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Tutorial 9, Week 11 Singlish & Contact Linguistics Hoseh La! Jesslyn Oh | Ng Wanting | Ong Yu Ann | Tan Xi Ping
Question 1 Part 1 Contact Linguistics and Singapore English • Pidgin • (Formal Definition by Robert Hall) Life Cycle of Pidgin Languages Minimally-functional contact languages that originate from casual, short-term contact between groups that do not share a common language Borrow words and grammar from either languages for minimal comprehension between speakers May disappear once practicality wanes ‘Makeshift’ or ‘Minimal’ languages Contact vernaculars with short survival period
Question 1 Part 1 Contact Linguistics and Singapore English Alexishafen (Papua New Guinea) A variant of Pacific pidgins Developed through illiterate offsprings of convict settlements in Australia Uses ‘clumsy and ugly’ perversions of English originals • Pidgin • Example 1
Question 1 Part 1 Contact Linguistics and Singapore English Chinglish (China) Variety of English used by Chinese speakers Incorporate Chinese vocabulary or constructions and English terms specific to a Chinese context Lingua franca for trade between the British and mostly Cantonese-speaking Chinese people Declined in the late 19th Century when schools taught standard English • Pidgin • Example 2
Question 1 Part 1 Contact Linguistics and Singapore English • Pidgin • Example 2
Question 1 Part 1 Contact Linguistics and Singapore English Originally a pidgin Claimed by a community of speakers as their native language Usually arises from the children of pidgin speakers, becomes their mother tongue Full-fledged language capable of serving the intellectual, psychological and social needs of its speakers Designated language(s) of people of Caribbean and African descent in colonial and ex-colonial countries (Jamaica, Haiti, Mauritius, Hawaii, etc) • Creole • Definition
Question 1 Part 1 Contact Linguistics and Singapore English Haitian-Creole (West Africa) Developed by enslaved West Africans who were brought to Haiti by European settlers Creolized when children of enslaved West Africans, born in Haiti, adopted it as their mother tongue A result of contact between European romance languages and various Central and West African languages Distinctly unique grammar from other French Creoles of the world • Creole • Example 1
Question 1 Part 1 Structural Difference between Pidgin and Creole Hawaiian Creole English
Question 1 Part 1 Pidgin and Creole Versions of Identical Sentences in Hawaii Hawaiian Creole English
Question 1 Part 2A Singapore English as a… • Creoloid
Question 1 Part 2A Singapore English as a… Its use for inter-ethnic as well as intra-ethnic communication, coupled with its status as either first, second or third language in the speaker’s repertoire, means it is not compatible with the usual concept of a creole. • Creoloid VS • Creole
Question 1 Part 2B Contact Linguistics and Singapore English • Linguistic • Ecology Study of interactions between any given language and its environment Includes social and natural environments No. of languages in contact with one another
Question 1 Part 2B Differences in linguistic environments
Question 2 Still Ho SehBoh?
Question 2 NP Ellipsis and Substratist Explanation NP Ellipses refers to the omission of noun phrases such as subjects, objects and possessors. Mandarin Hokkien Singlish The Substratist approach proposes that NP ellipses in Singlish originates from the indigenous languages spoken in Singapore. Malay Cantonese
Question 2a (Subject Omission) After Ø get some sickness, Ø can’t help it After one gets sick, one cannot help it. • Mandarin • Hokkien • Cantonese 生病了，没办法。Sheng bing le, mei ban fa. Puahpinnliao, bohbianlor. M shifok, mou ban fattlor. ‘Ø Get sick already (la), nothing can be done (lor).’ YES LA BOTH LA! • Malay Kalau dah sakit, dah takbolehbuatapa-apa. ‘If Ø already sick, Ø already cannot do anything.’
Question 2b (Object Omission) ‘I never try Ø before la’ I have never tried it before. • Mandarin • Hokkien • Cantonese 我没试过啦。Womeishiguo la. Wa boh qi ge. Ngohmeisigor. ‘I never try Ø before (la).’ Betul! Kedua-dua! • Malay Aku tak pernah cuba. ‘I n-ever tried Ø.’
