Singapore. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 143, 85–106. Lau, K. E. (1993). Singapore census of population 1990. Singapore: Department of Statistics. Lee, C. L. (2012). Saving Chinese-language education in Singapore. Current Issues in Language Planning, 13, 285–304. Lee, E. E. F. (n.d.). Profle of the Singapore Chinese dialect groups. Singapore: Singapore Department of Statistics, Social Statistics Section. Lee, K. Y. (1972). Summary of speech by the Prime Minister at the Singapore Teacher’s Union’s 26th anniversary dinner held at Shangri-La Hotel on 5 November, 1972. Retrieved from www. nas.gov.sg/archivesonline/data/pdfdoc/lky19721105.pdf Lee, K. Y. (1978). Two speeches (combined & edited) by the Prime Minister, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. at (1) Istana Chap Goh Mei Reception, 21 February 1978, And (2) Tanjong Pagar Community Centre Scholarships Presentation, March 4, 1978. Retrieved from www.nas.gov.sg/ archivesonline/data/pdfdoc/lky19780304.pdf Lee, L. (2010). Te tonal system of Singapore Mandarin. Paper presented at the 22nd North American Conference on Chinese Linguistics and the 18th International Association of Chinese Linguistics, Harvard University. Lee, T. H. (2006). Chinese schools in British Malaya: Policies and politics. Singapore: South Seas Society. Lee, X. J., & André, P. (2015). Wars of words: Mandarin and Chineseness in Taiwan and Singapore. Geoeconomics and geopolitics of East Asia. Unpublished paper. Tokyo: Waseda University, School of Political Science and Economics. Leimgruber, J., Siemund, P., & Terassa, L. (2018). Singaporean students’ language repertoires and attitudes revisited. World Englishes, 37, 282–306. Lim, P. H. (2008). English schools and school libraries before the Second World War: A Singapore perspective. Singapore Journal of Library & Information Management, 37, 61–80. Lin, J., & Khoo, Y. K. (2018). Singapore Mandarin Chinese: Its variations and studies. Chinese Language and Discourse, 9, 109–135. Mathews, M., Lim, L., Shantini, S., & Cheung, N. (2017). CNA-IPS survey on ethnic identity in Singapore (Vol. 28). Singapore: Institute of Policy Studies. Morita, L. (2015). English, language shift and values shift in Japan and Singapore. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 13, 508–527. Newman, J. (1988). Singapore’s Speak Mandarin Campaign. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 9, 437–448. Ng, B. C. (1985). A study of the variable /sh/ in Singapore Mandarin. In D. Bradley (Ed.), Papers in Southeast Asian linguistics (Vol. 9, pp. 31–37). Canberra: Pacifc Linguistics. Ng, B. C. (2008). Linguistics pragmatism, globalization and the impact on the patterns of input in Singaporean Chinese homes. In P. Tan & R. Rubdy (Eds.), Language as commodity: Global structures, local marketplaces (pp. 71–88). London and New York: Continuum Press. Ng, B. C., & Cavallaro, F. (2019). Multilingualism in Southeast Asia: Te post-colonial language stories of Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. In S. Montanari & S. Quay (Eds.), Multidisciplinary perspectives on multilingualism: Te fundamentals (pp. 27–50). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Png, P.-S. (1969). Te Straits Chinese in Singapore: A case of local identity and socio-cultural accommodation. Journal of Southeast Asian History, 10, 95–114.

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Rafes, T. S. (1819). Minute by Rafes on the establishment of a Malay college at Singapore. Retrieved from https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/printheritage/detail/ec629c60-58e9-40c6847e-43d191dada47. aspx Shang, G., & Zhao, S. (2017a). Standardising the Chinese language in Singapore: Issues of policy and practice. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 38, 315–329. Shang, G., & Zhao, S. (2017b). What standard and whose standard: Issues in the development of Chinese profciency descriptors in Singapore. In D. Zhang & C.-H. Lin (Eds.), Chinese as a second language assessment (pp. 159–181). Singapore: Springer. Sim, A. (2015). Speech by Ms Sim Ann, Minister of State, Ministry of Education & Ministry of Communications and Information, at the 4th Mother Tongue Languages Symposium. Retrieved from www.moe.gov.sg/news/speeches/speech-by-ms-sim-ann-minister-ofstate-ministry-of-education-and-ministry-of-communications-and-information-atthe-4th-mother-tonguelanguages-symposium Soh, K. (2020). Teaching Chinese language in Singapore. Singapore: Springer. Song, O. S. (1923/2020). One hundred years’ history of the Chinese in Singapore. Singapore: Oxford University Press. Soon, S.-C., Xing, E. Y., & Tong, C. K. (2018). Chinese community and culture in Singapore. In M. Mathews (Ed.), Te Singapore ethnic mosaic: Many cultures, one people (pp. 9–104). Singapore: World Scientifc. Tan, B. H. (1980, November 17). Drop dialects at home and help your child do better in school. Te Straits Times, p. 9. Retrieved from http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/newspapers/Digitised/Article/ straitstimes19801117–1.2.39?ST=1&AT=flter&K=lee+kuan+yew+and+ma ndarin&KA=lee+kuan+ yew+and+mandarin&DF=&DT=&Display=0&AO=false&NPT= &L=&CTA=&NID=straitstimes&CT=ARTICLE&WC=&YR=1980&QT=lee,kuan,yew, and,mandarin&oref=article Tan, C. (2006). Change and continuity: Chinese language policy in Singapore. Language Policy, 5, 41–62. Tan, S., & Ng, B. C. (2010). Tree generations under one roof: A study of the infuence of the presence of grandparents on language shift, identity and attitudes. TRANEL Travaux neuchâtelois de linguistique, 52, 69–92. Teo, P. (2005). Mandarinising Singapore: A critical analysis of slogans in Singapore’s ‘Speak Mandarin’ campaign. Critical Discourse Studies, 2, 121–142. Tong, C. K. (2018). Te Chinese in Singapore. In M. Mathews (Ed.), Te Singapore ethnic mosaic: Many cultures, one people (pp. 3–8). Singapore: World Scientifc. Trocki, C. A. (1990). Opium and empire: Chinese society in colonial Singapore, 1800–1910. New York: Cornell University Press. Wee, L. (2003). Linguistic instrumentalism in Singapore. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 24, 211–224. Wee, L., & Bokhorst-Heng, W. D. (2005). Language policy and nationalist ideology: Statal narratives in Singapore. Multilingua, 24, 159–183. Wong, G., & Ng, B. C. (2018). Moral judgement in early bilinguals: Language dominance infuences responses to moral dilemmas. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, Article 1070. Wong, K., & Tan, Y. Y. (2017). Mandarinization and the construction of Chinese ethnicity in Singapore. Chinese Language and Discourse, 8, 18–50. Xie, W., & Cavallaro, F. (2016). Attitudes towards Mandarin-English bilingualism: A study of Chinese youths in Singapore. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 37, 628–641.

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Zhao, C. S., Liu, Y. B., & Goh, H. H. (2007). Singaporean Chinese children’s special Chinese vocabulary and their identity. Paper presented at Redesigning pedagogy: Culture, knowledge and understanding, National Institute of Education, Singapore. Retrieved from http:// conference.nie.edu.sg/2007/paper/papers/ LAN226.pdf Zhuang, J. (2013). Campaign city – National language class. Retrieved from http://justinzhuang.com/ posts/campaign-city-national-language-class/

11 Chinese dialects in Singapore Context and situation Goh Hock Huan and Lim Tai Wei

Introduction Singapore has a vibrant language environment, with four ofcial languages and their respective dialects, regional and sub-ethnic variants.1 Contributing to this vibrancy, the Chinese Singaporean community comprises many dialect groups (such as Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese) for which the term ‘dialect’ not only indexes their places of ancestral origin and the respective vernacular languages, but also, in the Singapore political-ideological context, diferentiates between the prioritised variety (that is, Mandarin) ofcialised by the government for the Chinese community and the vernacular varieties originally spoken within the community. As these Chinese dialects are not mutually intelligible (Tang & van Heuven, 2009; Yan, 2006) and may even cause social disturbance such as the Hokkien-Teochew Riot in the earlier years of Singapore history (Yong, 2016), they were deemed by politicians as a hindrance to unifed and standardised communication among the Chinese dialect communities in Singapore (Goh, 1991; Lee, 1979). To address this concern and beneft from the rising China economy, Mandarin was sanctioned and promoted as the ofcial mother tongue of Chinese Singaporeans, and thus portrayed as the preferred and prestige language for the Chinese community via the Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC) from the late 1970s onwards (Bokhorst-Heng, 1999; Ng, 2017; Shang & Zhao, 2017). Te spoken vernacular languages and ‘real mother tongues’ of the home of the Chinese Singaporean community were then subjected to a process of natural elimination due to disuse by the community in view of the devaluation of social capital and economic value of these dialects as compared to the ofcially sanctioned mother tongue, that is, Mandarin (Bokhorst-Heng & Silver, 2017). However, others opine that the elimination of Chinese dialects was not quite ‘natural’ given that there was a state-wide media ban on the use of dialects after 1978 (Lee, 2016; C. Tan, 2005). As a result of government sanctioning of Mandarin as the ofcial mother tongue of Chinese community, the use of Chinese dialects fell tremendously after 1980s, while the use of Mandarin showed signifcant increase (Department of Statistics, 1990). Anxious about this language shift in the Chinese community, local academics and the media raised concerns

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about the loss of Chinese dialects, deemed to be an integral part of Chinese Singaporean identity and inseparable from the history of the nation (Lee, 2016; Lim, 2009; Ng, 2017). Besides facing the impact of the ofcial mother tongue (that is, Mandarin), Chinese dialects also faced a threat from English, the ofcial language for administration and the de facto lingua franca of Singapore. In his address to the 2019 Speak Mandarin Campaign (Lee, 2019), Mr Lee Hsien Loong, the Singaporean Prime Minister, highlighted that the proportion of Chinese primary one students coming from English-speaking homes had reached a new peak of 71 per cent. Tis fgure confrms Zhao and Liu (2010) observation that the mandated mother tongue of the Chinese community has been gradually replaced in their households by English.2 Terefore, it is important to investigate if Chinese dialects are still holding their ground at home (or even in the society) in this home language erosion in favour of English. However, before discussing this issue, it is important to understand how the Chinese dialects have evolved since Singapore’s independence. Tis chapter provides a broad description of the sociolinguistics of Chinese dialects, within the context of their historical and social dynamics. First, it gives an account of the historical and social contexts of major Chinese dialects (namely Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew), with reference to three distinct historical phases: from late 19th century up to 1965, from 1965 to the 1990s, and from the 1990s to the present.3 Second, it presents the preliminary results of an ongoing dialect use and attitudes survey designed to explore the attitudes of Singaporean Chinese towards their dialects, in order to provide a snapshot of the use of Chinese dialects in present-day Singapore. Finally, the chapter concludes with a discussion of future trends and possible recommendations for the maintenance and preservation of the Chinese dialects in Singapore. Chinese dialects in historical perspective Ethnic Chinese migrants in Singapore arrived in waves.4,5 Evidence suggests that they settled in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, married local women, and settled down. Te intermarriages gave rise to the indigenous culture of the Peranakans. When the British decided to colonise Singapore in 1819, the Peranakans were amongst the frst Chinese settlers to arrive in Singapore from Malacca. Te Peranakans spoke some of the frst dialects in Singapore. Since many Peranakans were Hokkien, they spoke a patois of Hokkien dialect and Malay and served as intermediaries between the British, local Malay communities and Chinese merchants (Hong, 2017). Social institutions within the Chinese society facilitated the conservation, preservation and indeed, even proliferation of dialect language use in Singapore. Encouraged by the British colonial authorities to explore opportunities in Singapore, southern Chinese emigrated at various junctures during the late Qing dynasty.6 Chronologically, the three peak periods of Chinese labourer

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migration to Singapore were: 1823 to 1891 after the colony of Singapore became a free port; 1910 to 1911 before WWI; and 1926 to 1927 after the Great War (Tulaja, 2016). Te largest groups that arrived in Singapore were from the province of Fujian which has dozens of dialects, but when these regional variations of Hokkien dialect arrived with the migrants in Singapore, they merged into the Hokkien language spoken in Singapore.7 Tese migrants worked in all kinds of profession in Singapore and Malaysia, from tin miners and coolies to wealthy merchants.8 Due to its large number of users, Hokkien endured through the ages and is still spoken today amongst the older people in the Singapore community. One stereotype of the language (together with other dialects) in Singapore has been that it was a rough and tumble language, spoken by unrefned working class (Bokhorst-Heng, 1999; Pakir, 1994; Tremewan, 1994). Stereotyped in popular cultural interpretations as well as non-fction documentaries, the Hokkiens were sometimes associated with secret societies which brought about social disputes or even riots in the process of protecting the rights and benefts of both working class Hokkien settlers and merchants (Bolton & Hutton, 2000; Comber, 2009; Yong, 2016). Te use of the Hokkien language thus took on an underclass image. Te second largest group of ethnic Chinese in Singapore are the Teochews who spoke a more ‘refned’ dialect with more ‘musical-sounding’ tones (Sim & Seet, 2013; Tan, Yeo, & Ng, 2018) compared to the Hokkiens. Te Teochews worked in the Gambier plantations and amassed huge fortunes as plantation owners in 19th century.9 Teir occupations ranged from planters to working class coolies (S. Tan, 2005). Te Teochews were seen as a hardworking lot, able to endure high pain thresholds and as having a love for fne cultural items like porcelain (since there were kilns in Chaozhou region), bonsais (Teochews in post-war Singapore often organised bonsai shows) and Teochew opera (Han, Fernandez, & Tan, 2015). Teir melodic version of the Minnan dialect (southern Minnanese to be precise) became associated with refned spoken dialects in Singapore. As Hokkien and Teochew both belong to the Minnanese family of languages, they are the only Chinese dialect languages used in Singapore that have any degree of mutual intelligibility with one another (Conceicao, 2016). Te third largest group of Chinese migrants to Singapore were the Cantonese. By 1840, they were one of the fve main subgroups of the Chinese community in Singapore (Conceicao, 2016). Te Cantonese dialect is also stereotyped with the image of melodic dialect languages like Teochew. By the time of Singapore’s founding in 1819, the Cantonese merchants had extensive dealings with British traders as compradors in both Hong Kong and Canton, and were often engaged in various businesses in the community.10 Tey came to Singapore as jewellers, tailors, merchants/ traders, small business owners and congregated around the Chinatown area in Kreta Ayer. Te Cantonese language was thus frequently spoken in the downtown areas.

