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Ng, Bee Chin, Tan, Mei Jing Jo, Pauwels, Anne and Cavallaro, Francesco (2022) 'Language practices in Malay-Chinese families in Singapore.' Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. pp. 1-21. (Forthcoming)

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Studies on language shift in Singapore have focused on the language use within ethnic communities. However, despite increasing numbers of interethnic marriages, very few studies have explored the effect of such marriages on LS. This article explores the language practices within Malay-Chinese mixed marriages and examines how language policies in these marriages and families are negotiated. Through the analysis of surveys and interviews with 16 Malay-Chinese interethnic families, this study found that English transcends both Malay and Mandarin in terms of language use in all domains. The linguistic choices of participants are also dependent on their interlocutors. Parental ideologies, both overt and covert, point to Mandarin being perceived as important for their children’s future while Malay was perceived to be a more familial language. This paper also highlights the influence government policies have on Singaporeans’ perceptions on the status of languages. The data points unambiguously to language shift in progress within these families, away from either Mandarin or Malay towards English.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Interethnic marriage, sexogamy, Singapore, family language policy, multilingualsl, anguage shift
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics > Department of Linguistics
ISSN: 01434632
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Publications Router
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 10:48
Funders: Other

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