Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730
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This paper investigates international responses to Singapore English (SgE), in terms of both intelligibility and attitudes toward the speaker, and compares it to responses to American English (AmE). It surveys 200 respondents from over 20 countries as they listen to a set of 15 sound recordings, including read SgE, spontaneous SgE, and read AmE. The results suggest that the intelligibility of SgE and AmE does differ between informants from different regions. However, the intelligibility of the test stimuli does not correlate simply to positive and negative attitudes. While SgE elicits generally positive attitudes, what is interesting is that the judgments of respondents from South-East Asia and East Asia are often more negative than those of English speakers of Inner Circle varieties. This seems to suggest not only an impenetrable mindset of these traditionally “non-native” English speakers, who seem to be still clamoring to speak an idealized “standard”, but also an inferiority complex over their own varieties of English.


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