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In the case of the dialect groups and others mentioned earlier, spoken dialects became an identity marker for the hometown ties that bind. Some Chinese associations, secret societies and clans were organised around spoken dialects, and the dialect became a useful means for social mobilisation by Chinese dialect groups, rallying around common crises, external threats and social causes. Dialects as an identity marker were appealing to the lonely new migrants who had just arrived in Singapore and had no friends, family members or personal networks. In such cases, there was a utilitarian need for dialect for practical purposes, a raison d’etre for continuing, or even proliferating the use of hometown dialects amongst one’s brethren (Freedman, 1960; Comber, 2009). However, a fip-side of such social mobilisation around hometown dialects and other parochial indicators was the entrenchment of local identities, creating an ‘us versus them’ atmosphere, othering and marginalising individuals who did not belong to the dialect group identity. Tere were also historical clashes or riots between the dialect groups (such as the Teochew-Hokkien riots in 1854), usually over mining/agricultural rights and secret societies’ territories but they were localised and infrequent (Bolton & Hutton, 2000, p. 93).11 Chinese dialects and the Speak Mandarin Campaign in independent Singapore When Singapore attained its independence, its overwhelming priority was nation-building.12 Bilingualism became a cornerstone of the language policy with second language acquisition made mandatory in elementary schools in 1960 and in secondary schools in 1966. However, bilingualism did not specifcally refer to Mandarin language acquisition for ethnic Chinese Singaporeans (especially those in English-medium schools), due to the shortfall of adequately trained Mandarin teachers in the early days of independence (Sim, 2016). Tus, dialects, which were much more commonly spoken in those days, were used to teach Chinese lessons (Ho, 2016; Lee, 2006). However, in 1965, English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil were classifed as the four ofcial languages and mother tongues under Article 153A of the Singapore Constitution. Among the Chinese community, the prevalent use of dialects was also viewed as a hindrance to the unity of Chinese community and the choice of a singular representative language, Mandarin, was deemed necessary (Gopinathan, 1979; Sim, 2016). However, the trajectory of dialects took a drastic turn in the late 1970s following the Ministry of Education’s report on Chinese learning in 1978 that indicated dialects were an obstacle to the learning of Mandarin. Tis fnding gave rise to the Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC) spearheaded and inaugurated by the then Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew on 7 September 1979. Te national public campaign sought to discourage the use of dialect languages and encouraged Mandarin instead (while simultaneously writing in simplifed instead of traditional Chinese

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characters) (Bokhorst-Heng, 1999; Bokhorst-Heng & Silver, 2017; Ng, 2017; Sim, 2016; Wee, 2009). Te objective was to eventually popularise the use of Mandarin in Singapore’s community spaces such as cofee shops, hawker centres, food courts, and so on. Te SMC Campaign also infuenced language use within households as family members were persuaded to use Mandarin. Te government led by example and civil servants and public institutions were also mandated to use Mandarin. ‘Speak Mandarin’ became a popular slogan during this campaign period. Local university entry as well as passing taxi licences exams then were dependent on speaking Mandarin for qualifcation. Mass media outlets also switched to broadcast in Mandarin instead of dialects as TV series, movies, advertisements, radio broadcasts and other popular cultural as well as mass media programmes were converted to using Mandarin in the early 1980s. Due to the immense success of the Mandarin-inclined policy, the number of Singaporean families and individuals who speak Chinese dialects has declined dramatically, with the spread of English, just as the number of Chinese Singaporeans and their families who speak Mandarin at home has also declined (Li, Tan, & Goh, 2016; Shang & Zhao, 2017; Sim, 2016). Census results show that the number of individuals who reported Chinese vernaculars as the language most spoken at home declined from 76.2 per cent in 1980 to only 19.2 per cent in 2010 (Cavallaro & Ng, 2014, p. 40). By 1990, dialectspeaking Chinese families had dropped to 48 per cent of the populace from 76 per cent in 1980, while Mandarin speakers in family households rose from 13 per cent to 30 per cent in the same period of time (Department of Statistics, 1990, p. 18). Te Speak Mandarin Campaign worked efectively, and, at around this time, a new secretariat for the Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC) was formed, guided by the Promote Mandarin Council (PMC). Te authorities then refocused their energies in promoting the use of Mandarin and intensifying the knowledge of Chinese culture and historical heritage, at the same time, ironically, as young Singaporeans became ‘westernised’ and their Mandarin use declined. Chinese dialects in contemporary Singapore In contemporary Singapore, the use of Hokkien is partially maintained by incoming Malaysian Chinese migrants, particularly from the bordering Malaysian state of Johor Bahru. Nonetheless, regardless of dialect afliations, some younger Singaporeans sometimes speak Hokkien or words and phrases borrowed from Hokkien as a badge of rebellion or/and to convey toughspeaking attitudes on social issues (Biston, 2007). Some Hokkien continues to permeate Singlish, the localised, colloquial form of English. Similarly, Cantonese too is propped up to some extent by popular cultural genres such as Cantopop, and Canto movies and series from Hong Kong. In more recent years however, some modifcations were also made to broadcast rules. As dialects had become a vanishing heritage by the 1990s, the state permitted a

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limited number of dialect-language cultural and news programs on television targeted at elderly Singaporeans who do not speak or comprehend Mandarin. Further, locally made dialect medium flms have been well received by the target older population. Tey refect nostalgia amongst Singaporeans who recall using Chinese dialects with their parents and grandparents. Other than pop culture, food culture also plays a part in retaining dialect language use. Many local chefs of diferent dialect groups have been featured on TV shows demonstrating traditional dishes and their origins. Attitudes towards Chinese dialects Tus far, this chapter has outlined the evolution of Chinese dialects in the unique Singapore context, highlighting historical causes, political considerations and language campaigns that have collectively shaped the Chinese dialects’ statuses, and situational contexts today. Te Chinese dialects were brought to Singapore by immigrants from diferent parts of China, marginalised by the socio-political decision to give way to the mandated ofcial language of Mandarin via the SMC, and (together with Mandarin) further impacted by the popular use of English nationwide. Other than these factors that intentionally or unintentionally stigmatised Chinese dialects, how the community thinks about dialects is also an important consideration in discussing the future of Chinese dialects in Singapore. In other words, what are the attitudes of the diferent Chinese dialect groups towards dialect language use, and to whom and where they still use their dialect? Tese are questions worth exploring. To understand the attitudes towards the use of Chinese dialects across different age groups of Chinese Singaporeans, one of the authors of this chapter has recently embarked on a project entitled ‘Language use and language attitude survey on Chinese dialects in Singapore: A preliminary study’. Tis study administered an online anonymous survey targeting Chinese Singaporeans aged 21 and above. It targeted to recruit about 1,250 participants using snowball (or ‘friend of a friend’) sampling approach. Te questionnaire consist of 14 questions in 4 parts, that is, (1) background information such as age, education level, housing, dialect groups and dialects spoken at home; (2) language profciency on listening and speaking English, Mandarin and dialect(s); (3) dialect use of the participants ‘to whom’, ‘at where’ and ‘for what purpose’; and (4) language attitude of the participants toward English, Mandarin, and Chinese dialects. As this survey is still ongoing, the chapter will hereby draw on preliminarily research data to shed light on the use of and attitude towards dialects among Chinese Singaporeans. Responses from a total of 116 participants will be discussed in the rest of this chapter while the distribution of age and dialect groups is shown as follows: Table 11.1 shows that Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese make up the three largest dialect groups of the participants surveyed so far. Tis preliminary

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Table 11.1 Age and dialect groups distribution Age 21–30 31–40 41–50 51–60 >60 Total %

Cantonese

Hainanese

Hakka

Hokkien

Teochew

Others

8 4 4 3 3 22 19.0%

1 1 1 2 2 7 6.0%

1 2 2 1 3 9 7.8%

6 11 10 7 8 42 36.2%

6 9 7 4 3 29 25.0%

1 4 0 0 2 7 6.0%

Total

%

23 31 24 17 21 116 100%

19.8% 26.7% 20.7% 14.7% 18.1% 100%

fnding regarding the proportion of dialect group is largely aligned with the census of 2010.13 Based on the census of 2010, the three larger dialect groups are Hokkien (40.1 per cent), Teochew (20.3 per cent) and Cantonese (15.1 per cent), whereas Hakka (8.5 per cent) and Hainanese (6.5 per cent) are smaller in numbers/pool size, while the rest of the dialect groups make up about 9.5 per cent (Department of Statistics, 2011). Regarding the age distribution among the Chinese community, the 2010 Census showed that the following demographic information: Age 20–29 (17.1 per cent), 30–39 (20.8 per cent), 40–49 (21.6 per cent), 50–59 (20.1 per cent), and 60 and above (20.3 per cent) (Department of Statistics, 2011). Although our study has a slightly diferent categorisation for age range, the proportion of the participants is by and large aligned with the 2010 Census data on population distribution for the Chinese community. It is also noteworthy that the total sample size for each dialect group, especially for Hainanese and Hakka group, is still primitive to conduct robust statistical analysis for signifcance. As such, the following analysis will adopt a direct approach for its analysis by describing the mean score of the questionnaire items in each construct. In view of this approach, this chapter does not claim to be comprehensive and comes with the limitation of direct methodology and all the limitations that that entails. Attitudes towards Chinese dialects

Language attitudes is a well-studied area of social science with varied interpretations or defnitions from diferent theories and perspectives (McKenzie, 2010). It generally refers to an evaluation of one’s thoughts pertaining to particular languages or language behaviours, whereby the evaluation can only be inferred from self-reported or observable behaviours (Bohner & Wanke, 2002; Eagly & Chaiken, 1993; McKenzie, 2010). In line with this understanding of language attitudes, this chapter has attempted to look at the attitudes of the Singaporean Chinese community towards Chinese dialects from the following parameters: (1) general impression of dialects, (2) identity, (3) function/use of dialects, (4) reaction to stereotypes around dialects, and (5) opinions about dialect speakers. Each parameter consists of items measured

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using a 4-point Likert scale of agreement, with ‘1’ denoting ‘Strongly Disagree’, ‘2’ denoting ‘Disagree’, ‘3’ denoting ‘Agree’ and ‘4’ denoting ‘Strongly Agree. Table 11.2 illustrates the participants’ general impression of dialects. Tey generally fnd dialect ‘nice’ and ‘endearing’, giving the high agreement score of 3.22 and 3.39 on average on a score of 4. Tey also believe that dialects use is ‘important’ and ‘interesting’, given the high agreement scores of 3.17 and 3.39. However, when asked about the ‘usefulness’ and ‘infuence’ of dialects on their lives, they generally show a lower agreement of 2.90 and 2.50. Te extent to which the participants agree that the use of dialects is related to self-identity among Singaporean Chinese and is shown in Table 11.3. On a scale of 1 to 4, the participants highly agree that dialect use is ‘indivisible from Chinese culture’ in Singapore (3.36). Tey also agree substantially that dialects are a form of identity marker among Chinese Singaporeans (3.12) Table 11.2 Attitudes to the use of dialects Dialect

Overall Cantonese Hainanese Hakka Hokkien Teochew Others

N

116

22

7

9

42

29

7

I think dialects sound nice. I fnd dialects endearing. Dialects are important. Dialects are interesting. I fnd dialects useful. I fnd dialects socially infuential.

3.22 3.39 3.17 3.39 2.90 2.50

3.41 3.50 3.45 3.73 3.14 3.00

2.71 2.71 2.43 3.14 2.29 1.86

2.78 3.44 3.11 2.89 2.89 2.33

3.12 3.24 3.14 3.29 2.76 2.40

3.38 3.55 3.21 3.45 3.03 2.52

3.57 3.86 3.14 3.57 3.00 2.29

Table 11.3 Attitudes towards dialect as a form of identity Dialect

Overall Cantonese Hainanese Hakka Hokkien Teochew Others

N

116

22

7

9

42

29

7

Dialects are the mother tongue of Chinese Singaporeans. Dialects are a form of identity among Chinese Singaporeans. Dialects are indivisible from Chinese culture in Singapore. Chinese Singaporeans need to speak dialects to preserve Chinese culture.

2.92

3.18

2.29

2.89

3.00

2.90

2.43

3.12

3.50

2.57

2.44

3.21

3.07

3.00

3.36

3.45

3.00

3.33

3.36

3.38

3.43

3.11

3.55

2.86

2.89

3.00

3.07

3.14

Chinese dialects in Singapore

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and should be spoken ‘to preserve the Chinese culture’ (3.11). Te participants also perceived dialects to be the authentic or ‘real’ mother tongues of Chinese Singaporeans (2.92). Te participants’ agreement on the functions of dialect in various aspects/ contexts, namely at work and for acquaintance, is illustrated in Table 11.4. Generally, on a 4-point scale, participants from all dialect groups agreed that dialect use bonded family members and relatives better (2.96). Tey also agreed that dialect use helps in making friends with others (2.28) and gave them advantages at work (2.01), but they agreed less on the usefulness of spoken dialect in fnding jobs (1.86). As previously articulated in our account of the historical and social contexts of major Chinese dialects, the Chinese dialect was portrayed as a liability rather than an asset during nation-building, highlighting its low economic value and its potential/tendency to impede social harmony and security. It would be interesting to know, after half a century of independence, if the Chinese Singaporean community agrees with certain stereotypes about Chinese dialects. Table 11.5 illustrates the participants’ reactions to various stereotypes on the use of Chinese dialects. Unanimously, all participants did not quite agree on the four items in this construct. On a scale of 4, they showed the lowest agreement on ‘uneasiness’ when hearing spoken dialects (1.25). Te participants also showed low agreement when it comes to dialect use as a ‘hindrance’ to learning the ofcial languages (1.44) and associating dialect with ‘low social status’ (1.47) and ‘un-educatedness’ (1.52). Broadly speaking, these fndings show that many participants still hold a positive attitude towards dialects, and that they fnd dialects endearing and interesting. Te participants in general agreed that dialects were indivisible from traditional Chinese culture in Singapore. In terms of functionality, they agreed most on dialect use in promoting bonding within the family, but less so for work and job-searching purposes.

Table 11.4 Attitudes towards the functions of dialects Dialect

Overall Cantonese Hainanese Hakka Hokkien Teochew Others

N

116

22

7

9

42

29

7

Dialects will be useful for me when fnding a job. Dialects give me an advantage at work. Dialects help me make more friends. Dialects let me bond better with my family members and relatives.

1.86

2.23

2.29

1.44

1.83

1.69

1.71

2.01

2.00

2.29

1.56

2.10

1.93

2.14

2.28

2.68

2.29

1.33

2.07

2.45

2.71

2.96

3.59

2.14

2.67

2.95

2.76

3.00

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Goh Hock Huan and Lim Tai Wei

Table 11.5 Responses to social stereotypes concerning dialect use Dialect

Overall Cantonese Hainanese Hakka Hokkien Teochew Others

N

116

22

7

9

42

29

7

Dialects are the symbol of a less educated person. Dialects are the symbol of a lower social status. I feel uneasy when hearing or using dialect. Dialects will hinder the learning of Mandarin or English among school children in Singapore.

