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Title: Please stop speaking Singlish! Pragmatism against identity construction.
Authors: Han, Zi Rui.
Keywords: DRNTU::Visual arts and music::Visual arts
Issue Date: 2010
Abstract: The purpose of this research measures pragmatism against identity construction; to evaluate if pragmatism based on Standard Singapore English alone, is sufficient for the construction of a Singaporean identity. Through literary reviews and street interviews with 50 Singaporeans across all ethnic and sociolectal continuum, the paper examines the place of Singlish in the heart of Singaporeans. The data were analyzed through visual mappings of the responses and observations made from recordings. The collective results revealed a dilemma in accepting Singlish as a language of usage and emotional preference. These dilemmas were observed from a comparison of results from part 2 and part 3 of the interview. While some state that they do not enjoy using Singlish, their mental maps of the language proved to be elements of comfort and locality. The main rejection in usage of the colloquial form involves the perceived uselessness of the language. However, based on Stuart Hall’s theory on discursive construction of national identity, both Standard Singapore English and Singlish can be implied to be essential for progress and culture. The paper proposes a dynamic equilibrium for English educated bilingual Singaporeans by placing the extremes into the Yin and Yang model, correlating the balance of embracing both Standard Singapore English and Singlish, instead of intentionally rejecting one. When a unity in duality is reached, the construction of a Singaporean identity follows naturally. A design project titled “ A Piece of Gum. Our Peace of Gum” is conceived from the conclusion, with the aim to communicate on the issue of treasuring and protecting Singlish as an organic and indigenous piece of cultural identity.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:ADM Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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