Version 22-03-8

Vortrag: Rhoticity in Singapore English

The variable realisation of coda /r/ has been accounted for by the traditional phonological distinction of English varieties into rhotic and non-rhotic types (Wells 1982:218–220), and has been a hallmark area of study in sociolinguistic research (e.g. Labov 1966; Nagy and Irwin 2010; Blaxter et al. 2019). Over the last three decades, this phenomenon has been described in notable studies on Singapore English (Tan and Gupta 1992; Poedjosoedarmo 2000; Tan 2012).
This study investigates the rhoticity patterns in Singapore English as spoken by speakers from the largest ethnic group, and examines how both language-internal and language-external variables condition /r/ realisation in Singapore English. Recent speech data, obtained between 2019 and 2020, from two corpora form the objects of study for the talk. Methodological methods used in this study include quantitative and, to a smaller extent, qualitative techniques. With the use of statistical computing software, i.e. R (R Core Team), a series of regression models and analyses inform the /r/ patterns of this group of SgE speakers. Statistical modelling, outcomes and both quantitative and qualitative findings will be discussed during the presentation.

Blaxter, Tam, Kate Beeching, Richard Coates, James Murphy, and Emily Robinson. 2019. Each p[ɚ]son does it th[εː] way: Rhoticity variation and the community grammar. Language Variation and Change, 31(1), 91–117.
Computing. Vienna, Austria. (accessed 18 May 2021).
Labov, William. 1966. The effect of social mobility on linguistic behaviour. Sociological Inquiry, 36(2), 186–203.
Nagy, Naomi and Patricia Irwin. 2010. Boston (r): Neighbo(r)s nea(r) and fa(r). Language Variation and Change, 22(2), 241–278.
Poedjosoedarmo, Gloria. 2000a. A description of the English pronunciation of young educated Singaporeans: A study in multidimensional variation. In Adam Brown, David Deterding and Low Ee Ling, eds. The English language in Singapore: Research on pronunciation, 65–75. Singapore Association for Applied Linguistics.
R Core Team. 2021. R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. R Foundation for Statistical
Tan, Chor Hiang and Anthea Fraser Gupta. 1992. Post-vocalic /r/ in Singapore English. York Papers in Linguistics 16. 139–152.
Tan, Ying Ying. 2012. To r or not to r: Social correlates of /ɹ/ in Singapore English. International Journal of the Sociology of Language, 2012 (218), 1–24.
Wells, John Corson. 1982. Accents of English: Volume 1. Cambridge University Press.

In expanding the scope of the study that was already carried out, this doctoral dissertation will investigate the rhoticity phenomenon in Singapore English as spoken by Singaporean media personalities from the three major ethnic groups, and examine how both language-internal and language-external variables condition /r/ realisation in Singapore English. This study will also uncover the motivational forces behind the patterns governing /r/ realisation, in particular how globalisation affects language use. These outcomes will be interpreted and contextualised within the larger framework of World Englishes, the wider context of rhotacisation in English varieties around the world, and large-scale social issues like globalisation and effects of mass media.


Tag: 25.03.2022
Anfangszeit: 14:25
Dauer: 00:30
Raum: Dowschenko
Track: Soziolinguistik
Sprache: en



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