1.52

1.32

1.71

1.44

1.62

1.52

1.43

1.47

1.32

1.71

1.22

1.64

1.38

1.43

1.25

1.23

1.86

1.11

1.29

1.17

1.00

1.44

1.45

1.43

1.22

1.69

1.17

1.29

Te use of Chinese dialects

Apart from language attitudes, this study also surveyed participants about their use of dialects in three aspects, namely (1) how often they use dialects in various domains; (2) how often they use dialects with their family members, friends and acquaintances; and (3) possible situations and reasons for using dialects. Table 11.6 illustrates the frequency of the participants using dialects in common locations/spaces they visit/engaged daily. On a 5-point Likert scale of frequency,14 the two places where participants use dialects most frequently were at home (2.92) and wet markets (2.80). Other places where they also used dialects were the hawker centres (2.38) and cofee shops (2.33), which are Singaporean ‘heartlander’ locations for food. Conversely, it was reported that dialects were less frequently spoken in food courts (1.77), in the workplace (1.74), in restaurants and cafes (1.49), supermarkets (1.48), and shopping malls (1.33). Table 11.7 shows participants’ use of dialects with family members and common people they encounter in life. On a 5-point Likert scale of frequency,15 participants reported using dialects most often with paternal and maternal grandparents, illustrated by the high frequency indicators of 4.21 and 4.03 respectively. Other than grandparents, dialects are also often used among siblings (3.22), paternal and maternal aunts and uncles (3.11 and 3.00 respectively), and mother (2.91). Dialects were reported to be less frequently used with non-family interlocutors, such as friends (1.84), colleagues (1.71) and neighbours (1.62). Interestingly, survey participants generally reported using their dialects least frequently with their children (1.44) and using dialects slightly more frequently with nephews or nieces (1.84). Table 11.8 illustrates the possible reasons and situations where the participants will be more likely to use their dialects. On a 4-point Likert scale of probability,16 the participants generally stated that they were most likely use dialect to: (1) establish contact with non-family people who speak the dialect

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189

Table 11.6 Frequency of dialect use in various domains Dialect

Overall Cantonese Hainanese Hakka Hokkien Teochew Others

N

116

22

7

9

42

29

7

At home At work At wet market At supermarkets At shopping malls At hawker centre At cofee shops At food courts At restaurants and cafes

2.92 1.74 2.80 1.48 1.33 2.38 2.33 1.77 1.49

3.86 1.85 3.08 1.50 1.38 2.56 2.50 1.94 1.71

1.86 1.80 2.00 1.00 1.20 1.86 2.00 1.60 1.20

3.00 1.83 3.00 1.43 1.33 2.71 2.71 2.00 1.50

2.93 1.93 3.00 1.71 1.52 2.56 2.47 1.93 1.48

2.46 1.50 2.40 1.32 1.13 2.13 2.18 1.52 1.44

2.86 1.50 3.00 1.20 1.20 2.00 1.67 1.40 1.40

Table 11.7 Frequency of dialect use with family members and others Dialect

Overall Cantonese Hainanese Hakka Hokkien Teochew Others

N

116

22

7

9

42

29

7

With father With mother With siblings With spouse With children With paternal grandparents With maternal grandparents With grandchildren With paternal aunts and uncles With maternal aunts and uncles With paternal cousins With maternal cousins With nephew or niece With Chinese friends or classmates With Chinese colleagues With Chinese neighbours Other people

2.18 2.91 3.22 2.49 1.44 4.21

1.88 3.93 4.06 3.13 1.71 4.67

1.40 2.17 3.14 2.50 1.00 5.00

2.00 3.20 2.83 2.57 1.60 5.00

2.43 2.64 3.00 2.68 1.29 4.00

2.13 2.60 2.80 1.78 1.50 3.83

3.00 5.00 4.75 3.00 1.67 -

4.03

4.14

5.00

5.00

3.56

4.00

5.00

1.63 3.11

1.00 4.00

2.33

2.00 5.00

2.00 2.88

1.00 2.71

2.00 -

3.00

3.67

2.67

4.50

2.79

2.75

2.00

2.50 2.36 1.84 1.84

3.17 3.25 2.00 2.16

1.50 1.50 1.00 1.83

4.00 4.00 1.67 1.63

2.63 2.20 2.25 1.82

2.00 2.00 1.42 1.71

1.80

1.71 1.62 1.33

1.79 1.73 1.25

1.40 1.25 1.00

1.57 1.60 -

1.81 1.55 1.67

1.63 1.81 1.50

1.60 1.33 1.00

(2.92); (2) bond with family members and friends (2.86); and (3) gaining advantages for the use of dialects (2.78). Other than these practical uses of spoken dialect, the participants also saw dialect use as a form of identity, but the assertion of this identity was more associated with themselves as a dialect user (2.58) than as a Singaporean (2.09).

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Table 11.8 Reasons for using dialects Dialect

Overall Cantonese Hainanese Hakka Hokkien Teochew Others

N

116

22

7

9

42

29

7

To bond with family members or friends To establish connection with people who speak the dialect, other than family and friends To buy food at hawker centre and food courts To show or gain an advantage of using the dialect (e.g. when travelling to places using the dialect) To identify as Chinese Singaporeans To identify as the dialect speaker Other situations

2.86

3.10

2.43

2.56

2.81

2.86

3.29

2.92

3.23

2.57

2.56

3.05

2.79

2.57

2.38

2.41

2.29

2.33

2.48

2.45

1.57

2.78

2.95

2.86

2.89

2.76

2.66

2.71

2.09

2.09

2.00

2.22

2.14

2.07

1.71

2.58

2.77

2.43

3.00

2.33

2.69

2.57

1.63

1.77

3.20

1.67

1.37

1.29

1.60

In summary, the survey participants’ responses indicated that dialects were more frequently used at home and heartland places such as wet markets, hawker centre and cofee shops, and less used in places that are deemed more fashionable or considered as more ‘classy’, such as shopping malls, restaurants, and cafes. Dialects were also more frequently used by elderly family members such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles within the family clan, and interestingly, dialects were spoken less frequently with immediate family members such as parents and children, except siblings, and the least with non-family members. In other words, the participants in our study reported mainly speaking dialects when communicating with older family members, excluding their parents. As for the reasons or contexts for speaking in dialects, participants generally indicated that they used dialects for bonding, establishing contacts and gaining advantages. Conclusion In multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-racial cosmopolitan Singapore, it is understandable that language use amongst its populace is complex and highly layered. In the earlier sections of this chapter on the historical development and social use of these spoken dialects in Singapore, it has been illustrated that there is a strong dose of pragmatism in the historical evolution of dialect use in Singapore, from identity markers of hometown ties that bind to sub-cultural identifcation with

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191

popular culture. In the late 19th century, pragmatic identifcation through dialect language use was part of community integration through hometown associations that mobilised the collective strengths of its members for mutual support in a strange land. After independence, dialect use was de-emphasised in favour of harnessing unity and collective strength of the entire Chinese community for nation-building eforts. Under such circumstances, eforts by the state to actively eradicate the Chinese ‘dialects’ were largely responsible for their sharply declining use amongst Singaporeans in favour of Mandarin. Ironically, this led to the subsequent decline of Mandarin when English became seen as the most economically valuable global language of trade and commerce. Having undergone these stages of evolution, Chinese dialects in Singapore have been associated with low economic value and an underclass image that impedes ethnic harmony in the social engineering process of promoting Mandarin as the prestigious language for the Chinese community of Singapore. Even with such unfavourable language ecology for the Chinese dialects, they are still retained in certain contexts, for example, they are still used to explain public policies that beneft the elderly Singaporeans, and are used to voice public awareness campaign materials during a health crisis (such as SARS and COVID-19), and spoken at election rallies to canvas support from voters. Overall, these features highlight the sustained pragmatic value of these dialect languages today and, to some extent, relieved the pressure from the dominant hold that Mandarin and English languages exert on ethnic Chinese Singaporean households. However, the earlier-mentioned are just external factors not found in state education that help to facilitate the language ecological structure to become slightly more conducive to accommodate these dialects. What is equally, if not more important, are individually driven internalised factors supporting the retention of the spoken dialect languages within the speakers themselves. Via the preliminary survey examined in this chapter, it can be observed that the overall attitude of the major dialect groups towards dialect use is still positive, as the respondents strongly agreed that their dialect were ‘endearing’ and ‘interesting’, and tend to perceive them in terms of community identity rather than national identity. Tey also dislike the derogatory stereotypes associated with dialect speakers and instead embrace positive views about such speakers. Such positive attitudes towards spoken dialect use would no doubt strengthen dialects’ resistance to attrition. But the survey’s results indicated that the use of dialects is largely confned to one’s home and in Singapore’s heartland districts, often used by the elderly family members. Te parental use of dialects with their children is minimal, and this will probably result in the further decline of dialects amongst subsequent generations of Singaporeans if deliberate measures and efort are not taken to provide space for growth for the use of dialects. Te language policies and Speak Mandarin Campaigns have contributed to the nation’s economic success story, but although the promotion

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of Mandarin has mitigated the absolute ‘westernisation’ of Chinese Singaporeans, and strengthened their ethnic-racial identity, the efects of this do not appear to have been homogenously internalised across all the Chinese community dialect groups. From the survey results, it can be seen that some respondents still view dialects as part of their Chinese identity, which suggests that they may still view dialect use as a sense of belonging related to their sub-ethnic identity. Here it might be argued that this identifcation is not at the expense of identifying themselves as Singaporean in nationality and nation-state identifcation. What the contemporary post-1949 Mandarin language (derived from a northern dialect in China but universalized, simplifed and ideologically adapted in the People’s Republic of China) cannot convey or represent are the cultural values of diferent dialect languages inherited from a pre-1949 historical tradition from ancient China, highlighted in daily customary practices by Soon, Xing and Tong (2018).17 Some of these cultural practices (Chinese New Year greetings/practices and events like hungry ghost festivals), religious rites (Taoism and ancestral worship), and value systems (non-ideological Confucian values like flial piety embedded in maintenance of parents’ bills) are still retained today in Singapore by various elderly dialect groups, in analogous fashion to Hong Kong, Taiwan, which were also overseas Chinese communities that did not undergo a socialist revolution. And it is these vibrant traditional values and cultures from the diferent dialect groups that, when pooled together in terms of culture, religions, and values, form the unique and dynamic Singaporean Chinese heritage which in turn has enhanced the diversity of Singapore’s renowned multicultural social fabric to contribute to the nation’s socioeconomic growth and success. In concluding this chapter, we forecast that Chinese dialects will most likely survive in the current spread of English in the community for another couple of decades, given the presence of middle-aged generations of Singaporeans who still prefer to use and communicate in these languages. In communicating and interacting with these groups of people, dialects use will continue to be relevant for policymakers. However, with younger generations of Singaporeans not schooled in the dialect languages growing up and getting older, the time and space for dialect use are limited. From a national policy formulation point of view, dialects possess little economic value, but their historical and cultural values should not be minimised, as these values form part of the fabric of Singaporean history, and can be curated with some selective revival eforts in the interest of intangible national heritage preservation. Te spirit of sub-ethnic diversity and migrant ties that bind should be passed down between generations in the community and instilled through home eforts wherever individual, community and national resources permit. Te authors therefore hope that this current discussion of this topic, despite its limitations, will contribute usefully to future research on Chinese dialects in the Singapore context.18

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Acknowledgements We would like to acknowledge and express our sincere thanks to the four anonymous reviewers and the series editor for their valuable inputs. We would like to specifcally thank Associate Professor Rita Elaine Silver from National Institute of Education (Singapore) and Associate Professor Ng Bee Chin from Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) for their guidance on the survey and the manuscript. Last but not least, we also thank the book editor, Dr Ritu Jain, and Mr Liu Yanhua for their meticulous editing and suggestions to this chapter. Notes 1 According to the 2010 Census of Population, in terms of the spoken dialect composition, the language most frequently spoken at home by resident population in Singapore aged 5 and over are Hokkien, Cantonese and Teochew (in that order) (Department of Statistics, 2011). 2 Here, some scholars diferentiate between the political use of ‘mother tongue’ in Singapore (referring to the ofcially determined language) from the non-political use (a variety of home use dialect languages). Please refer to Tan (2014) for a critical conceptualisation of ‘mother tongue’ in addition to the government-sanctioned version. 3 Te 1957 census showed that 80 per cent of the Chinese community spoke or understood Hokkien and was the most broadly spoken language in Singapore, along with Malay language in the 1950s and 1960s (Cavallaro & Ng, 2014, p. 34). 4 Tis is a brief introduction and does not pretend to be comprehensive. For a macro analytical coverage of Chinese migration in the Pacifc, refer to Reid and Homerang (2008). For an authoritative work on conceptualisations of Chinese migration, refer to Chow (2018). 5 Te history of Chinese arrivals is outside the purview of this study, but readers can refer to the excavation digs of archaeologist John Miksic and historian Anthony Reid’s seminal works that point to early Chinese arrivals in Sung and Yuan dynasties (Miksic & Goh, 2017). 6 For a more detailed treatment of the complexity of multiculturalism and multilingualism in Singapore, read Song (1968). 7 Spoken Hokkien in Singapore today is not completely the same as Fujianese Hokkien spoken in contemporary China. Most of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) migrants from Fujian province to Singapore in the 1990s are younger and speak Mandarin, therefore, even if they had brought along their own dialect language heritage to Singapore, it is diferent from the Singapore Hokkien dialect variety. Consequently, the intelligibility factors compel the interlocutors to switch to conversing in Mandarin instead. 8 Te tin-miners in Malaysia were mainly from Guangzhou and spoke Cantonese (Lim, 2002). 9 Gambier planting ventures were brought to Singapore by Teochew planters from Riau before Rafes’ arrival in 1819 (Kwa, Kua, & Lim, 2019). 10 For more details on Cantonese traders, please refer to Lim (2002). 11 Some scholarly works argue this is the reason given to the population for them to relinquish their dialect and accept a mutually unintelligible Mandarin – a northern Sino-Tibetan language with Mongolian roots rather than their southern languages with Austronesian roots (see Bolton & Hutton, 2000). 12 For a fuller treatment on this subject matter, see E. Afendras and E. Kuo (1980). For cultural portrayal of Hokkien use in the military, see Teo (2014). For commentaries in

194 13 14 15 16 17

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Singapore military publications on the cultural nexus between Hokkien use and national service, see Ong (2017). Te census of 2010 is referred in this chapter as it is the latest census with detail information on Chinese dialect population. Recent census in 2019 did not provide such information. Te scale defnitions are as follows: 1=Never; 2= Rarely; 3=Sometimes; 4=Often; 5=Always. Te scale defnitions are as follows: 1=Never; 2= Rarely; 3=Sometimes; 4=Often; 5=Always. Te scale defnitions are as follows: 1= Not Likely; 2= Less Likely; 3= More Likely; 4= Most Likely. It is believed that some dialects such as Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese are similar to Middle Chinese or Old Chinese in terms of pronunciation vocabulary and grammar, which are much earlier than contemporary Chinese. For example, the word for 走 (zŏu, ‘to walk’) in contemporary Chinese means ‘to run’ in classical Chinese, and the word 走 in Hokkien, Teochew and Cantonese dialect still denotes this classical meaning of ‘to run’. As such, Chinese dialects may contain diferent and possibly richer culture and meaning that contemporary Chinese or Mandarin might not replace or substitute. Like many similar studies, our study does sufer from a number of limitations that we would like to highlight for future improvement. Although Singapore does not have a long history, compared to many other countries, the historical account on the development of Chinese dialects is somewhat cursory as detailed development of non-major dialects are left out due to limited space. For the same reason, this chapter has not gone into detailed discussion on some dialect-related phenomenon (such as the production of dialect-favoured flms by some young flm directors, the broadcasting of dialect speaking dramas and talk-shows on paid services, and use of dialect in podcast produced by a Singaporean Internet celebrity) which has to some extent redrawn Singapore Chinese’s awareness of their dialects and the related culture. Methodologically, this is a direct study of language attitudes (in contrast to indirect methods like matched guise and verbal guise), and it does not claim to be fully comprehensive in its scope.

