Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1877-7031
  • E-ISSN: 1877-8798
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This paper examines the process of Mandarinization in Singapore, and the effects of this process on the construction of Chinese ethnicity in Singapore. It does this through an analysis of official government speeches, followed by a questionnaire study examining the beliefs and attitudes of Chinese Singaporeans toward three varieties of Mandarin-Chinese, as well as Chinese “dialects” and English. The discourse analysis reveals an underlying assertion of a primordial relationship between Mandarin-Chinese and Chinese ethnicity. This, however, is not reflected in the beliefs of Chinese Singaporeans, who value Mandarin-Chinese for mainly instrumental reasons, and associated with a foreign standard. Chinese ethnicity in Singapore is instead constructed through a combination of Mandarin-Chinese, “dialects” and English. Ultimately, such a discrepancy results from Mandrinization’s dependence on an oversimplified understanding of language and ethnicity in Singapore.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Attitudes; Ethnicity; Identity; Mandarin-Chinese; Singapore; 新加坡; 普通话; 种族; 语言态度; 身分
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