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Title: Multilingualism and socioeconomic classes among Chinese Singaporeans
Authors: Yang, Fidelia Ailian
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Sociology
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: This study explores the interplay between socioeconomic classes and linguistic practices, code-switching and code-mixing, among Chinese female Singaporeans. The findings revealed that socioeconomic class may not directly influence one’s own or others’ choice of code (English, Chinese, Singlish) when engaged in a conversation. However, symbolic power and solidarity, embodied in language, played a vital role in influencing the respondents’ linguistic practices. They utilized language to attain instrumental goals in the speech community, which are elevating their social status through an employment of Standard English in their speech and enhancing closeness by speaking informally through code-switching and code-mixing. The former was usually observed when the respondents were in the speech community of mostly upper-middle class speakers. The latter was usually observed when the respondents were in the speech community of mostly lower-middle class speakers. In both situations, the interlocutors’ language proficiency and depth of friendship did not affect the choice of frequency in code-switching and code-mixing. Also, observed through participant observation, it was found that the respondents’ linguistic practices did not match their expressed language attitudes.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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