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Comber, L. (2009). Te triad: Chinese secret societies in 1950s Malaya & Singapore. Singapore: Talisman & Singapore Heritage Society. Conceicao, J. L. (2016). Cantonese community. Singapore Infopedia. Retrieved from https:// eresources.nlb. gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_1491_2009–03–25.html Department of Statistics. (1990). Census of population 1990: Advance data release. Singapore: SNP Publishers. Department of Statistics. (2011). Census of population 2010 statistical release 1: Demographic characteristics, education, language and religion. Singapore: Department of Statistics, Ministry of Trade and Industry. Retrieved from www.singstat.gov.sg/-/media/fles/publications/ cop2010/census_2010_release1/cop2010sr1.pdf Eagly, A., & Chaiken, S. (1993). Te psychology of attitudes. Orlando: Harcout Bruce. Freedman, M. (1960). Immigrants and associations: Chinese in nineteenth-century Singapore. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 3, 25–48. Goh, C. T. (1991). English version of speech in Mandarin by the Prime Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong. Paper presented at the Launching Ceremony of the 1991 Speak Mandarin Campaign, September 30, 1991. Retrieved from www.languagecouncils.sg/mandarin/en/-/media/smc/ documents/goh-pm-goh-chok-tong_smc-launch-speech_300991.pdf Gopinathan, S. (1979). Singapore’s language policies: Strategies for a plural society. Southeast Asian Afairs, 280–295. Retrieved from www.jstor.org/stable/27908382 Han, F. K., Fernandez, W., & Tan, S. (2015). Lee Kuan Yew: Te man and his ideas. Singapore: Singapore Press Holdings: Times Editions. Ho, S. (2016, September). Vernacular education. Singapore Infopedia. Retrieved from https:// eresources.nlb.gov.sg/infopedia/articles/SIP_2016-10-03_094744.html Hong, J. (2017, March). Keeping the Peranakan language alive. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/singapore/keeping-the-peranakan-language-alive Kwa, C. G., Kua, B. L., & Lim, G. H. (2019). Gambier and early development of Singapore. In C. G. Kwa & K. B. Lin (Eds.), A general history of the Chinese in Singapore (pp. 35–73). Singapore: World Scientifc. Lee, C. L. (2016). Grandmother’s tongue: Decline of Teochew language in Singapore. In Li Wei (Ed.), Multilingualism in the Chinese diaspora worldwide: Transnational connections and local social realities (pp. 196–215). London and New York: Routledge. Lee, H. L. (2019). Speech in Chinese by PM Lee Hsien Loong at the 40th anniversary of the Speak Mandarin Campaign, October 22, 2019. Retrieved from www.pmo.gov.sg/Newsroom/ PM-Lee-Hsien-Loong-at-40th-Anniversary-of-Speak-Mandarin-Campaign Lee, K. Y. (1979). Address by the Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the opeaning ceremony of the ‘promote the use of Mandarin’ Campaign, 7 September 1979. Retrieved from www. languagecouncils.sg/mandarin/en/-/media/smc/documents/goh-pm-lee-kwan-yew_smclaunch-speech_070979.pdf Lee, T. H. (2006). Chinese schools in British Malaya: Policies and politics. Singapore: South Seas Society. Li, L., Tan, C. L., & Goh, H. H. (2016). Home language shift and its implications for Chinese language teaching in Singapore. Cogent Education, 3(1), 1161958. Lim, L. (2009). Beyond fear and loathing in SG: Te real mother tongues and language policies in multilingual Singapore. AILA Review, 22, 52–71. Lim, P. P. H. (2002). Wong Ah Fook: Immigrant, builder and entrepreneur. Malaysia: Universiti Malaya. McKenzie, R. M. (2010). Te study of language attitudes. In R. M. McKenzie (Ed.), Te social psychology of English as a global language: Attitudes, awareness and identity in the Japanese context (pp. 19–39). Dordrecht: Springer.

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Miksic, J. N., & Goh, G. Y. (2017). Ancient Southeast Asia. London and New York: Routledge. Ng, P. C. L. (2017). A study of attitudes of dialect speakers towards the Speak Mandarin Campaign in Singapore. Singapore: Springer. Ong, H. T. (2017, August). Tespian Beng. Pioneer. Retrieved from www.mindef.gov.sg/web/ portal/pioneer/article/regular-article-detail/people/2018-dm/01Aug2017_00546 Pakir, A. (1994). Education and invisible language planning: Te case of English in Singapore. In T. Kandiah & J. Kwan-Terry (Eds.), English and language planning: A Southeast Asian contribution (pp. 158–181). Singapore: Times Academic Press. Reid, A., & Homerang, J. (2008). Introduction: Te Chinese diaspora in the pacifc. In A. Reid (Ed.), Te Chinese diaspora in the pacifc (pp. xv–xxxiii). London and New York: Routledge. Shang, G., & Zhao, S. (2017). Standardising the Chinese language in Singapore: Issues of policy and practice. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 38, 315–329. Sim, C. (2016). Bilingual policy. Singapore Infopedia. Retrieved from https://eresources.nlb. gov.sg/ infopedia/articles/SIP_2016–09–01_093402.html Sim, D., & Seet, K. (2013). Student plays. Singapore: Epigram Books. Song, O. (1968). One hundred years’ history of the Chinese in Singapore. Kuala Lumpur: University Malaya Press. Soon S.-C., Xing, Y. E., & Tong, C. K. (2018). Chinese community and culture in Singapore. In M. Mathews (Ed.), Te Singapore ethnic mosaic: Many cultures, one people (pp. 9–103). Singapore: World Scientifc. Tan, C. (2005). Te linguistic pragmatism of Mandarin in Singapore. Journal of Asia TEFL, 2(3), 1–22. Tan, G., Yeo, G., & Ng, C. (2018). An introduction to the culture and history of the Teochews in Singapore. Singapore: World Scientifc Publishing. Tan, S. (2005). Ngee Ann Kongsi: Into the next millennium. Singapore: Ngee Ann Kongsi. Tan, Y-Y. (2014). English as a ‘mother tongue’ in Singapore. World Englishes, 33, 319–339. Tang, C., & van Heuven, V. (2009). Mutual intelligibility of Chinese dialects experimentally tested. Lingua, 119, 709–732. Teo, S. (2014, May). State of the arts: Government, national identity, and the arts in Singapore. University of Pennsylvania Scholarly Commons, 106–107. Retrieved from https:// repository.upenn.edu/cgi/ viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=uhf_2014 Tulaja, N. R. (2016). Chinese coolies. Singapore Infopedia. Retrieved from https://eresources. nlb.gov.sg/ infopedia/articles/SIP_87_2004–12–15.html Tremewan, C. (1994). Te political economy of social control in Singapore. New York: St. Martin’s Press. Wee, L. (2009). ‘Burdens’ and ‘handicaps’ in Singapore’s language policy: On the limits of language management. Language Policy, 9, 97–114. Yan, M. M. (2006). Introduction to Chinese dialectology. München: LINCOM. Yong, C. Y. (2016). Hokkien-Teochew riots (1854). Infopedia. Retrieved from https://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/ infopedia/articles/SIP_104_2005–01–25.html Zhao, S., & Liu, Y. (2010). Chinese education in Singapore: Constraints of bilingual policy from the perspectives of status and prestige planning. Language Problems & Language Planning, 34, 236–258.

12 Unpacking ‘multilingualism’ Filipinos in Singapore Ruanni Tupas

Introduction If there is one point about language which studies of multilingualism in public spaces (or Linguistic Landscape [LL]) have increasingly demonstrated, it is that language is both practice (Spolsky & Shohamy, 1999) and semiotic resource (Jaworski & Turlow, 2010). Tus, the study of the presence and absence of languages in public signage points to multilingualism as repositories and producers of meanings, ideologies and practices which, consequently, afrm, destabilise and/or transform relationships between speakers and groups of speakers. Of course, the notion of language as practice and meaning-potential has been strongly put forward in linguistics for at least six decades now (Halliday, 1973; Pennycook, 2010), thus resulting in views of language which do not simply look at it in terms of communicative/informative functions or what Barthes (1977) refers to as ‘language proper’ which aims to map out linguistic meaning and the rules that govern its production. Language is also completely saturated with non-linguistic representations operating in a second-level system of signifcation (Barthes, 1977). Tese second-order signifers are constitutive of ‘a language’ by itself (p. 30), with these signifers becoming meaningful and efective in specifc contexts and conditions of language use or practice which we refer to later as language regimes (Liu, 2015). In this sense, language as a system of signs is both functional and semiotic in nature (Ivković, 2015), operating within contextbound language regimes constituted by meaning-making rules and practices of language use. Tus, multilingualism does not only refer to ‘languages proper’ alone but also to second-order multi signifers which form situated logics of meaning, ideology and social relations if located and practised within larger contexts of signifcation (for example, the political economy of globalisation and ideologies of state rule). However, the use of the verb ‘form’ in the preceding sentence also means that such signifers inscribed in and underlying LL do not simply refect but also actively constitute spaces and shape people who inhabit such spaces. LL and people are integrated into one system of meaning, ideology and social relations (Pennycook, 2008; Tupas, 2015). Situated

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logics of everyday life (specifcally referring to concerns in this paper) are coconstructed by LL and people within specifc confgurations of space. Given such framing of LL, this paper examines the multilingualism – second-level signifers of language use – of Lucky Plaza in Singapore. It is a shopping mall located along Singapore’s prestigious Orchard Road, popular for its wide range of products at afordable prices, frequented by Filipinos, in noticeably larger numbers on Sundays. Representative signs are used for critical refections in this paper drawn from signs captured between June 2018 and January 2019 during regular weekend visits to Lucky Plaza. Tus, instead of counting signs in terms of languages used or giving a sociolinguistic profle of Filipino speakers (currently not possible because there are no accurate data available in this regard from Singapore or Philippine sources), this paper seeks to locate such public signs in contexts of overlapping language regimes – because Filipinos who reside in Singapore are also continuously shaped by structures of relations which they bring along with them from the Philippines – in order to gain a broader understanding of Filipinos in Singapore and the conditions that defne them as ‘workers of the world’ (Lorente, 2012). Secondary sources are used to help frame the contours of inequalities of multilingualism among this group within which multilingual signs in Lucky Plaza circulate. In the end, confguring the situated logic of meaning, ideology and social relations of multilingual use in Lucky Plaza throws into light the complex texture of multilingualism in Singapore which continues to be narrowly seen in terms of state-sanctioned quadrilingualism in English and the three ofcial ‘mother tongues’ (Mandarin Chinese, Malay and Tamil) (Silver & Bockhorst-Heng, 2016). If we want a more accurate accounting of multilingualism in Singapore, we also need to explore the meanings, ideologies and practices of those in Singapore who have been rendered invisible by dominant discourses of multilingualism. In other words, there is more to multilingualism in Singapore other than the dynamics of English vis-à-vis the ofcial ‘mother tongues’ and the relations between these languages and other minoritized languages. In fact, our expanded view of multilingualism constituted by meanings, ideologies and practices associated with particular groups of people, allows us to explore classed and racialised spaces of marginality framed broadly within conditions of capitalist globalisation. Such discursive spaces are largely erased or hidden from ofcial/statist and mainstream lenses of multilingualism. In a nutshell, this paper shows that Filipinos in Singapore (1) inhabit sites of racialised and classed spaces, with Lucky Plaza as an exemplar site, and (2) are deeply imbricated in conditions of capitalist globalisation where they constitute a space which, generally speaking, makes them function as ‘servants of globalization’ (Parreñas, 2001). Te LL of Lucky Plaza and Filipinos co-construct and operationalise the situated logic of multilingual use of the place, thus revealing the multilayered othering of Filipinos in Singapore concerning their invisibilization within state-defned multilingualism, their mobilisation

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as servants of globalisation and their diferentiation within the community due to class diferences. Filipinos in Singapore Contemporary Filipino migration to Singapore began with the introduction of the Foreign Maid Scheme in 1978 which allowed for the employment of female domestic workers from the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Tailand. It is not the focus of the paper to elaborate on the history of Filipino migration to Singapore, but what needs to be highlighted is the fact that historically, Filipino workers in Singapore have been largely composed of domestic workers who are not covered by Singapore’s labor laws and by minimum wage requirements, as well as subjected to restrictive migration policy (Ogaya, 2004, p. 386), positioning them socially as a disadvantaged group in society (Lorente, 2012). Although more Filipino ‘professionals’ like nurses, bankers, teachers and engineers have gradually increased in numbers in the past twenty years, overtaking the number of domestic workers (Liao, 2019, p. 216), in general Filipinos are recognised as ‘others’ in ofcial ethnically framed statistics, Tey are, in other words, a doubly minoritized group in Singapore, not counted as among the state-recognised minoritized groups and one of the culturally othered groups in the country. Even their national language, Filipino, does not have any kind of ofcial recognition, with the schools ofering Southeast Asian languages such as Tai and Burmese to Tai and Burmese students respectively in lieu of the ofcial ‘mother tongues’, but not Tagalog for students with Filipino parentage (Ministry of Education, 2019). Tere are no reliable sources which provide an accurate number of Filipinos residing in Singapore. Total population in Singapore in 2017 stood at 5,612,000, but only 3,965,800 are considered residents (generally citizens and permanent residents) (Statistics Singapore, 2018). Among the resident population, only 3.2 per cent or around 126,000 belong to ethnic groups other than the three major ones – Chinese, Malay and Indian. Filipino residents would belong to this ‘Other’ group of residents in Singapore. In the General Household Survey of 2015, ofcial statistics showed that there were 126,808 residents belonging to this group, including 34,058 Filipinos or 27 per cent of the total number (Statistics Singapore, 2015). However, this does not give a clear picture of Filipinos in Singapore. Tere were also in 2017 around 1,646,500 non-residents of Singapore (around 30 per cent of the total population) (Statistics Singapore, 2018). Temporary Filipino workers in Singapore (both ‘skilled’ and ‘unskilled’, according to ofcial categorisation) would belong to this category, although there are no accurate estimates of the number of Filipinos in this category. According to the Ministry of Manpower (2019), the total foreign workforce in Singapore as at December 2018 was around 1.386 million, 8 per cent (roughly 253,800) of whom are Foreign Domestic Workers.

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According to ofcial data from the Philippines, there are around 123,967 Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) in Singapore, or roughly 5 per cent of 2,339,000 OFWs deployed around the world (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2017). Tis is not a straightforward number, however. Tis does not include some Filipino workers who were directly hired by overseas employers and companies, and thus have not gone through the standard ofcial process of deployment as stipulated by the Philippine government. Tese direct hires (at least in the context of Singapore) are difcult to account for because they either have taken on non-resident status in Singapore as temporary workers, have applied for Permanent Residency or, for a much smaller group, have taken on Singapore citizenship. Tere are also Filipino students in Singapore whose number has not been accurately determined. Tus, a conservative estimate of Filipinos in Singapore would be roughly around 150,000, if we add up the number of residents (see earlier) and the number of OFWs taken from the Philippine data as well, but it is not farfetched to guess that it could be as high as 180,000, the number provided in a report quoting a Filipino diplomat (Torres, 2017). If we go by the general trend in distribution of OFWs according to their regions of origin in the Philippines, where at least 42 per cent of all OFWs come from Tagalog-speaking cities and provinces (Philippine Statistics Authority, 2017), we can thus also broadly assume that a large number of Filipinos in Singapore speak Tagalog as their frst language. Tere are also sizable groups of speakers of Ilocano, Ilonggo and Bisaya (three of the major languages in the Philippines), although we should also assume that they speak Tagalog as well (or Filipino if one refers to Tagalog as the national language). Around 70,000 of Filipinos in Singapore are domestic helpers (Seow, 2015), or roughly 40 per cent of all working Filipinos in the country (Torres, 2017). Te rest work in ‘professional’ contexts, although they too are holders of work passes diferentiated according to salaries received (Ministry of Manpower, 2019). Although the demographic information provided thus far is tentative, we get a broad picture: they are largely Tagalog-speaking but are diferentiated according to type of work with corresponding salary ranges. Tis information is important to note as we discuss the saliency of class-based language practices and signifers in the ‘multilingual’ world of Filipinos in Singapore. Tis information also complicates how we view Filipinos as a ‘community’ in Singapore. In terms of their position of linguistic marginality, it is inadequate or problematic to frame them in terms of tropes and lenses dominant in language research in the country, such as whether or not Filipinos in general demonstrate apathy towards the learning of the national language, Filipino, or their respective regional or vernacular languages, or whether or not there are sustained community initiatives to encourage the learning of Philippine languages. At present, there are indeed no such sustained initiatives even in the teaching and learning of the national language (Xu, 2017) and even in school as mentioned earlier, Filipino is not one of the languages ofered as a substitute subject in case a Filipino child is exempted from learning the

