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Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages. Getting the Picture

In Memory of Michael Clyne- In Collaboration with Catrin Norrby, Leo Kretzenbacher, Carla Amorós


Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This volume comprises 28 papers presented at the 1 st International Conference on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages in Graz (Austria) in July 2011. The conference was also held in memory of Michael Clyne – eminent linguist, scholar, language enthusiast and advocate of multilingualism who died in October 2010. The volume pays homage to his important contributions in many fields of linguistics and in the theory of pluricentric languages. The conference in Graz was the first international event to document the situation of non-dominant varieties world-wide in order to identify common or diverging features. It provided substantial insights into the codification and in corpus and status planning of non-dominant varieties. The volume deals with 18 languages and 31 different national and other varieties in 29 countries of the world.


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Adrian TIEN: Chinese Hokkien and its lexicon in Singapore: evidence for an indigenised Singapore culture


In: Rudolf Muhr (ed.) (2012): Non-dominant Varieties of pluricentric Languages. Getting the Pic- ture. In memory of Michael Clyne. Wien et. al., Peter Lang Verlag. p. 453-472. Adrian TIEN (National University of Singapore, Singapore) Chinese Hokkien and its lexicon in Singapore: evidence for an indigenised Singapore culture Abstract More surveys of languages of Singapore have concentrated on Chinese Mandarin - one of the official languages – than any other Chinese “dia- lects” that are also spoken by at least some of the Singaporeans, notably Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese. In focusing on Singapore Chinese Hok- kien, this chapter shows that (1) this dialect is, essentially, a pluricentric language, and its Singaporean version reflects a local or indigenised va- riety of Hokkien which exhibits differences with varieties of Hokkien spoken elsewhere, e.g. Taiwan; (2) at least for now, the status of Hokkien has remained more or less secure and has, in fact, continued to play a prominent role in Singapore language and culture, despite it being non- official and non-dominant; and (3) in fact, Hokkien has assumed an in- fluential role in other languages spoken in Singapore, official or not, e.g. Singapore English (“Singlish”) and Singapore Mandarin etc. A case study presented here based on the semantic analysis of a Singapore Chinese Hokkien lexicon demonstrates the uniqueness of this lexicon in usage and in culture. 1. Background Singapore is a country that sits at the crossroads between the many lands, languages and cultures: geographically, it assumes a key position in Southeast Asia,...

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