A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore From Colonialism to Nationalism

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-12-07
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

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'Pulau Panjan', 'Po Luo Chung', 'Pulau Ujong', 'Lung - ya-men', 'Temasek', 'Singapura' are all former names of Singapore and belie its colorful history as the El-Dorado and nexus of Southeast Asia. Who were Singapore's previous multilingual inhabitants? What were the pidgins, creoles and languages that thronged its market places and created its forgotten identities? How did polyglot migrants caught in the throes of an earlier globalization organize their respective identities? What hybrid identities arose from such cross-cultural interactions? This book presents a fascinating history of early identities in Singapore as examined through the retrospective lens of language. A long view has been chosen for its advantage in providing unexpected socio-political and linguistic insights into the long term effects of change and continuity.

Author Biography

PHYLLIS CHEW is Associate Professor at Nanyang Technological Univeristy, Singapore, where she has taught Literacy and Sociolinguistics for the last 25 years. An applied linguist, she has served on the international advisory boards of Teaching Education, Malaysian English Language Teaching Journal, the International Journal of Language Studies, Asian EFL Journal, Asia Tefl Journal and Gendering Asia. She is the 2010-2011 Fulbright Research Scholar at Harvard University, USA.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Introduction: A Sociolinguistic history of early identities in Singapore
Racial Identities: Plurality in the Making
Regional Identities: Separate but Undivided
Religious Identities: Syncretic and Inclusive
Orthographical Identities: Change and Ideology
Individual Identities: Language Choice and the Use of Lingua Francas
Hybrid Identities: Case Studies of Attraction and Engagement
Intergenerational Identities: Negotiating Solidarity and Plurality
Language, Power and Political Identities. The 1969 Singapore General Elections
National Identities: The Reordering of Pluralities

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