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ofcial ‘mother tongues’ of Singapore (Ministry of Education, 2019). Nevertheless, it is insufcient to locate Filipinos’ linguistic marginality within questions about language maintenance and shift, thus this paper’s push towards framing it within discourses and ideologies underlying the use of languages. Framing inequalities of multilingualism among Filipinos in Singapore In this section, we discuss that Filipinos’ engagement with multilingualism in Singapore happens within racialised and classed spaces which increasingly have also been saturated with discourses and practices associated with capitalist globalisation. Tese multiple conditions explain the dynamics of multilingualism which impacts Filipinos – and groups of them – diferently and unequally. Tus, Filipinos’ linguistic marginality in Singapore can be viewed through their multilayered Otheredness in the country – being invisibilized by the state’s ofcial version of multilingualism, being framed and mobilised as ‘servants’ of globalisation, and being class-diferentiated internally within the community. Filipinos in a racialised and classed multilingual space

In a research study on Filipino migrant domestic workers in Singapore and how they renegotiate and, in fact, redefne, understandings of cosmopolitanism, Yeoh and Soco (2014) detail some domestic workers’ resentment towards so-called ‘high-rank’ (p. 180) Filipinos in Singapore because according to them, the latter look down on them and make conscious eforts to distance themselves from Filipino domestic helpers. As one interviewee asserts, ‘it’s really a question to me why they feel they are above us’ (p. 180). According to Yeoh and Soco, this is ‘indicative of the transnational shame felt by higher status Filipinos who are anxious to distance themselves from the stigma of being a maid (or worse still, being mistaken for a maid)’ (p. 180). Yet, according to another interviewee, there is really no reason for discrimination because ‘we are all servants . . . here. Some are servants in corporations, some in the household’ (p. 180). Let us unpack these statements in more detail because they help us frame our understanding of multilingualism in Lucky Plaza. First, these statements must be understood within the changing political and economic climate in Singapore. In the 1990s, much of the research on Filipinos in Singapore not only focuses on Filipino domestic helpers, but on racialised contestations of spaces which these Filipinos inhabit. For example, Lucky Plaza or what many refer to as ‘Little Manila’ was a hugely racialised space – both semiotically and ideologically. While there was then already a recognition of Lucky Plaza as a place of comfort and familiarity among Filipinos who would be seen and heard ‘chatting unrestrainedly in Tagalog, Taglish (a hybrid of Tagalog and English) or some other provincial tongue’ (Yeoh & Huang, 1998, p. 598), racialised discourses against the domestic workers and

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other more spatialised forms of segregation pretty much defned the politics of space and identity in Lucky Plaza. Anti-littering leafets were written in Tagalog and then distributed among workers, and those caught transgressing were required to attend a counselling session with a video clip about the need to maintain cleanliness in Singapore. Certain areas were cordoned of in order to separate the domestic helpers from tourists and other local shoppers. Many were opposed to opening up the public space for foreign workers, including Filipina domestic workers, discursively representing such places as ‘physically and socially polluted landscapes’ (Yeoh & Huang, 1998, p. 593), complaining about the ‘crowds’, the ‘crush’, the ‘human barricades’, ‘the hordes of maids milling around, the ‘noise’ and the ‘litter’ (Straits Times, in Yeoh & Huang, 1998, p. 593). In the past decade or so, however, a diferent confguration of contestation and redefnition of Lucky Plaza as a highly politicised and semioticized space has emerged. In the recent work of Yeoh and her team (Yeoh & Soco, 2014), the everyday discourses and practices of Filipino domestic helpers now feature prominently class-based cosmopolitan aspirations, although not in ways that are aligned with the Singapore state’s defnition of what it means to be cosmopolitan living in a cosmopolitan city. Such aspirations make them what Cliford (1992) refers to as subaltern cosmopolitans (p. 174), or ‘mobile-butnot-free’ working class cosmopolitan workers (Yeoh & Soco, 2014, p. 173), engaged in redemptive and resistive practices while also continuously structured by conditions of unfreedom and inequalities in power distribution. What is even more salient are class-shaped diferentiating practices and discourses of Filipino workers in Singapore. Filipino domestic workers resent what they believe are discriminatory remarks and other forms of segregation from their fellow Filipino workers who are, unlike them, professionals in the country. According to Yeoh and Soco (2014): Class aspirations appear to structure motivations and fracture sociality rather than race or nationality divides. Being snubbed by fellow nationals cuts deeper than anything else and appears to be uppermost in the consciousness of Filipino domestic workers as the unforgivable insult. (Yeoh & Soco, 2014, p. 183) Such feelings (or experiences) of discrimination are not unfounded as other research on Filipino workers in Singapore also accounts for how other groups of Filipino workers, especially those in similarly feminised professions such as care giving and nursing, make conscious attempts to avoid Lucky Plaza, especially on Sundays, because they do not want to be mistaken as Filipino maids (Amrith, 2010). Tese health professionals take pains in discursively describing ‘care’ as the central focus of their work as not just being caregivers; they also position themselves as professionals and refuse to be stereotyped as Filipinos who do work as ‘unskilled’ workers (Amrith, 2010, 2013). Te saliency of intra-national class discourses and practices does not in any way obliterate

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the overlapping presence of class, race, nationality and gender as the governing mechanisms of many Filipino workers’ experiences in Singapore. What it means is that the confgurations of discursive geographies of Filipinos in Singapore have changed, having been shaped by and, at the same time, shaping political, economic and sociocultural national and international landscapes. Filipinos and the political economy of globalisation

From the class-driven discourses of Filipino domestic workers, we also still see yet another layer of structural and discursive mechanisms operating in the everyday lives of Filipinos in Singapore. Te notion that ‘all Filipinos are servants of one sort of another’ may be taken as Filipino domestic workers’ aspirational (or perhaps resistive) projections of themselves as ‘equal’ with those other Filipinos who believe that they are ‘high-rank’ workers, but this ideological stance does resonate quite powerfully if viewed from the lens of the political economy of globalisation. Te Philippines is an active participant in the globalisation game, especially in helping facilitate the reconfguration of newer mechanisms and infrastructures of capital accumulation, but its role is primarily not as the main or major driver of globalisation per se, but as producer of (mainly cheap) human labour for other countries and transnational corporations. Tis has led Parreñas (2001) to describe the Philippines’ and Filipinos’ place in this game as being ‘servants of globalization’; Lorente (2012) calls them ‘the workers of the world’. Tus, the political economy of globalisation helps us locate the intra-national class-formed group diferences among Filipino workers in Singapore within the larger structuring conditions of capitalist globalisation, thus providing us with a complex picture of multilayered structures and mechanisms of inequality within which Filipinos work and negotiate their lives in Singapore. Singaporean Sociologist Tan Ern Ser, for example, remarks that when Filipinos in the country were mostly domestic workers, ‘they posed less of a threat, since they were in jobs which were less attractive to locals. But in recent years, they may be perceived as competitors for jobs in sales, services, or professions that Singaporeans would take up but preferably at higher wage levels, consistent with their aspirations’ (Wong, 2014). What all this tells us is that when we speak of language regimes in terms of what Liu (2015) refers to as ‘the rules that delineate which languages can be used when and where’ (p. 4), and that ‘by recognizing one language (or one set of languages) over all other languages’ (p. 13), language regimes ‘institutionalize the distribution of linguistic power’, we speak of Filipinos operating within overlapping language regimes as constituted by and constituting inequalities of multilingualism embedded within what Lee and LiPuma (2002) refer to as ‘cultures of circulation’. In a place like Lucky Plaza, which many scholars describe as the intersection of Singapore and the Philippines, where movements and mobilities of people, goods and other products are the key defning features of everyday work and practices, the use of languages happens

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on unequal social and ideological platforms and that it operates within a culture of circulation where practices of evaluation, constraint and regulation, and identity (re)formation emerge with movements of the workers and exchanges of value. Multilingualism or linguistic diversity in this sense is not simply the distribution of languages; it is, in fact, the hierarchisation of languages. As mentioned at the start of the paper where we refer to second-order signifers of language, multilingualism is above all situated logics of unequally distributed cultural signifers, practices and social relations. Second-order signifers of multilingual practice in Lucky Plaza Cultural insertions in English-dominated signs

As in most all public spaces in Singapore, English overwhelmingly dominates the linguistic landscape of Lucky Plaza, thus it is through this language that enunciation of identities is performed. Tagalog also appears in the same landscape but is much less pervasive and is generally limited to short culturally specifc and iconic phrases. But while this prototypical multilingual experience shares similarities with ‘multilingual’ Singapore where English is also the most dominant and pervasive language, Filipinos’ multilingual habitus is diferent and is invisible to ofcial state multilingualism. In Figure 12.1, there is an insertion of the word ‘Hulugan’ in an English-dominated sign, a word which refers to the Filipino cultural practice of purchasing products on an instalment basis. Te use of this culturally meaningful Tagalog word is marked usage in the sign because it demarcates its intended audience who are Filipinos, especially those whose purchasing power is low. Filipinos have at least 183 languages in their combined repertoire as a people (Eberhard, Simons, & Fennig, 2019) but only English dominates the LL of Lucky Plaza. Te use of Tagalog, however, while very limited in use is signifcant in terms of second-order signifcation in that it aims to mobilise particular voices and identities in an English-dominated LL. In the case of the sign in question, Hulugan is a culturally marked insertion which summons Filipinos to engage in such a culturally familiar economic practice. It is through insertions such as this one that cultural signifers fnd their way into the English-dominated space of Lucky Plaza. Other examples are not only names of Filipino food, delicacies, and well-known places, but also culturally defning practices and indigenised concepts such as ukay-ukay. It refers broadly to a thriving and popular Filipino activity of ‘digging up’ (ukay) second-hand, thus, cheap clothes and other products, many of which are branded items which otherwise would have remained out of reach to ‘ordinary’ Filipinos (Locsin, 2007). It thrives as a cultural practice because in the Philippines ‘so much importance is placed on social rank and its physical and behavioral manifestation’ (p. 379). It is these indigenous words or ‘local’ words which fnd their way into the LL of Lucky Plaza, although it must be

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Figure 12.1 An English-dominated sign at Lucky Plaza, Singapore Source: Reproduced with permission from Ritu Jain

highlighted again that they are carried through by Tagalog more than any other Philippine language. What these cultural insertions tell us is that dominance of English and, to a much less extent, Tagalog, consolidates the overlapping language regimes which shape Lucky Plaza’s linguistic landscape as well as regulate Filipinos’ language use within that space. English, as one of the ofcial languages in Singapore and the Philippines, carries the greatest material and symbolic power among all other languages in the collective linguistic repertoire of Filipinos. Even among those who aim to let their children learn Tagalog at home in Singapore believe that it is a ‘losing battle’ because of extremely limited opportunities for young children to learn the language in Singapore outside the home domain (Wong, 2014). Tus, the overwhelming use of English in the linguistic landscape of Lucky Plaza is understandable. Tagalog, which functions as the main transactional language especially on the second, third and fourth foors of Lucky Plaza where most shops cater to Filipinos, is the lingua franca among Filipinos today. It is referred to

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ofcially as ‘Filipino’, the designated national language of the Philippines but whose historical trajectory as such goes back to American colonial and immediate postcolonial days when ‘Tagalog’ as the national language was ‘de-ethnicized’ by calling it Pilipino, and now Filipino, to discursively hide the ethnolinguistic origins of the national language. Vis-à-vis all other Philippine languages, Tagalog has served and continues to serve as a hegemonic language but, vis-à-vis English, Tagalog remains the much less valued language. Tis explains essentially the overwhelming presence of English in the linguistic landscape of Lucky Plaza, the limited symbolic and iconic use of Tagalog, and practically minimal use of other Philippine languages. Te cultural insertions in – and also through – Tagalog serve multiple secondorder signifers: on the one hand, they serve as markers of ‘Filipino’ culture, thus puncturing the dominating presence of English in the LL but, on the other hand, they also serve as homogenising identity markers which collapse being ‘Filipino’ with Tagalog, the national language. Tis is a confguration of multilingualism which is absent from the national cultural imagination of ‘cosmopolitan’ Singapore. Filipinos as servants of globalisation through ‘market English’ in signs

Te second but related important point to make if one aims to examine language use in the Lucky Plaza of today is to locate one’s lens within the Filipino workers’ general positioning in the global market. While English is overwhelmingly deployed in Lucky Plaza, it is a certain kind of English which positions workers as commodifable bodies, cosmopolitan consumers, or economic or pragmatic subjects who not only send money home but also keep the Philippine economy afoat. Tere is much literature on subaltern workers’ tactics of resistance against formidable unequal structures of power – for example, how some Filipino domestic helpers use English to exercise their power (although a temporary one) over their employers who may not be very profcient in English, or how they mock their employers’ Singlish (Lorente, 2007) – but what we see in English in Lucky Plaza is diferent from such tactical use of English. What is deployed is English that has brought them to Singapore from the Philippines in the frst place to become what Lorente (2012) again calls the ‘workers of the world’, or ‘servants of globalization’ (Parreñas, 2001). Figure 12.2 shows an example of how ‘English’ is oriented towards the skilling and making of Filipino bodies to serve the demands of globalisation. In Lucky Plaza, there are training centres which reach out to Filipinos through a language which invites them to upgrade themselves in particular skill sets which can make them more competitive in the global labour market. While the overlapping language regimes set ‘rules’ of which language(s) to use when and where, there is no adequate understanding of such rules if we limit ourselves simply to making an accounting of the presence or

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Figure 12.2 A market English sign at Lucky Plaza, Singapore Source: Reproduced with permission from Ritu Jain

absence of languages in our linguistic landscape or linguistic repertoire. In the specifc case of English in Lucky Plaza, the circulating practices and signifers implicate the practice of harnessing Filipino workers as bodies which are marketable, desirable, and fexible (from the point of view of labour), as well as economically viable (in terms of their potential to remit money to families back in the Philippines and, as mentioned earlier, their role in keeping the economy afoat). In essence, such a commodifying of English positions Filipino workers in a particular way. Tis is the way that, according to Narkunas (2005, p. 29) is aligned with the capitalist agenda of globalisation where the learning of English – couched as desirable and for personal gains – does not indicate ‘a particular confguration of power in an

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international order of nation states, but rather a moral or ethical obligation of human subjects to sublate themselves into the global market, or . . . to consent to the “right” attitude’ (p. 29). In other words, the overwhelming use of English is, in fact, using Narkunas’ terminology, the use of ‘market English’. It does not merely communicate ideologies associated with it, but also governs the commodifed bodies’ practices and behaviours (see Tupas, 2001, for an earlier study of English language learning and teaching among Filipino domestic workers). Te use of Taglish in signs sustains class divisions

Te third, and for this paper the last, important point to make concerns confgurations of second-order signifers of language use in the light of the fact that cultures of circulation are cultures and signifers of mobilities and movements. Tus, they generate overlapping uses of language(s). Curiously, the linguistic landscape of Lucky Plaza, as already mentioned earlier, is overwhelmingly English, and if Tagalog appears with it, it appears separately as translations of the English text or, it takes the forms of cultural insertions of a word or two into English. By and large, except for some iconic uses of Tagalog words of food and other cultural practices, we see both English and Tagalog separately organised or presented. However, there are increasingly ‘other’ forms of language use such as advertisements or instructions in Taglish – the use of both Taglish and English in communication. Tese are examples of translanguaging practices (Gorter & Cenoz, 2015) where a combination of named languages constitute particular linguistic repertoires and which function as one whole meaningful discourse (García, Johnson, Seltzer, & Valdés, 2017). In Figure 12.3, we see a sign that precisely showcases the use of Taglish throughout the text, as exemplifed by its most prominent line, Magpadala saan man sa Pinas (Tagalog for ‘Send anywhere in the Philippines’) and with LBC Kabayan Deal (English). It is an advertisement by one of the most established airfreight companies which holds ofce in Lucky Plaza, with an international network wider than most of other similar companies in the building, with a remittance arm which goes along with its airfreight services. But what can be observed thus far is that such mixing practices are identifed with particular groups of Filipino speakers – those who have had some good, quality education, from urban Manila or have been educated in a university in Manila. In some Filipino scholars’ research into the use of Taglish, it was found that working class Tagalogspeaking Filipinos generally do not resort to Taglish (Go & Gustilo, 2013). Tagalog remains their mother tongue as well as their language of choice when interacting with others. In fact, attitudes towards Taglish are class-shaped as well. It is associated with being ‘class’ or coño (‘coming from private, exclusive schools’), but it also functions as an aspirational repertoire for some who wish to be associated with being educated, class and urban – not promdi, meaning ‘not from the province’. Texts that draw on Taglish, thus, communicate with a

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Figure 12.3 A Taglish sign at Lucky Plaza, Singapore Source: Reproduced with permission from Ritu Jain

particular group of Filipino workers, those who, the domestic helpers believe (rightly or wrongly) are ‘high-class’ and who (again rightly or wrongly) look down on them. In this sense, the deployment of Taglish in the linguistic landscape of Lucky Plaza as part of the culture of circulation among Filipinos in Singapore cannot simply be described as hybrid linguistic manifestations of movements and mobilities of people and products with languages accruing to them. More accurately, we see them emerging as language practices which, at least in their present form, close of or perpetuate intra-national class-based social divisions.

