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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Talk by Rebecca Starr

13 December 2019

Time: 11:00am - 12:30pm
Venue: Queens E303

Rebecca Starr (National University of Singapore) is going to give the following talk:


Is your child learning Singlish? Attitudes, exposure, and acquisition of variation among local and expatriate children in Singapore

Although orientation towards local linguistic norms is increasing in Singapore, Singapore English (SgE) is still perceived by some as a non-native variety. Variation in attitudes towards SgE may shape acquisition of SgE features by both Singaporean and expatriate children, who increasingly attend government schools. The present study investigates how the -t/d deletion patterns of 60 children reflect their attitudes and school setting. Significant correlations are observed between deletion rate, attitude towards SgE, and accent self-perception among Singaporean children, highlighting that this variety is undergoing endonormative stabilization. However, while some expatriates in local schools delete more than peers in international schools, expatriate children generally do not acquire local -t/d deletion rates or constraints, regardless of familiarity with SgE or attitudes towards the variety. This gap between locals and expatriates reflects the persistence of ideologies that delegitimize SgE, as well as the growing prominence of SgE as a marker of local identity.


For more information, please contact events organiser Elvis Coimbra-Gomes (

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