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Academic Paper


Title: "Why you so Singlish one?" A Semantic and Cultural Interpretation of the Singapore English Particle One
Author: Jock Onn Wong
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Australian National University
Linguistic Field: Semantics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: The particle one of Singapore English is widely used in Singapore culture, but it is little mentioned and its invariant meaning has not been described, so that not much is known about its meaning and the cultural norms it reflects. This article provides a detailed semantic analysis of this particle, articulates its meaning in the form of a reductive paraphrase using natural semantic metalanguage, and argues that its use reflects Singapore English speakers' tendency to speak definitively and exaggeratedly. The discussion of Singaporean speech norms reflected by this particle includes reference to relevant Anglo English speech norms for comparison and contrast.

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This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 34, Issue 2, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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