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Conclusion Tere are three core patterns of signifers and uses of languages in the linguistic landscape in Lucky Plaza which, consequently, reveal important facets of Filipinos’ embeddedness in overlapping language regimes in Singapore. Tese are: • • •

Te limited use of Tagalog in signs mobilises cultural insertions into English-dominated signs and spaces. A particular kind of English – market English – is prevalent in Lucky Plaza, signifying and perpetuating Filipinos’ generally peripheral position in the global game of capital accumulation in today’s globalisation. Taglish as translingual practice continues to signify class-based diferences among Filipinos in Singapore.

What do these things mean to conversations about multilingualism in Singapore? Speaking about a large pool of migrant workers in Singapore, Yeoh and Soco (2014) argue that: ‘Forgetting’ the large majority of migrant others in the cosmopolis is not a benignly accidental or ignorant act but a ‘structural necessity’ to render them invisible and transient, as somehow less-than-workers and certainly far from being legitimate social and political subjects of the cosmopolitan nation. (Yeoh & Soco, 2014, p. 182) Examining ‘multilingual Singapore’ renders some languages, language practices, ideologies and signifers visible and invisible. Filipinos’ multilingual experiences in Singapore fall outside the ofcial defnition of what ofcially constitutes multilingualism in Singapore. Tus, similarly, the invisibilization of these experiences is not incidental or ignorant acts but, rather, strategic ways to forge forward particular visions of nation-building while marginalising others. Te reality is that there are othered languages/multilingualisms/systems of signifers and practices in Singapore which are negotiated and which disrupt dominant discourses on language, culture and global citizenship. Class-based identities and practices through a diferent confguration of languages (English plus Tagalog, not English and a ‘mother tongue’ such as Mandarin Chinese, Malay or Tamil) is an everyday reality in ‘multilingual’ Singapore within ethnic groups. Market English – not English per se – places particular groups of speakers in positions of weakness, defying ofcial discourse on English as culturally and economically empowering. Overall, thus, inequalities of multilingualism among Filipinos are generated inter-ethnically (Filipinos vis-à-vis dominant, visibilized groups in Singapore) and intra-ethnically (between Filipinos of diferent socioeconomic standings). Filipinos contend with multiple layers of Otheredness in Singapore, where they are invisibilized in a society which frames multilingualism in terms of the state’s ofcial discourses and

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the dominant national cultural practices of use of English and the ‘mother tongues’; where they are collectively and discursively mobilised as servants of globalisation but where they are also diferentiated internally through classbased mobilisation of languages and language practices. Singapore is described as a highly globalised nation, open to movements and mobilities of people, cultures and technologies. But how ‘globalised’ and ‘open’ is our understanding of ‘multilingualism’ in Singapore? And: to what extent can we accommodate or include the language experiences, practices and signifying systems of those who – through various infrastructures of exclusion – nevertheless participate in the construction of Singapore as a globalised, cosmopolitan nation? References Amrith, M. (2010). ‘Tey think we are just caregivers’: Te ambivalence of care in the lives of Filipino medical workers in Singapore. Te Asia Pacifc Journal of Anthropology, 11, 410–427. Amrith, M. (2013). Encountering Asia: Narratives of Filipino medical workers on caring for other Asians. Critical Asian Studies, 45, 231–254. Barthes, R. (1977). Elements of semiology. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Cliford, J. (1992). Travelling cultures. In L. Grossberg, C. Nelson, & P. Treichler (Eds.), Cultural studies (pp. 96–111). London: Routledge. Eberhard, D. M., Simons, G. F., & Fennig, C. D. (Eds.). (2019). Ethnologue: Languages of the world (22nd ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International. Retrieved from www.ethnologue.com/ country/PH García, O., Johnson, S. I., Seltzer, K., & Valdés, G. (2017). Te translanguaging classroom: Leveraging student bilingualism for learning. Philadelphia, PA: Caslon. Go, M. A., & Gustilo, L. (2013). Tagalog or Taglish: Te lingua franca of Filipino urban factory workers. Philippine ESL Journal, 10, 57–87. Gorter, D., & Cenoz, J. (2015). Translanguaging and linguistic landscapes. Linguistic Landscape, 1, 54–74. Halliday, M. A. K. (1973). Explorations in the functions of language. London: Edward Arnold. Ivković, D. (2015). Towards a semiotics of multilingualism. Semiotica, 2015, 89–126. Jaworski, A., & Turlow, C. (Eds.). (2010). Semiotic landscapes: Language, image, space. London and New York: Continuum. Lee, B., & LiPuma, E. (2002). Cultures of circulation. Public Culture, 14, 191–213. Liao, K. A. S. (2019). Mobile practices and the production of professionals on the move: Filipino highly skilled migrants in Singapore. Geoforum, 106, 214–222. Liu, A. H. (2015). Standardizing diversity: Te political economy of language regimes. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Locsin, M. R. (2007). Fashioning a culture through Baguio City’s ukay-ukay. In Conference proceedings of inter: A European cultural studies: Conference in Sweden, 11–13 June 2007 (pp. 371–379). Linköping, Sweden: Linköping University Electronic Press. Lorente, B. P. (2007). Mapping English linguistic capital: Te case of Filipino domestic workers in Singapore (PhD thesis). National University of Singapore, Singapore. Lorente, B. P. (2012). Te making of ‘workers of the world’: Language and the labor brokerage state. In A. Duchene & M. Heller (Eds.), Language in late capitalism (pp. 193–216). London and New York: Routledge.

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Ministry of Education. (2019). Exemption from taking a mother tongue language. Retrieved from https://beta.moe.gov.sg/primary/curriculum/mother-tongue-languages/exemption/ Ministry of Manpower. (2019). Foreign workforce number. Retrieved from www.mom.gov.sg/ documents-and-publications/foreign-workforce-numbers Narkunas, J. P. (2005). Capital fows through language: Market English, biopower, and the world bank. Teoria, 52, 28–55. Ogaya, C. (2004). Filipino domestic workers and the creation of new subjectivities. Asian and Pacifc Migration Journal, 13, 381–404. Parreñas, R. S (2001). Servants of globalization: Women, migration and domestic service. Stanford, CA: Stanford University. Pennycook, A. (2008). Linguistic landscapes and the transgressive semiotics of grafti. In E. Shohamy & D. Gorter (Eds.), Linguistic landscape: Expanding the scenery (pp. 342–352). London and New York: Routledge. Pennycook, A. (2010). Language as a local practice. London: Routledge. Philippine Statistics Authority. (2017). Statistical tables on overseas Filipino workers. Retrieved from https://psa.gov.ph/content/statistical-tables-overseas-flipino-workers-ofw-2017 Seow, J. (2015, December 30). Philippine embassy tightens maid supply. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/singapore/philippine-embassy-tightens-maid-supply Silver, R., & Bockhorst-Heng, W. (2016). Quadrilingual education in Singapore. Singapore: Springer. Spolsky, B., & Shohamy, E. G. (1999). Te languages of Israel: Policy, ideology, and practice. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Statistics Singapore. (2015). General household survey. Singapore: Department of Statistics Singapore. Retrieved from www.singstat.gov.sg//media/fles/publications/ghs/ghs2015/ ghs2015.pdf Statistics Singapore. (2018). Singapore in fgures. Singapore: Department of Statistics Singapore. Retrieved from www.singstat.gov.sg/-/media/fles/publications/reference/sif2018.pdf Torres, S. A. (2017, September 21). Tousands of jobs await Pinoy professionals in Singapore: PH envoy. ABS-CBN. Retrieved from https://news.abscbn.com/overseas/09/21/17/ thousands-of-jobs-await-pinoy-professionalsin-singapore-ph-envoy Tupas, R. (2001). Linguistic imperialism in the Philippines: Refections of an English language teacher of Filipino overseas workers. Te Asia-Pacifc Education Researcher, 10, 1–40. Tupas, R. (2015). ‘All of myself has to change’: A story of inclusion and exclusion in an unequal learning space. In R. Rubdy & S. B. Said (Eds.), Confict, exclusion and dissent in the linguistic landscape (pp. 170–184). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Wong, T. (2014, December 29). Unease in Singapore over Filipino workers. BBC News. Retrieved from www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-28953147. Xu, S. (2017, April 20). Tagalog gives Filipinos a sense of home. Te Straits Times. Retrieved from www.straitstimes.com/singapore/tagalog-gives-flipinos-a-sense-of-home. Yeoh, B. S., & Huang, S. (1998). Negotiating public space: Strategies and styles of migrant female domestic workers in Singapore. Urban Studies, 35, 583–602. Yeoh, B. S., & Soco, M. A. (2014). Te cosmopolis and the migrant domestic worker. Cultural Geographies, 21, 171–187.

13 Coda Towards a liquid-multilingual Singapore? An outsider’s view Li Wei

I frst came to be aware of the complex linguistic situations of Singapore in the late 1980s when I made friends with a group of Singaporean students at Newcastle University. I was amazed at the way they talked to each other. I could make out a lot of words. But I could not understand exactly what they were saying to each other. I learned that ofcially four languages co-exist in Singapore: English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. But there are numerous ‘dialects’ and other languages from which they ‘borrowed’ a great number of expressions. I recorded some of their conversations and tried to transcribe them. But it proved to be extremely hard: I did not know which language lots of the expressions belonged to. And when I asked my young friends, they said neither did they, which was a huge surprise to me. Tey simply said, ‘Tat’s how we talk’. Tey of course knew what they meant, but they did not care which language specifc expressions belonged to. When they spoke to me, they were speaking in distinctively accented English and Mandarin, very often mixing them together. Looking back, this is where my interest in translanguaging started, although at the time I knew only terms such as code-switching, code-mixing, borrowing, and the like. None of these concepts helped me to understand the complexity of the Singaporean way of languaging. By chance, a group of Singaporean linguists and educators knew my work on the intergenerational language shift in the Chinese community in Britain and multilingual practices in the complementary schools for children from minoritised and transnational communities. Tey invited me to visit the National Institute of Education, then an independent research and teacher training institution. Together we developed a British Council funded project looking at language maintenance and language shift in the various ethnic communities in Singapore and how children coped with bi- and multilingualism as well as bi- and multi-literacies during the home-to-school transition period. S. Gopinathan and Leo Tan, the then Director of NIE, were my generous hosts. And I had the opportunity to visit schools and nurseries and to talk to many diferent people who studied the language situation in Singapore, including Ho Wah Kam, Chew Cheng Hai, Lynn Pan, John Platt, and Anthea Fraser Gupta. Te project enabled me to visit Singapore on numerous

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occasions starting from the mid-1990s, and initiated my close contacts with linguists of various kinds in Singapore over the years. I have maintained a deep interest in the dynamic language practices of the Singaporeans in everyday social interaction and, honestly, have been extremely frustrated with the fact that sociolinguistic research in and on Singapore has by and large been looking at one language and one ethnic community at a time. Singapore is a relatively young nation, only becoming an independent republic in 1965. ‘Racial harmony’ was, and still is, paramount in building a successful city-state that is located in a strategically crucial but also geographically vulnerable spot. From day one, the Singaporean government under the masterful leadership of its founding father Lee Kuan Yew saw language as key to racial harmony and national building. English-knowing bilingualism was (still is) the ofcial policy: English was designated as the lingua franca for all Singaporeans to avoid any obvious favouritism towards particular ethnic groups, while the three formally recognised ethnic groups – Chinese, Malay and Tamil – were assigned an ofcial language each: Mandarin, Malay and Tamil respectively. Singapore’s economic success has been widely held as a miracle – its GDP per capita increased by 56 times from S$1,310 (US$428) in 1960 to S$73,167 (US$52,962) in 2016 (Department of Statistics, Singapore, 2017, p. 66). Singapore has also made linguistic miracles by turning English from a colonial language to a national lingua franca and by imposing Mandarin Chinese onto the Chinese communities in Singapore through the Speak Mandarin Campaign, efectively eliminating the so-called Chinese ‘dialects’ in public domains. Tese miracles have been possible in a signifcant part due to a desire for modernity, and perhaps also due to a certain readiness to accept authoritative order under the infuence of traditional Asian values. Underneath the apparent success and harmony, however, there are a wide range of issues, as the chapters in the present volume reveal: unequal access to the ofcial languages, under-representation of ‘other’ languages, the loss of cultural heritage through the loss of ‘dialects’, and so on. Singapore’s ofcial language policy is essentially a compartmentalisation scheme, or to put it more positively, complementary distribution: diferent languages co-exist and complement one another at the societal level, but are used separately in diferent domains with little or no overlap. It has worked well for some time: tensions between the diferent ethnolinguistic groups have been largely avoided, and English has enabled the Singaporeans to gain direct access to the globalised world of commerce, technology and science. Singapore has proven to the world that societal multilingualism and individual bilingualism can be planned and managed successfully. Yet the 21st century brings new challenges to the fore. In an era of what Bauman (2000) called ‘liquid modernity’, social structures and institutions change much more rapidly and constantly. Tey do not have time to solidify, and therefore can no longer serve as frames of reference for individuals to act or to plan for the long term. In fact, Bauman emphasised that the cultural conditions of liquid modernity urge the individual to splice together an

