Conflicts between world Englishes: Online metalinguistic discourse about Singapore Colloquial English

Tsung Lun Alan Wan*, Claire Cowie

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Negative attitudes of non-Singaporeans towards Singapore Colloquial English (SCE) are often used to support the “Speak Good English Movement” in Singapore. This article examines spontaneous metalinguistic discourse about SCE in an online Facebook group where Taiwanese migrants in Singapore gather for mutual support. Based on the idea that metalinguistic discourse is mediated through the social relation between interlocutors, this study reveals how the language ideologies surfacing in the investigated online space are formed through stance-taking processes between people sharing a nationality. We argue that this spatial context elicits and escalates negative ideologies of SCE, which are situated in popular hierarchies of varieties of English, and also hierarchies of Mandarin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-110
Number of pages26
JournalEnglish World-Wide
Volume42
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2021

Keywords

  • computer-mediated communication
  • language contact
  • language ideologies
  • migration
  • Singlish
  • social media
  • stance-taking

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