New Book publication: A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism by A/P Phyllis Chew

New Book publication: A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism by A/P Phyllis Chew

Date
Friday, 18 January 2013

New Book publication: A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism by A/P Phyllis Chew

‘Pulau Panjan’, ‘Po Luo Chung’, ‘Pulau Ujong’, ‘Lung -ya-men’, ‘Temasek’, ‘Singapura’ are all former names of Singapore and belie its colourful history as the El-Dorado and nexus of Southeast Asia. Who were Singapore’s previous multilingual inhabitants? What were the pidgins, creoles and languages that thronged its market places and created its forgotten identities? How did polyglot migrants caught in the throes of an earlier globalization organize their respective identities? What hybrid identities arose from such cross-cultural interactions?

This book presents a fascinating history of early identities in Singapore as examined through the retrospective lens of language. A long view has been chosen for its advantage in providing unexpected socio-political and linguistic insights into the long-term effects of change and continuity.

Phyllis Ghiam-Lian Chew is a professor of sociolinguistics and language methodology at the National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. She was the 2010 Fulbright Visiting Professor to Harvard Divinity School and the Graduate School of Education as well as the 2012 Leverhulme Visiting Professor to the University of Roehampton, UK.