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unending series of short-term projects and episodes that do not add up to the kind of pattern to which concepts such as ‘career’ and ‘progress’ can be accurately applied. Individuals have multiple and fragmented lives and selves, and shift from one social position to another in a fuid manner, changing places, jobs, spouses, sexual orientations, religious afliations, political values, and more. Bauman stressed the new burden of responsibility that liquid modernity places on the individual: they need to be fexible and adaptable, to be constantly ready and willing to change tactics at short notice, and to calculate the likely gains and losses of acting, or failing to act, at times of emergency and uncertainty. Singaporeans have been constructing multiple selves through fexible and dynamic use of languages: Tey are Singaporeans and use English in international and formal contexts including educational contexts; they are Chinese, Malay or Indian Singaporeans, speaking Mandarin, Malay or Tamil, together with English, in the public domain; and they are members of whatever regional or dialectal group they may belong to, speaking their respective dialects at home and mixing them with the ofcial languages. At the same time, their ways of using the named languages, especially their ways of mixing the diferent languages, have given rise to a distinctive Singaporean identity via what is popularly known as Singlish, an identity that has not been endorsed by the government, nor it seems by the people themselves. Singlish is a contact language, still evolving, drawing large quantities of lexical items from Malay, Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Tamil, British English, American and Australian slangs, and some Japanese and Mandarin as well. It has a distinctive phonology, prosody, as well as syntax. It is so ‘Singaporean’ that even people who know all these languages separately but have not had a lived experience in Singapore cannot understand it, let alone use it. Calling this contact language Singlish is perhaps a misnomer because it is really not a subvariety of English; it is not a subvariety of any named language. It is its own creation. But it seems to have gained such notoriety that everybody wants to denounce it and nobody wants to own it, or so it seems. As an outsider, I have found the situation perplexing to say the least. Why does an independent nation not want to embrace its own distinctive language? Clearly traditional language ideologies are at work – languages are divided into Standard and Substandard, Good and Bad. ‘Standard English’, whatever that is, is good, and Singlish, like other X-nglishes, is invariably bad. Indeed, the Singaporean government has a Speak Good English Movement to encourage its citizens to speak ‘grammatically correct English that is universally understood’ and to counter the use of Singlish in everyday social interaction. Yet, there are signs of change. Despite the public put-down by politicians, the Singaporean graphic artist, poet and literary critic Gwee Li Sui 魏俐瑞 published a book entitled Spiaking Singlish: A companion to how Singaporeans communicate in 2018. Te book is a social history of Singlish, marked by Gwee’s characteristic witty and sharp style, complete with comic strips. Notably, it is written in Singlish. Te ‘Cheem introduction’ – where cheem means

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‘deep’ in Hokkien (the dominant Chinese dialect in Singapore) – opens like this (glosses in parenthesis provided by T. K. Lee, in Lee & Li, 2021): Dun siow-siow [‘don’t be frivolous’, ‘get serious’]: this book Spiaking Singlish is sibeh kilat [‘very potent’]! It’s hands-down the cheemest [‘densest’] Singlish book in print ever or at least to date. By this, I dun [‘don’t’] just mean how it talks chapalang [‘anything’, ‘everything’] about Singlish. For that, you can always go consult those cheem [‘dense’] publications on Singlish by cunning linguists, the kind I read I oso [‘also’] catch no ball [‘fail to understand’]. But my book is, in some ways, lagi [‘more’] steady poon pee pee [‘capable’] than those. What it does is to discuss Singlish directly in Singlish wor [Singlish particle]! (Gwee, 2018, p. 13) Like all Gwee’s literary and artistic works, Spiaking Singlish is full of linguistic play and jabs at the social history and culture of Singapore. It is this very subversive playfulness that embodies the publisher’s claim that the book aims to show that ‘Singlish can be used in a confdent and stylish way to communicate’. At the same time, the Oxford English Dictionary has been including Singlish items since 2000. Local celebrities seem to be pleased for this Singaporean identity to be recognised on a global level and increasingly comfortable in using Singlish on television, radio and digital media. Moreover, in the worlds of art and commerce, Singlish is gaining signifcant ground. My Singaporean friend and colleague T.K. Lee and I have discussed an artwork by Andrea Lau, posted on her Facebook page on 4th July, 2017, ‘How to have a civil discourse’ in terms of translanguaging (Lee & Li, 2021; see also Li Wei, 2020).1 Te design and colour scheme of the poster parodies public notices and warning signs that Singapore is famed for. And the way the four headings are emplaced gives the impression that they are translations of the same message in the four ofcial languages of Singapore. But in fact it is a twisting of registers of hybrid and ironic Singlish text that is stylistically marked, even to the Singaporeans. According to the artist (personal communication with T. K. Lee), the poster was conceived amidst ‘a growing number of socio-political issues that were getting Singaporeans hot under the collar’. Tis prompted Lau to create the graphic ‘to share practical ways on how we can navigate differing views and cultivate fruitful conversations out of them’. Te work, like the Gwee’s primer, therefore, is motivated by a critical stance toward social issues; the exuberant heteroglossia is meant to heighten the sensational value of language, in the creator’s words, to ‘elevate the sentiment of the content and solicit an emotional response’ from readers, thereby producing an interface between creativity and criticality. In March 2019, as Singapore was joining other countries to adopt the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, a number of ‘How to Order Kopi Like A Pro’ signs appeared across the city and on the internet. Te signs are apparently aimed at teaching tourists

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how to order cofee, or kopi in Malay, at beverage stalls in hawker centres the Singaporean way. But they are really about Singapore’s hawker culture and are part of the campaign to add that culture to the UNESCO list. Tere are numerous discussions about the language one needs to use to order cofee or teh (‘tea’), like a pro; many are tongue in cheek, but equally insightful.2 Lee (2021) discusses further examples of Singlish in the public domain in the fastchanging linguistic landscape of Singapore. It must be stressed that the apparent surge of popular endorsement of Singlish in recent times – not yet approved by the government and politicians, at least not yet in public – builds on generations of speakers making it and using it in their everyday social interaction. I used an example, provided by my friend Ng Bee Chin, a contributor to the present volume, in my 2018 article on translanguaging, to argue that the world is moving into an era of post-multilingualism (Li Wei, 2018a). Te example showed a Chinese Singaporean in his 50s comforting his elderly friend who had just lost her husband. Elements of the exchange could be identifed as Teochew, Cantonese, Mandarin, Malay, colloquial English and standard English. But there are also elements that are unidentifable to a named language. If we treat each nameable language or language variety as a discrete entity, we would see that some, such as Teochew, are disappearing fast in Singaporean Chinese communities as the younger generations have signifcantly shifted towards English– Mandarin bilingualism, under the government’s watchful eye, instead of the traditional multilingualism in regional varieties of Chinese. But many words and expressions, particularly those that have not been standardised with written Chinese characters, are being preserved and used in the highly fuid and dynamic speech of Singaporean speakers. I have used the example, and others elsewhere, to argue that in an era of liquid or post-multilingualism, no single individual can claim to know, or indeed need to know, an entire language; rather, multilinguals acquire and use bits of many diferent languages. And correspondingly, no single nation or community can claim the sole ownership, authority and responsibility for any particular language. Te association between a language and a nation or a community can change over time, just as an individual can also give up a language and adopt another. A postmultilingualism era is one where simply having many diferent languages is no longer sufcient either for the individual or for society as a whole; it is one where multiple ownerships and more complex interweaving of languages and language varieties, and where boundaries between languages, between languages and other communicative means and the relationship between language and the nation-state are being constantly reassessed, broken or adjusted (see further discussions in Li Wei, 2018b). Post-multilingualism presents a range of challenges to society and to the individual language user. For example, how can we protect the identity and integrity of individual languages while recognising and promoting the fuidity of linguistic diversity and contact between languages? Tis is a particularly tough and sensitive question in the feld of language endangerment, where

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tremendous eforts have been made to protect individual languages while the sociolinguistic environment is often such that there is hardly any monolingual speaker in the community who has ever had an entirely monolingual experience. In this sense, I believe Singapore is a liquid or post-multilingual society, where the balance between the need to have a clear sense of identity, subjectivity and belonging on the one hand, and the need to be able to adapt to diferent situations via a multivocalic capacity typical of the liquid modernist era on the other presents endemic dilemmas, paradoxes and contentions. But one thing is for sure: neat compartmentalisation, or harmonious complementary distribution, either of languages or of social groupings, will no longer to sustainable. On top of all these, technological advancement, of which Singapore seems to be at the world’s leading position again, is impacting so much on the human society that some people have been talking about a post-human era where the boundaries between humans, other animals and objects are being reassessed and redrawn, and where communication is distributed among semiotic assemblages of heterogeneous modalities, instruments and perspectives. Everyday interaction between individuals is increasingly mediated through, indeed, dominated by, digital media. Te ability to fuidly change, combine and invent means of communication to become or embody diferent identities and to understand the world from diverse stances is key to post-human living. In his ‘cheem introduction’, Gwee positioned himself against language orthodoxy represented by what he jokingly calls ‘cunning linguists’. It actually raises a serious point, a challenge, to the contributors and readers of this volume: how should we as linguists study the sociolinguistics of a place like Singapore? As an outsider, I have always struggled to understand why the distinctive way Singaporeans communicate with each other is not studied as such but instead studied as a sub-variety of English, and why the focus is given to one ethnic community at a time with little attention to the translanguaging spaces that have been created by ordinary Singaporeans through their dynamic and liquid translingual practices. Historical, evolutionary and developmental linguists surely should be interested in how new languages emerge as they happen, and sociolinguists should be interested in what policies facilitate or prohibit language contact, innovation and change. Te parallel bilingualism and multilingual approach, or the one-community-andone-language-at-a-time approach is no longer ft for purpose if we really want to gain a ‘cheem’ understanding of Singapore’s language, culture and society. Te present volume opens up a number of venues for new investigations of these issues. It is a much-needed step towards a critical sociolinguistics of liquid multilingual Singapore. Acknowledgements I am grateful for the kind invitation from Ritu Jain, the editor of the present volume, frst to the symposium in 2019 in Singapore at which most of the

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articles were frst presented and discussed, and later to contribute this commentary. She, along with my friends K. K. Luke, Kingsley Bolton and Rita Elaine Silva, were generous hosts of a very productive and enjoyable visit, which was further enhanced by T. K. Lee’s guide to the local delights. T. K. Lee read an early draft of this piece and made invaluable comments for which I am very grateful. Notes 1 https://twitter.com/bloocat/status/882934557275701249/photo/1. 2 https://jilaxzone.com/2016/10/18/kopi-o-siew-dai-guide-to-order-coffee-and-teain-singapore-like-a-pro/https://theclaritycompass.wordpress.com/2018/11/26/howto-order-singapore-cofee-or-tea-the-local-way/.

References Bauman, Z. (2000). Liquid modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press. Department of Statistics, Singapore. (2017). Yearbook of statistics Singapore, 2017. Singapore: Ministry of Trade and Industry, Singapore. Gwee, L. S. (2018). Spiaking Singlish: A companion to how Singaporeans communicate. Singapore: Marshall Cavendish. Lee, T. K. (2021). Writing Singapore: Choreographed and emergent practices. Social Semiotics. doi:10.1080/10350330.2020.1810552 Lee, T. K., & Li, W. (2021). Translanguaging and multilingual creativity with English in the Sinophone world. In A. Kirkpatrick (Ed.), Te Routledge handbook of world Englishes (2nd ed., pp. 558–575). Abingdon: Routledge. Li, W. (2018a). Translanguaging as a practical theory of language. Applied Linguistics, 39, 9–30. Li, W. (2018b). Linguistic (super) diversity, post-multilingualism and translanguaging moments. In A. Creese & A. Blackledge (Eds.), Te Routledge handbook of language and superdiversity (pp. 62–75). Abingdon: Routledge. Li, W. (2020). Multilingual English users’ linguistic innovation. World Englishes, 39, 236–248.

Index

accent 30, 42, 110, 142, 144–145, 147–148, 150, 152, 156, 213 acrolect 29–31 anti-dialect 166 Asia: Asian Englishes 42; Asian languages 1, 5, 22, 48, 49, 66, 67, 74, 76, 199 Aslian 107, 110, 114, 119–120 Austroasiatic languages 107, 110, 120 Austronesian languages 5–6, 105–123; Baba Malay 124–141; Banjarese 1, 111–112, 115–116; Batak 107, 111–112, 115, 120; Baweanese 112, 115–121; Boyanese 2, 111, 118; Buginese 107, 111–112, 115–116, 119, 121; Cebuano 107, 112, 115; Javanese 1–2, 107, 111–112, 115–119, 121, 143, 159; Malagasy 107; Minangkabau 111–112, 115, 119; Moken 107, 119; Moklen 107; Sundanese 111, 115, 143; Tagalog 5, 8, 107, 112, 199–201, 204–206, 208, 210 Baba Malay 124–141; see also Austronesian languages Baba Nonya 126, 131, 136 Bahasa Indonesia 36, 132–133, 143, 145–146; see also Malay (languages) Bahasa Melayu 143–147, 151; see also Malay (languages) Bangladesh 9, 24, 70–71, 75, 79; Bangladeshi 69, 75, 91 Basilect 29–31 Bazaar Malay 7, 112, 115, 117, 125, 127, 147; see also Malay (languages) Bencoolen 20 Bengali (ethnicity) 70–71 Bengali (language) 3–4, 22, 48–49, 66, 69, 74–77, 79, 87; see also South Asian languages

Biculturalism: bicultural 166 bilingualism: bilingual education policy 21, 50, 72, 125, 164 Brunei 23–24, 109, 144 Burma 48; Burmese 20, 159, 199 Cambodia 24, 107 Cantonese 1–2, 35–36, 117–118, 124–125, 159–160, 169, 173, 179–196, 215, 217; see also Chinese languages capital 17–18, 32, 85, 134, 179, 203, 210 Ceylon 20, 70; Ceylonese 71 Chamic 107, 119; Chamic languages 107 Chinese dialects 8, 21–22, 72, 86–87, 126–127, 133–134, 179–196, 216; see also Chinese vernaculars Chinese diaspora 168 Chinese (ethnicity) 1–3, 5, 7–8, 19–21, 23–24, 28, 37–41, 43, 48, 65, 67, 69, 72, 73, 76–78, 80, 85–86, 109, 113, 117–118, 124–129, 134–135, 159–178, 179–196, 199, 213–215, 217 Chinese immigrants 23, 159–160, 172 Chinese languages 1, 3, 21, 159, 162, 164–167, 169, 171; Cantonese 1–2, 35–36, 117–118, 124–125, 159–160, 169, 173, 179–196, 215, 217; Hainanese 173, 185–190; Hakka 36, 185–190; Hokkien 1–2, 4, 7, 35–36, 43, 109, 117–118, 124–125, 159–161, 169, 179–196, 215–216; Mandarin 1–4, 8–9, 19, 21–23, 33, 35–36, 38–39, 50, 59–60, 65, 69, 72–73, 76–78, 80, 179–180, 182–184, 188, 191–192, 213–215, 217; Mandarin Chinese 8, 39, 87, 128, 159–178, 180, 198, 210, 214; Putonghua 168–170; Teochew 1–2, 4, 35–36, 39, 124, 159–161, 173, 179–196, 215, 217

Index Chinese migrants 7, 125, 160, 180–181, 183 Chinese vernaculars 78, 163, 165, 167, 183 clan associations 161 code-mixing and code-switching 30, 33, 36, 42, 50, 117, 169, 213; code-selection 30 colloquial 3, 8, 183; colloquial English 3, 31, 33, 42, 217; colloquial expression 28; colloquial Malay 142, 147, 155; colloquial Tamil 52; colloquial variety 5, 21, 28, 147, 168 colonialism 105; British colonialism 155, 162, 180; colonial educational system 47; colonial language 85, 214; colonial rule 20, 23, 161 communicative value 50, 54 community: community identity 2, 191; ethnic community 1, 19, 23, 50, 61, 67, 213–214, 218; indigenous community 68, 143; speech community 7, 9, 68, 118, 113, 135 community-driven initiatives 90, 96, 100 contact language 215 cosmopolitan 190, 202, 206, 210–211 creole 30, 115, 125; creolising 50; creoloid 29 culture: cultural ballast 85, 164; cultural heterogeneity 65; cultural identity 47, 99; cultural representations 129; cultural resurgence 127, 129–130; cultural stereotypes 161; cultural values 78, 129, 135, 164–165, 192 dialects 3, 8, 19, 21–23, 33, 87, 109, 110–112, 114–116, 120, 125–126, 142, 145–147, 155, 165, 166, 179–196, 213–215; dialect attitudes 8, 179–196; dialect use 8, 180, 184, 186–192 diaspora 47–48, 51, 61, 76, 136, 168 diglossia 31, 48, 67; diglossic 3, 30–31, 34, 53, 67, 147 discourse particles 40, 42–43, 168; see also particles discourses 8–9, 198, 201–203, 210–211 diversity 2, 12, 65, 69, 86, 152, 159–161, 192; ethnic diversity 19–20, 70, 192; linguistic diversity 1–4, 6–7, 9, 47, 66, 76, 79, 85–86, 100, 160, 204, 217; social and cultural diversity 12, 160–161 domains 3, 7, 50, 67, 79, 94, 96–97, 113, 119, 166, 188–189, 214; domains of use 8, 79, 85, 89, 92, 96, 98, 128, 130, 135; home domain 41, 50, 92–94, 166–167, 205; ofcial domain 93; public domain

