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English in SingaporeModernity and Management$
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Lisa Lim, Anne Pakir, and Lionel Wee

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9789888028436

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888028436.001.0001

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Whose English? Language Ownership in Singapore’s English Language Debates

Whose English? Language Ownership in Singapore’s English Language Debates

(p.132) (p.133) 6 Whose English? Language Ownership in Singapore’s English Language Debates
English in Singapore

Wendy D. Bokhorst-Heng

Rani Rubdy

Sandra Lee McKay

Lubna Alsagoff

Hong Kong University Press

This chapter examines language ownership in the English language debates in Singapore. It discusses the idealization of the so-called native speaker found within the native-speaker (NS)/non-native-speaker (NNS) dichotomy, as well as the unwillingness to recognize the different varieties of world Englishes as legitimate languages. It proposes a model of language ownership that moves away from the limitations of NS/NNS discourses, and focuses instead on speakers' orientations towards English norms to foreground speakers' degree of ownership of the English they speak.

Keywords:   language ownership, English language, Singapore, NS/NNS dichotomy, language variety

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