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Title: Investigating the sociolinguistic variation of Colloquial Singapore English ('Singlish') in online Singaporean chat groups
Authors: Ting, Tricia Wen Xian
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Linguistics::Sociolinguistics
Issue Date: 2018
Abstract: Language variation has been an integral part of sociolinguistics, and early studies largely focused on the variation in speech explained by such variables such as gender, age and ethnicity. More recently, studies have looked beyond face-to-face speech and explored variation in computer-mediated communication (CMC). In Singapore, Colloquial Singapore English (‘Singlish’) is often studied in terms of speech usage and as a non-varying prototypical language. This study aims to fill the research gap of variation in Singlish through the analysis of chatspeak collected from private, quasi-synchronous chats. A total of 303 Singlish chatspeak words were extracted from the analysis of 13,573 chat words and subsequently categorized against four sociolinguistic variables – age, gender, ethnicity and home language. The analysis indicated that age and ethnicity generally had the most significant effect on the variation of use of Singlish chatspeak features. Variation in the use of Singlish chatspeak can be seen not only as a result of a single variable’s effect but through the interaction of several variables combined. Additionally, this variation, particularly in terms of frequency and range, can be explained through several motivations – the principles of familiarity and decipherability as well as one’s linguistic preferences in the construction of an online identity.
Schools: School of Humanities and Social Sciences 
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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