Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:
Title: Indian languages in Singapore
Authors: Jain, Ritu
Rai, Rajesh
Keywords: Arts and Humanities
Issue Date: 2024
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Source: Jain, R. & Rai, R. (2024). Indian languages in Singapore. R. Mesthrie & S. Kulkarni-Joshi (Eds.), Language in the Indian Diaspora: Sociolinguistic Perspectives (pp. 125-142). Edinburgh University Press.
Project: RG70/17 (NS) 
Abstract: Discussing the representation of the linguistic identity of Singapore‘s Indian community in social policies, this chapter explores the implications to maintenance and shift of the unrepresented languages. While only the majority language Tamil has been given official status in the language policy, other community languages have not been discouraged either. In fact, languages such as Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu have been accepted as optional subjects in education for students of Indian heritage. Yet others (e.g., Malayalam), with no support from governmental or institutional policies, are taught in after-hours community schools. Given the variance of support, this chapter uses an adaptation of the feature-factor matrix offered by Moag (2003) to evaluate factors considered significant in the loss/retention of non-official languages. While the 31 demographic, political, socio-cultural, and sociolinguistic factors have been proposed to predict the likelihood of survival for assessed languages, here they serve as a framework to assess both community attitude and ethnolinguistic vitality among the Indian speech communities in Singapore. The chapter draws on data from interviews with 29 families of diverse Indian language backgrounds to assess if these factors are facilitative of language use and the extent to which this indicates the likelihood of intergenerational language transmission. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the impact of language status and institutional recognition on the uptake and use of the institutionally non-recognised languages.
ISBN: 9781474478359
DOI: 10.1515/9781474478373-013
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Edinburgh University Press. All rights reserved. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the copyright holder. The Version of Record is available online at
Fulltext Permission: embargo_20270213
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Books & Book Chapters

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat 
  Until 2027-02-13
468.97 kBAdobe PDFUnder embargo until Feb 13, 2027

Page view(s)

Updated on Apr 11, 2024

Google ScholarTM




Items in DR-NTU are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.