221

117, 214–215, 217; religious domain 92, 94–95 Dravidian 3, 49, 65, 72, 74, 80 Dutch 20, 109, 135, 143; Dutch grammar 145 education: education system 2, 15–17, 48, 65, 68, 73, 77, 79, 86, 94, 133, 146, 152, 161, 164, 166, 168 English (language): English as medium of instruction 3, 85, 94, 125–126, 134, 155; English dominance 50, 86, 88, 129, 204–205, 210; English-knowing bilingualism 32, 86, 125, 127, 214; Englishmedium schools 163–164, 182; Englishspeaking 20, 134, 165, 172–173, 180 ethnicity 2, 23, 39, 65, 86, 115; ethnic enclaves 94, 99; ethnic harmony 191; ethnic identity 2, 18, 23–24, 88, 112, 171; ethnic integration 94, 104; ethnic minority community 47, 61; ethnic subcommunities 70 ethnolinguistic 47–49, 51, 117, 206, 214; ethnolinguistic identity 49; ethnolinguistic vitality 4, 6, 99 Eurasians 2, 5, 19–21 Europeans 19 exonormativity: exonormative standard 170 Filipino 197–212 Foreign Domestic Workers 199 foreign spouses 24 globalisation 8, 78, 133, 139, 197–199, 201, 203, 206–207, 210–211; global English 33; global language 32, 79, 129, 133, 136, 191 grassroots 50, 100 Gujarati 2–3, 22, 48–49, 65–66, 69, 72, 74–77, 79, 87, 118; see also South Asian languages Hainanese 160, 173, 185–190; see also Chinese languages Hakka 36, 160, 185–190; see also Chinese languages heritage: heritage language 66–67, 78–79, 86, 113, 117, 120; heritage language education 66, 79, 91 heteroglossia 216 Hindi 3–6, 22, 48–49, 65–66, 69, 71–72, 74–80, 87–88; see also South Asian languages

222

Index

Hokkien 1–2, 4, 7, 35–36, 43, 109, 117–118, 124–125, 159–161, 169, 179–196, 215–216; see also Chinese languages home language 3, 5, 8, 21, 41, 48, 86, 88, 93, 126, 156, 159, 163, 166–168, 171; home language erosion 180 hybridisation: hybrid 23–24, 33, 133, 154–155, 173, 201, 209, 216; hybrid identity 23–24; hybridity 24; hybrid pronunciation 154 identity 5–6, 18, 24–25, 32, 39, 43, 47, 51–52, 57, 59, 61, 69–70, 86, 91, 94, 129, 145, 148, 152–153, 162, 164, 170–172, 185–186, 189, 202, 204, 215–218; identity marker 39, 182, 186, 190, 206 ideology 5, 8, 30, 34, 85, 197–198, 201, 215 immigration: immigrant languages 68, 159 indexicality 33 Indian: Indian community 6, 28, 41, 49, 51, 66–67, 69, 71–74, 78–79, 86–88; Indian heritage 6, 66; Indian subcontinent 70–71, 88; Indian Tamil 6, 51, 53–60; ‘non-resident’ Indian 65 Indian (ethnicity) 1–3, 5–6, 19–20, 22–25, 28, 37–38, 40–41, 43, 47–64, 65–84, 85–104, 113, 125, 135, 199, 215; Indian Indians 66; North Indian 65, 73, 76; South Indian 65, 70, 74, 76 Indo-Aryan 3, 65, 72, 80 Indonesia 7, 23, 109, 114, 117, 119–120, 125, 131, 143–145, 180, 199 interethnic communication 163 Javanese 1–2, 107, 111–112, 115–119, 121, 143, 159; see also Austronesian languages Jawi script 144 Johor-Riau dialect 22, 142–144, 155 Johor-Riau Pronunciation 142; see also Sebutan Johor-Riau Kannada 65, 74, 80; see also South Asian languages language: language alternation 33, 42; language and identity 25, 47; language assessment 22, 69, 74–74, 99; language attitudes 52, 69, 170, 172, 179–196, 208; language attrition 167, 191; language background 3, 35, 38–39, 51, 62, 66, 72, 166; language change 42; language choice 5, 34; language classes 75,

118–119, 128; language commodifcation 134; language contact 43, 50, 218; language dominance 3–4; language ecology 79, 85–87, 99, 191; language education 29, 53, 66–67, 132; language education policy 6, 66–67, 69, 79, 85–86; language endangerment 127–128, 133–134, 217; language erosion 67, 180; language features 28, 30, 32–33, 41, 52–53, 55; language hegemony 206; language hierarchy 87; language identity 7, 69, 74, 94, 170; language maintenance 49, 61, 69, 89–90, 94, 134, 201, 213; language management 1, 4–5, 126, 133, 172; language mixing 5, 28–46, 52; language of instruction 65; language of public administration 163; language orientation 78; language planning 4, 29, 78, 86, 99, 126, 129; language policy 1–11, 18–19, 21–25, 66–67, 69, 78–79, 88, 94, 126, 133, 139, 142, 166, 182, 191, 214; language practices 5, 8, 200, 209–211, 214; language profciency 19, 91, 98, 184; language reforms 73; language regimes 197–198, 203, 205–206, 210; language resources 25; language revitalisation 89, 96, 99; language revival eforts 118, 129, 131, 192; language shift 1, 50, 55, 67, 69, 86, 88–89, 94–96, 99–100, 107, 116–117, 126, 133–134, 179, 213; language spread 30, 107, 109, 119, 183, 192; language status 6, 78, 99; language switching 30; language use 7, 34, 43, 48, 70, 79, 80, 85, 95–97, 104, 113, 164, 167, 173, 180, 183–184, 190–191, 197–198, 205–206, 208; language variation 42 languaging 213 lingua franca 32, 134–135, 143, 155, 159–160, 163, 167, 180, 205, 214 linguistics: linguistic ancestry 117; linguistic capitals 134; linguistic consolidation 78; linguistic features 29, 33, 41–42, 53; linguistic heterogeneity 1–2, 19, 65, 71, 76, 86–87, 94, 165; linguistic identity 7, 71–72, 146; linguistic instrumentalism 87; linguistic investigation 34, 42, 124; linguistic landscape 4, 8, 47, 57, 62, 126, 163, 197–212; linguistic marginality 200–201; linguistic market 18, 79; linguistic patterns 39; linguistic profle 76; linguistic purity 58; linguistic system 28, 146; linguistic unifcation 78 literacy practices 88

Index Literary Malayalam 98; see also Malayalam Literary Tamil 47–64; see also Tamil Macao 20 mainstream education 68 Malacca 20, 107, 124–125, 131, 135–136, 160, 180 Malayalam 1–2, 4–6, 22, 65, 72, 74, 77, 80, 85–104; Literary Malayalam 98; see also South Asian languages Malayalee 85–104; Malayalee community 88–89, 94; Malaysian Malayalee 91 Malayali 69–71; see also Malayalee Malay Archipelago 7, 124, 134, 143–144, 155 Malayic 1, 6, 107–108, 111–113, 116, 119–120; Malayic languages 107–108, 110, 112, 115–116; Malayic varieties 112–113, 115 Malay identity 142–158; Malay (ethnicity) 1–3, 5–7, 19–20, 22–24, 28, 37–41, 43, 48, 65, 67, 69, 72, 76, 78, 80, 85–86, 94, 112–113, 115–116, 119–121, 124–127, 142–158, 159–161, 180, 199, 214–215 Malay languages 112; Bahasa Indonesia 36, 132–133, 143, 145, 146; Bahasa Malaysia 36, 132–133; Bahasa Melayu 143, 145; Bazaar Malay 7, 112, 115, 117, 125, 127, 147; Standard Malay 113, 139, 142–158 Malaysia 7, 23, 28–29, 35, 48, 72, 85, 109, 125–126, 139, 142–146, 148, 151–152, 155, 180–181, 193; Peninsular Malaysia 143–144, 155 Mandarin 1–4, 8–9, 19, 21–23, 33, 35–36, 38–39, 50, 59–60, 65, 69, 72–73, 76–78, 80, 179–180, 182–184, 188, 191–192, 213–215, 217; see also Chinese languages Mandarin Chinese 8, 39, 87, 128, 159–178, 180, 198, 210, 214; see also Chinese languages Mauritius 48 medium of instruction 2–3, 85, 94, 125–126, 134, 155, 162–163 mesolect 30–31 migration 1, 6, 12, 48, 51–52, 61–62, 65, 181, 193, 199; migration policy 62, 65, 199; migratory background 65 Minnan dialect 181; see also Teochew minority community 60, 67–68; minority ethnic community 48; minority language 47, 66–68, 79, 85–87, 113, 127 mobility 12, 88 models (linguistic): assemblage model 30, 34; cultural orientation model 30,

223

32; diglossic model 30–31; expanding triangles model 30, 32 modernity 8, 164, 214–215 mother tongue 1–3, 5, 7, 14, 19–25, 33, 38, 54, 57, 65–84, 85–87, 91, 94, 96, 99, 112–113, 125–127, 132–133, 163–164, 166–167, 174, 179–180, 182, 187, 193, 198–199, 201, 208, 210–211 multi-ethnic 13, 61, 85–86, 126, 190; multi-ethnic identity 19 multilingual: multilingual realities 66; multilingual society 85, 165, 218; multilingual space 201; see also multilingualism multilingualism 4–5, 8–9, 24–25, 30, 67, 78, 85–86, 193, 197–212, 213–214, 217; see also post-multilingualism multiracialism 2, 48, 50, 86 multi-religious 13, 190 nation: nation building 1–2, 13, 67, 85–86, 182, 187, 191, 210; national identity 72, 148, 191; national language 2, 21, 50, 71, 143, 163, 199–200, 206; national lingua franca 214; national status 88 neoliberalism 18 non-ofcial mother tongue 19 Non-Tamil Indian Languages (NTILs) 22–23, 25, 61, 66, 74, 76, 80, 87–88, 99 ofcial languages 1–4, 7, 12, 18–19, 23–25, 47, 50, 61, 66, 72–74, 85, 87, 93, 98, 134, 163, 179, 180, 182, 184, 187, 205, 214–216 out-migration 7, 134 Pakistani 69–71, 91 Parallel Language Programs 74 particles 31, 33, 40, 52; see also discourse particles Peranakan 5, 7, 23, 115, 124–141, 161, 180; Peranakan identity 135–136 pluricentric languages 168 Portuguese 20, 135, 143 post-colonialism 29, 47–48, 50, 206 post-multilingualism 217–218 prestige 18, 87, 134, 170, 179; prestige language 179; prestigious language 191; prestigious variety 49, 54 Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) 14–15, 17, 75, 80 Proto-Austronesian 105 Punjabi 2–3, 22, 48, 65–66, 69–72, 74–77, 79, 87; see also South Asian languages

224

Index

Putonghua 168–170; see also Chinese languages racial categories 70, 86 regional dialects 154–155 sacred cows 5, 12–17, 25 Sebutan Baku 7, 22, 142, 145–156; see also Standard Pronunciation Sebutan Johor-Riau 7, 142, 144–155; see also Johor-Riau Pronunciation second language 2–3, 6, 21, 42, 51, 65–66, 73–74, 77, 80, 87, 94, 96, 109, 128–129, 143, 166, 182 semiotic resources 51, 197 Siamese (Tai) 20 Singapore: Singaporean society 16, 19, 24, 88; Singapore bilingual policy 2, 4, 61, 163–165, 173; Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) 29, 31–32, 52, 159 (see also Singlish); Singapore English 28–46, 170, 172; Singapore Indians 47, 69 Singlish 3, 5, 8, 20–21, 23, 25, 28–30, 32–34, 39, 42–43, 52, 155, 159, 171–173, 183, 206, 215–217; see also Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) Sinhalese 69, 71; see also South Asian languages social networks 5, 37–40, 129, 139; Chinese social networks 38; Malay social network 38; Indian social network 40–41 social stratifcation 17 sociolinguistics 4, 29, 43, 51, 180, 218; critical sociolinguistics 218; sociolinguistic profle 198; sociolinguistic reality 5, 43 South Asian 5, 48, 65–66, 69, 71–72, 87 South Asian languages 1, 5–6, 48–49, 66–67, 76, 80; Bengali 3–4, 22, 48–49, 66, 69, 74–77, 79, 87; Gujarati 2–3, 22, 48–49, 65–66, 69, 72, 74–77, 79, 87, 118; Hindi 3–6, 22, 48–49, 65–66, 69, 71–72, 74–80, 87–88; Kannada 65, 74, 80; Malayalam 1–2, 4–6, 22, 65, 72, 74, 77, 80, 85–104; Punjabi 2–3, 22, 48, 65–66, 69–72, 74–77, 79, 87; Sinhalese 69, 71; Sri Lankan 69; Tamil 1–6, 19, 22, 33, 35–36, 38, 47–64, 65–84, 85–98, 117–118, 125, 134, 162–164, 174, 182, 198, 210, 213–215; Telugu 65, 70–71, 74, 77, 80; Urdu 3, 22, 48–49, 66, 69, 71, 74–77, 79, 87, 118

Southeast Asian linguistics 105; Southeast Asian languages 199 Speak Good English Movement 3, 87, 173, 215 Speak Mandarin Campaign 3, 21, 67, 87, 126–127, 133, 159, 163, 165–167, 171, 173–174, 179–180, 182–183, 191, 214 speech continuum 29–30 speech variety 7, 110–111, 113, 115, 119 Spoken Tamil 6, 47–64; see also Tamil Sri Lankan 69; see also South Asian languages standard languages 134, 154; Standard Malay 142–158 (see also Malay [language]); Standard Tamil 50, 53, 58, 59; standard variety 20, 52–53, 58–59, 120, 146–147, 168 standardisation 7, 74–75, 109, 142, 144–146; standardised communication 179; standardised variety 28, 42, 50 Standard Pronunciation 23, 142, 146, 154 style shifting 31; style-switch 28 Sumatran 107 Tagalog 5, 8, 107, 112, 199–201, 204–206, 208, 210; Taglish 8, 201, 208–210; see also Austronesian languages Tamil (language): Literary Tamil 48–55, 57–61; Spoken Tamil 6, 47–64; see also South Asian languages Tamil Nadu 47, 49, 53, 80 Telugu 65, 70–71, 74, 77, 80; see also South Asian languages Teochew 1–2, 4, 35–36, 39, 124, 159–161, 173, 179–196, 215, 217; see also Chinese languages trading language 134 translanguaging 36, 208, 213, 216–218 translingual practice 9, 210, 218 transnationalism 49, 79, 201, 203, 213; transnational migration 47; transnational mobility 65, 68 urbanisation 94, 104 Urdu 3, 22, 48–49, 66, 69, 71, 74–77, 79, 87, 118; see also South Asian languages vernacular language 5, 42, 179, 200 vocabulary 33, 42, 120, 144, 148, 194 Western Malayo Polynesian 105 world Englishes 29, 42, 168