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By Phyllis Ghim-Lian Chew

What position does race, geography, faith, orthography and nationalism play within the crafting of identities? What are the origins of Singlish? This ebook deals an intensive research of outdated and new identities in Asia's so much international urban, tested in the course of the lens of language.

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Extra info for A Sociolinguistic History of Early Identities in Singapore: From Colonialism to Nationalism

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2007). The fact that most of the indigenous languages lacked a writing system and a literary history was also seen as a confirmation of their alleged inferior status. This practice enabled the formulation of mutually exclusive and exhaustive ethnic and linguistic categories as a means of classifying the population under rule by the colonialists. Linguists who were engaged with the census takers were thus involved with the broader ideological challenge of creating and legitimating colonial power.

Perak Annual Report 1890, quoted in Koh, 2007: 11) Chinese- and Indian-medium schools In contrast to the Malays, the Chinese and Indian migrants were freely given licenses to found schools inspired by their own private vision. While the Chinese received help from their clans and philanthropists, the Indians who were mostly living in rural areas, received help from plantation owners or missionaries to form their own schools. Indeed, within two years of the establishment of the British port of Singapore, Racial Identities: Plurality in the Making 29 their children were taught in privately-operated schools, in languages as varied as English, Malay, Tamil, Cantonese, Hokkien and Teochew as their operators saw fit (Lind, 1974: 69; Lee, 2008).

Photo 2 Chinese mosque next to a temple. South Bridge Road, Singapore, with the twin minarets of Jamae Mosque on the right and in the background, and the Hindu gate-tower of the Sri Mariamman Temple. Reproduced with permission by the National Archives, Singapore. ), so too Christianity was tacitly favored above all religions. Distinguished colonial administrator Hugh Clifford (1897), in his preface to “Nineteen Tales of the Malay People,” describes the Malay populace in the following way: ... who being yet untouched by white men, are still in a state of original sin ...

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