A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: by Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew PDF


By Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew

ISBN-10: 113701234X

ISBN-13: 9781137012340

ISBN-10: 1349436577

ISBN-13: 9781349436576

What function does race, geography, faith, orthography and nationalism play within the crafting of identities? What are the origins of Singlish? This e-book bargains a radical research of previous and new identities in Asia's so much worldwide urban, tested during the lens of language.

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Extra info for A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism

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The major racial classes as depicted by the 19th century census such as the “Caucasians”, the “Orientals” (Chinese, Arabs and other Asians) and the “Natives” (Malays from different regions) were allocated separate settlement areas. For example, the Caucasians were found mostly in Tanglin, the Malays along the Rochor River and in Geylang, the Arabs in Arab Street, the Bugis in Bugis Street and the Chinese in Chinatown. As for the Indians, they were concentrated in Chulia Street, High Street, Market Street, the naval base in Sembawang, the railway/port areas of Tanjong Pagar and the Serangoon Road area (Bhattacharya, 2011).

I have found them horribly lazy, dreadful liars and incurable thieves. About the Chinese, his comments were, typically: It is pleasant to see the Chinaman in the Straits developing into something very different from this, and that he can, under favourable circumstances, become as sleek, gifted with nerves as sensitive as could be wished. The moral fibre may possibly be put into him by and by. A little strain of Malay blood seems to vastly improve the Chinaman. With a similar viewpoint, the British planter/miner/agriculturalist Warnford-Lock (1907: 32–32) pens the following: By nature, the Malay is an idler, the China man is a thief and the Indian is a drunkard.

Hoon, 2008). The introduction of census taking in Singapore became a convenient way to reinforce race and ethnicity as a scientific concept in popular thought (Hirschman, 1987: 565). ). There were two lists: one list placed Europeans and Americans at the top, followed by Armenians, Jews, and then Eurasians. The second was an alphabetical list from Abyssinians to Singhalese. Like races, languages were also assigned their own hierarchies so that while colonial subjects could still be recognized as humans, they were deficient (Errington, 2008).

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A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism by Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew

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