Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2215-1354
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1362
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A language’s endangerment is said to be typified by variation accompanied by some degree of unpredictability. This paper examines if this characterization is appropriate of Baba Malay, an endangered creole, as it is spoken in Singapore. Recent work suggests that the language is much less variable than one expects of a creole. A comparison between historical Baba Malay material and newer Baba Malay material, focusing on the language’s pronominal system, and aspectual and tense system, demonstrates that this is indeed the case. Such variation or an increasing lack of it is not unpredictable, stemming not only from natural language change, but also from changes in the language’s socio-environment. Increasing lack of proficiency in the component languages and a desire among speakers to distinguish themselves from speakers of the lexifier variety may explain some loss in Baba Malay’s variability.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): creole; language endangerment; lexicon; lexifier; substrate; syntax; variation
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