The Need to Revitalize Chinese Language in Singapore
Language loss is a phenomenon of practical concern to traditional language communities and of academic interest to language researchers. Language loss has resulted in communication gap between generations and a sense of loss in culture (Hinton, 1999). Over the years, a similar phenomenon has been observed in Singapore, and it is the focus of this article to forecast what may happen to the Chinese Language (referred to officially as a mother tongue) among Singaporean Chinese vis-à-vis English. This is a phenomenon similar yet different from language loss experienced in other countries, including America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. This article will take a brief overview of language loss in the world and then looks into the situation of Chinese Language in the Singaporean Chinese community.
- Aman, N., Vaish, V., & Bokhorst-Heng, W. (2006). The sociolinguistic survey of Singapore 2006. Singapore: Nanyang Technological University, National Institute of Education, Centre of Research In Pedagogy and Practice.Google Scholar
- Aripin, N. A. (2013, July 18). 1 in 2 Singapore residents do not have a close friend from another race: Survey. Singapore: Yahoo! Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. Retrieved from https://sg.news.yahoo.com/hd%2D%2D-1-in-2-singapore-residents-do-not-have-a-close-friend-from-another-race%2D%2Dsurvey-111616417.html
- Aston University. (n.d.). A different language is a different vision of life and well worth sustaining. Retrieved from http://www.aston.ac.uk/research/case-studies/a-different-language-is-a-different-vision-of-life/
- Crawford, J. (1996). Seven hypotheses on language loss: Causes and cures. Paper presented at the second Symposium on Stabilizing Indigeneous Languages, Northern Arizona University, May 4, 1995.Google Scholar
- Derhemi, E. (2002). Protecting endangered minority languages: Sociolinguistic perspectives—Thematic introduction. International Journal on Multicultural Societies, 4(2), 150–160.Google Scholar
- Department of Statistics, Singapore. (2015). Population and population structure. Table 3.4. Singapore residents by age group, ethnic group and sex, End June 2014. Singapore: Department of Statistics.Google Scholar
- Dixon, L. Q. (2005). The bilingual education policy in Singapore: Implication for second language acquisition. In J. Cohen, K. T. McAlister, K. Rolstad, & J. MacSwan (Eds.), Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism (pp. 625–635). Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press. http://www.lingref.com/isb/4/047ISB4.PDF.Google Scholar
- Dwyer, A. M. (2011). Tools and techniques for endangered-language assessment and revitalization. In Vitality and viability of minority languages, October 23–24, 2009 (Trace Foundation Lecture Series Proceedings). New York: Trace Foundation. Retrieved from http://www.trace.org/events/events_lecture_proceedings.html
- Fishman, J. A. (1991). Reversing language shift: Theory and practice of assistance to threatened languages. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
- Fishman, J. A. (Ed.). (2001). Can threatened languages be saved? Reversing language shift, revisited: A 21st century perspective. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.Google Scholar
- Haynes, E. (2010). What is language loss. Heritage Briefs. Retrieved from http://www.cal.org/heritage/pdfs/briefs/what-is-language-loss.pdf.
- Hinton, L. (1999). Involuntary language loss among immigrants: Asian-American linguistic autobiographies. ERIC Digest. Retrieved from http://www.cal.org/resources/digest/digest_pdfs/9910-hinton-langloss.pdf
- Koh, T. (2015, February 21). Straits Times’ Opinion article—Miracle on Waterloo Street. Straits Times. Retrieved from http://www.mfa.gov.sg/content/mfa/overseasmission/geneva/press_statements_speeches/2015/201502/press_20150221.html.
- Languages Around the Globe. (2012–2015). The consequences of language loss are more dire than you think. Retrieved from http://www.latg.org/2014/11/effects-of-language-loss.html/.
- Lee, E. E. F. (n.d.). Profile of the Singapore Chinese Dialect Groups. Statistics Singapore Newsletter. Retrieved from http://www.howardscott.net/4/Swatow_A_Colonial_Heritage/Files/Documentation/Lee%20Eu%20Fah.pdf.
- Ministry of Education. (2010). Dominant home language of Chinese Pri-1 students (1980 to 2009). Singapore: Ministry of Education. Retrieved from http://www.news.gov.sg/public/sgpc/en/media_releases/agencies/mica/speech/S-20090317-1/AttachmentPar/00/file/SMC%20Appendix%20-%20Dominant%20Home%20Language%20of%20 Chinese%20Pri-one%20students.doc.Google Scholar
- Ministry of Education. (2011). Nurturing active learners and proficient users: 2010 Mother Tongue Languages Review Committee Report. Singapore: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
- MIT Indigenous Language Initiative. (n.d.). Language loss. Retrieved from http://web.mit.edu/linguistics/mitili/language%20loss.html.
- Mufwene, S. S. (2002). Colonisation, globalisation, and the future of languages in the twenty-first century. International Journal on Multicultural Societies, 4(2), 162–193.Google Scholar
- Oppenneer, M. (2015, August 31). Status of the ethnosphere: New statistics about language loss across the world. Ethnos Project Blog. Retrieved from http://www.ethnosproject.org/status-of-the-ethnosphere/.
- Prodanovic, K. (2013, October 16). The silent genocide: Aboriginal language loss FAQ. Retrieved from http://www.terry.ubc.ca/2013/10/16/the-silent-genocide-aboriginal-language-loss-faq/.
- Promote Mandarin Council. (2015). Speak Mandarin campaign: About the campaign. Retrieved from http://mandarin.org.sg/en/about.
- Solash, R. (2010, February 19). Silent extinction: Language loss reaches crisis levels. Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty. Retrieved from http://www.rferl.org/content/Silent_Extinction_Language_Loss_Reaches_Crisis_Levels/1963070.html.
- Spoonley, P. (2014, May 1). Superdiversity, social cohesion, and economic benefits. IZA World of Labour: Evidence-based Policy Making. Retrieved from file:///F:/2/Articles%20awaiting%20readings/superdiversity-social-cohesion-and-economic-benefits.pdf.Google Scholar
- Teo, P. (2012). Mandarinising Singapore: A critical analysis of slogans in Singapore’s ‘Speak Mandarin’ campaign. Critical Discourse Studies, 2(2), 121–142. Retrieved from http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17405900500283565.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- The Research Advisor. (2006). Sample size table. Retrieved from https://www.research-advisors.com/tools/SampleSize.htm.
- UNESCO. (2015). What can be done to save a language from disappearing? Endangered Languages. Retrieved from http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/endangered-languages/faq-on-endangered-languages/.
- Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. (2015, September 10). List of revived languages. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_revived_languages.
- Woodbury, A. (2012). Endangered languages. Linguistic Society of America. Retrieved from http://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/endangered-languages.
- Xie, S. Y. (1994). Singapore’ speak Mandarin campaign: Success and reflection. Paper presented at the Fourth Conference on the Teaching of Chinese Language, organized by the Promote Chinese Education Society, Taiwan, 27–30 December, 1994. 新加坡华语运动的成就与反思。本文发表于第四届华语文教学研讨会, 台湾世界华文教育协进会主办, 1994 年12 月27 至 30 日.Google Scholar