“Bon Appétit, Lion City”

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In multilingual Singapore, French can frequently be found in the names of local food retailers and restaurants. This study attempts to investigate the form and function of French in these business names. By considering which meanings French expresses in the local corporate context, the reasons behind the use of French will be discussed. At the heart of the analysis is a corpus of 47 names found on shop signs in different locations of Singapore. Results suggest a link between form, the type of food retail business, and the food served. Functionally, French expresses cultural and social meanings, while stressing individual and collective identities. We present evidence for the use of French as an emergent commercial register peculiar to Singapore.


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