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Title: Motivations of Code-Switching in Multi-Lingual Singapore
Authors: Lee, C.-L. 
Issue Date: 2003
Citation: Lee, C.-L. (2003). Motivations of Code-Switching in Multi-Lingual Singapore. Journal of Chinese Linguistics 31 (1) : 145-176. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: This paper shows that there are some consistent patterns of code-switching among undergraduates who speak fluent Mandarin in multilingual Singapore. The languages involved are mainly Mandarin & English, with some southern Chinese dialects such as Hokkien, Teochew, Cantonese, Hakka, Hainanese, & some Malay. The smaller units of single lexemes are made up of a significant amount of borrowings. They are mainly the discourse markers & lexicon of working domains. These borrowings do not show very obvious motivations for code-switching. According to Myers-Scotton (1993), the "core" borrowings have presumably entered into the mental production of the matrix language. Since they are very much a part of the matrix language, they need no motivations to be there. The second category of borrowings consists of Singaporean words of Hokkien, Malay & colloquial English expressions, which are motivated by the desire to express in a local way. According to Myers-Scotton (1993), the "cultural" borrowings that are present in the matrix language mainly serve to fill gaps & this is evident in the local expressions. A third category consists of larger units of code-switching with clearer motivations such as for rhetorical effects, to clarify, to address certain participants, & to change the topic.
Source Title: Journal of Chinese Linguistics
ISSN: 00913723
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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