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Title: Language policy and nationalist ideology: Statal narratives in Singapore
Authors: Wee, L. 
Bokhorst-Heng, W.D.
Issue Date: 2005
Citation: Wee, L., Bokhorst-Heng, W.D. (2005). Language policy and nationalist ideology: Statal narratives in Singapore. Multilingua 24 (3) : 159-183. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: In this paper, we aim to anticipate a potential challenge to Singapore's language policy, which privileges a distinction between Asian 'mother tongues' on the one hand and English on the other. The challenge to this policy will arise as Singapore embarks on a foreign talent policy, where the goal is to ultimately attract talented foreigners to take up Singaporean citizenship. This other policy, if successful, could drastically change the nation's demographics, making it difficult to maintain a language policy that dichotomizes Asian and Western languages. Because policies do not occur in isolation, but are legitimized by appeals to nationalist ideologies, we make use of a framework that treats such ideologies as institutional narratives. By paying attention to how the semiotic processes of iconization, recursiveness, and erasure are manifested in such narratives, we show how Singapore's language policy may have to change - and its accompanying narrative be modified - in the light of the foreign talent policy. © Walter de Gruyter.
Source Title: Multilingua
ISSN: 01678507
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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