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"Why You So Singlish One?" A Semantic and Cultural Interpretation of the Singapore English Particle One

Jock Wong
Language in Society
Vol. 34, No. 2 (Apr., 2005), pp. 239-275
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4169416
Page Count: 37
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
"Why You So Singlish One?" A Semantic and Cultural Interpretation of the Singapore English Particle One
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Abstract

The particle one of Singapore English is widely used in Singapore culture, but it is little mentioned and its invariant meaning has not been described, so that not much is known about its meaning and the cultural norms it reflects. This article provides a detailed semantic analysis of this particle, articulates its meaning in the form of a reductive paraphrase using natural semantic metalanguage, and argues that its use reflects Singapore English speakers' tendency to speak definitively and exaggeratedly. The discussion of Singaporean speech norms reflected by this particle includes reference to relevant Anglo English speech norms for comparison and contrast.

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