New Book publication: A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism by A/P Phyllis Chew
Friday, 18 January 2013
‘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?
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.