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Title: The leh particle in Singapore colloquial English.
Authors: Tan, Bernard Li Hao.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Linguistics
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The pragmatic particles in Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) are considered one of SCE’s most salient features, and have been the subject of much research and study. However, focus tended to be placed on the pragmatic particles as a group, rather than on individual particles. Although there is now growing research and study on individual SCE particles, research remain lacking. This paper focuses on the leh particle. Past research has all referred to a singular form of leh, failing to fully encompass the range of functions and meanings included within this ‘umbrella’ term. The paper argues that there are essentially two variants of leh, separated by pronunciation as /le/ and /lɛ/, which have been assumed to be part of the same. It is proposed that they be written as lei and leh respectively, and be recognised as separate entities. Moreover, data of naturally occurring conversational instances was recorded, and analysis showed that lei and leh possess vastly different meanings and perform different communicative functions. Therefore it is argued that the use of leh to refer to both particles in written contexts serves to confuse the reader, and results in misinterpretations. The general similarity in situations and circumstances of which lei and leh are used also means a higher probability of there being confusion, and highlights the importance of creating a distinction between the two.
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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