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Research Seminar : "One in Singapore English "
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Topic:  Research Seminar : "One in Singapore English "
posted itemPosted - 21/02/2007 :  13:45:12
City University of Hong Kong Dep

Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
Research Seminar

One in Singapore English

Presented by

Professor Bao Zhiming

Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore

Date: 2 March 2007, Friday
Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
G7619 (Lift 3, 7/F, Blue Zone),Academic Building,CityU


This paper investigates the grammar and usage of one in Singapore English, which exhibits the influence of English and Chinese, the two dominant languages in the contact ecology of Singapore English. The grammar of one is essentially the grammar of Chinese de filtered through the morphosyntax of English one. The data on the usage pattern exhibited by various forms of one display a curious disconnect between intuition and use—some one forms which are acceptable by native-speaker intuition have nevertheless low frequency of use. I propose an exemplar-based model of relexification that provides a satisfactory explanation of the grammatical properties of one in Singapore English and of its usage pattern, and show that the lexicalist model developed by Muysken and Lefebvre fails to account for the facts.


Prof. Bao Zhiming, received tertiary education in Fudan University and obtained the PhD in linguistics from MIT in 1990. His thesis deals with the internal structure of tone. His current research interests are phonology and contact linguistics. In contact linguistics, he is interested in the formal mechanisms of contact-induced linguistic change, with Singapore English being the primary source of data. His work in phonology and contact linguistics has been published in leading scholarly journals. He teaches English phonology and contact linguistics in the Department of English Language and Literature, National University of Singapore.

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