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By Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew

'Pulau Panjan', 'Po Luo Chung', 'Pulau Ujong', 'Lung –ya-men', 'Temasek', 'Singapura' are all former names of Singapore and belie its colourful historical past because the El-Dorado and nexus of Southeast Asia. Who have been Singapore's prior multilingual population? What have been the pidgins, creoles and languages that thronged its marketplace locations and created its forgotten identities? How did polyglot migrants stuck within the throes of an prior globalization set up their respective identities? What hybrid identities arose from such cross-cultural interactions? This ebook provides a desirable heritage of early identities in Singapore as tested during the retrospective lens of language. an extended view has been selected for its virtue in supplying unforeseen socio-political and linguistic insights into the long run results of swap and continuity.

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101–11). Again, while writing on the considerable rioting especially by the Chinese-educated against the government in the 1950s as a run-up to the elections for self-government, he 18 A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore reminded his readers that “up to that time”, there had never been a Sino-Malay riot. ”16 Following Tregonning’s lead, this study is inspired to explore the extent to which different races were linked through symbols such as language, religious practices, even food and dress.

7). ” So too Charles Allen (1983: 62) writing on social life and customs in Southeast Asia, described the rather neat correlation of race and occupation in the 1930s as follows: Facing us in serried ranks were our subordinate staff; Indian and Chinese account clerks who knew much more about the work than I did and upon whom I was very dependent ... These clerks were known as keranis – an Indian word that denotes clerk – and the office boys were generally Malays and were known as peons. The attention to segregation rather than integration was also seen in the arena of sports where sporting identities were strongly aligned with racial ones, for example, separate playing fields in different parts of of the city were designated for Indians, Ceylonese and Malay Sports Clubs (Conceicao, 2004).

This representation was central to the creation of European culture as well as the extension of its hegemony over foreign lands. In 19th century European language studies, it was assumed that each language was striving for perfection. This line of thought was influenced by the then fashionable ideology of stadialism which expounded that human culture could only “progress” step by step through a rigid series of stages; and that the language of each culture at each moment must reflect the stage of civilization which it has reached.

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