Question 2c (Possessor Omission) ‘Ø Head very pain’ My head is painful. • Mandarin • Hokkien • Cantonese 头好痛 。Touhao tong. Tao jintia. Tao hou tong. ‘Ø Head very pain.’ 对！都有！ • Malay Kepalabanyaksakit. ‘Ø Head very pain.’
Question 3 Discourse Particle “but, therefore, in conclusion, to the contrary, still, however, anyway, well, besides, actually, all in all, so, after all” (Levinson 1983:87-88) “well, hey, okay, oh, like, y’know, now, say, why, look, listen, please, uh, ouch, gosh, holy cow” (Zwicky 1985) “oh, well, but, and, or, so, because, now, then, I mean, y’know, see, look, listen, here, there, why, gosh, boy, this is the point, what I mean is, anyway, whatever” (Schiffrin 1987) • Examples from researchers “but, therefore, in conclusion, to the contrary, still, however, anyway, well, besides, actually, all in all, so, after all” (Levinson 1983:87-88) “well, hey, okay, oh, like, y’know, now, say, why, look, listen, please, uh, ouch, gosh, holy cow” (Zwicky 1985) “oh, well, but, and, or, so, because, now, then, I mean, y’know, see, look, listen, here, there, why, gosh, boy, this is the point, what I mean is, anyway, whatever” (Schiffrin 1987) HAH?
Question 3 Discourse Particle • Examples from • Singlish
Question 3a There’s something here for everyone lah. • Function 1: • Appeal for Accomodation Context: “I really like this shopping centre ‘cause there’s something here for everyone lah.” Example: “No use trying to hide our roots lah. We are Singaporeans.” • Function 2: • Convey Obviousness Context: “Why do you like this place?” “There’s something here for everyone lah!” Example: “What language do they speak in Singapore?” “Singaporeans speak Singlishlah!”
Question 3b No car parks here, what. No car parks here, what. • Function 1: • Contradiction/ Rebuttal Context: “I can park here right?” “No car parks here what!” Example: “I am American.” “You are Singaporean what!” • Function 2: • Convey Annoyance Context: “I can park here right?” (x10) “No car parks here what!!” Example: “I tell you already what!”
Question 3c No car parks here, what. This shopping centre very nice hor. • Function 1: • Garner support for proposition Context: “This shopping centre very nice hor. Do you agree?” Example: “Today’s tutorial is too easy hor. Do you think so?” • Function 2: • Expect hearer to accept your views Context: “Why did you bring me to this ulu place?” “This shopping centre very nice hor!” Example: “Don’t expect me to treat. I am broke hor!”
Question 3d No car parks here, what. You don’t like that one meh? • Function 1: • Indicate surprise Context: “I thought you like that one? You don’t like that one meh?” Example: “The EL1101E final exam is held tomorrow, you don’t know meh?” • Function 2: • Convey doubt Context: “That shirt is ugly, I hate it.” “I think that is nice, not nice meh?” Example: “Sleeping at 4 am is so early.” “Early meh?”
Question 4 Ownself in CE = 自己’ziji’ in Chinese NOT THIS OWNSELF LAH! *Pragmatic Function of lah: signifies obviousness
Question 4 Ownself in CSE = 自己’ziji’ in Chinese • Substratist • Explanation Standard English as the superstrate Mandarin as a substrate Gave rise to the word ‘ownself’
Question 4 Data Analysis (1)
Question 4 Data Analysis (2) Finding 1: Pronoun + ownself
Question 4 Data Analysis (3) Finding 2: ‘Ownself’ can only appear before the verb
Question 4 Data Analysis (4) Finding 3: ‘Ownself’ can appear before the verb even when a ‘singular self’ occurs after the verb.
Question 4 Ownself in CE = 自己’ziji’ in Chinese Syntactical use of “Ownself” – precedes the verb Ownself open door! Pronoun + ownself We ownself 我们自己 They ownself 他们自己 Iownself 我自己 No other form of the word (eg. Ownselves) No plural form • Ownself = 自己 • Therefore, OWNSELF = 自己 (originated from Mandarin) BUT there are syntactical rules guiding its use in Singlish!
The End HosehLah! Jesslyn Oh | Ng Wanting | Ong Yu Ann | Tan Xi Ping