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ERIC Number: EJ759024
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007
Pages: 17
Abstractor: Author
ISSN: ISSN-1367-0050
Bilingualism without Diglossia: The Indian Community in Singapore
Vaish, Viniti
International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, v10 n2 p171-187 2007
This paper tells a tentative story from the preliminary findings of The Sociolinguistic Survey of Singapore, 2006 (SSS 2006). Though the main study reports on language use amongst Chinese, Malay and Indian communities, my focus is only on Indian homes. The paper reports results from five domains: school, family and friends, media, public space and religion. The emergent story is that Tamil/English speaking Indians are a speech community which shows bilingualism without diglossia. The paper focuses on the Fishmanian compared to the Fergusonian type of diglossia. The mother tongue is maintained in some domains more than others; also, within domains, it shifts in some situations and is maintained in other situations. There is variability within domains for language use depending on role-relations, topic and institutional site. Anxiety created by the census and national newspaper on language shift of Tamil vis-a-vis English is not entirely in keeping with actual language use, which also shows language maintenance. The narrative of language shift in Singapore, from mother tongue to English, is no doubt true; however, the linguistic ecology of Singapore is more complex because SSS 2006 also shows findings leading to language maintenance.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore