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Title: “我们都是 kaki lang!” : language attitudes of Hokkien Singaporean young adults
Authors: Chan, Annabelle, Shi En
Keywords: Humanities::Linguistics
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: As part of the Speak Mandarin Campaign (SMC) launched by the Singapore government in 1979, Chinese vernaculars have been depicted as underdeveloped language varieties and its use discouraged. Mandarin was promoted in their place primarily to unify what was then a linguistically diverse Chinese community in Singapore. However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Chinese vernaculars, particularly among the young. No previous attitudinal studies conducted in Singapore have investigated the attitudes towards the Chinese vernaculars. This paper examines how young Singaporean undergraduates who identify as Hokkien-Chinese perceive Hokkien and Mandarin, The study used a matched-guise test to evaluate the attitudes of 108 Hokkien-Chinese local university undergraduates. The study included two recorded guises, one in Hokkien and another in colloquial Singaporean Mandarin and participants were asked to rate the guises on five status and five solidarity traits. The participants were stratified based on their gender, dominant language spoken at home and self-rated language proficiencies in both Mandarin and Hokkien. The findings suggest that Hokkien-Chinese undergraduates’ self-rated language proficiency is the best indicator of attitudes towards Mandarin and Hokkien. The results also show that despite the covert prestige that Hokkien enjoys, participants are pessimistic about the eventual maintenance of Hokkien in Singapore.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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