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The Singlish Controversy
Language, Culture and Identity in a Globalizing World


  • Author: Lionel Wee, National University of Singapore
  • Date Published: January 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107181717

£ 85.00

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About the Authors
  • Singlish is the colloquial variety of English spoken in Singapore. It has sparked much public debate, but so far the complex question of what Singlish really is and what it means to its speakers has remained obscured. This important work explores some of the socio-political controversies surrounding Singlish, such as the political ideologies inherent in Singlish discourse, the implications of being restricted to Singlish for those speakers without access to standard English, the complex relationship between Singlish and migration, and the question of whether Singlish is an asset or a liability to Singaporeans. These questions surrounding Singlish illustrate many current issues in language, culture and identity in an age of rapid change. The book will be of interest to scholars and advanced students of World Englishes and sociolinguistics. Its detailed analysis of the Singlish controversy will illuminate broader questions about language, identity and globalization.

    • Explains the nature of Singlish, the colloquial English spoken in Singapore, through linguistic analysis
    • Delves into the context of what Singlish is and what it means to its speakers
    • Argues that the Singlish controversy changes our understanding of the nature of language
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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107181717
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 235 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.43kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 3 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Language policy in Singapore: English, Singlish and the mother tongues
    2. Ideology pooling and metadiscursive convergence in the Singlish debate
    3. Language experts, linguistic chutzpah and the Speak Good Singlish Movement
    4. Voice: who speaks about Singlish?
    5. The commodification of Singlish
    6. Singlish, migration and mobility
    7. What is Singlish? Language, culture and identity in a globalizing world.

  • Author

    Lionel Wee, National University of Singapore
    Lionel Wee is a professor in the National University of Singapore's Department of English Language and Literature. He has written extensively about New Englishes and language policy, particularly in relation to the Singapore context. He served for a number of years on the Singapore Government's Speak Good English Movement.

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