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Singapore: The Contextual Background

  • Patrick Chin Leong Ng
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Linguistics book series (SBIL)

Abstract

Singapore’s racial diversity is the result of early immigration trends brought about by past colonial commercial practices. Under British administration, it became a vibrant metropolis attracting a lot foreign workers from regions as diverse as China, India, Malaya, and parts of Southeast Asia. There are currently three major ethnic groups residing in Singapore: Chinese, Malay, and Indians. The dominant ethnic group is the Chinese who comprise approximately 74.1% of the resident Singapore population (Census 2010). However, the Chinese community in Singapore is far from being culturally or linguistically homogeneous. Within the Chinese community, there are various subgroups such as the Hokkiens, Teochews, Cantonese, Hainanese, Hakkas, Hokchiu, Henghua, Hockchia, Shanghainese, and Foochows. This chapter explains the sociopolitical background and the sociolinguistic situation in Singapore. It also describes in general the language-planning policies adopted by the government. The importance of English in the linguistic ecology of Singapore will also be discussed in the review of the language policies.

Keywords

Sociopolitical Sociolinguistic Language planning Multilingual Bilingual policy 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Niigata PrefectureNiigata-shiJapan

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