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Archived teaching schedules 2013–2014
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ENGS6/LTLY210 Singapore and Malaysian English 2–5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Advanced studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies

General description

Singapore and Malaysian English
Prof. Sebastian Hoffmann


Course Outline

In this course, we will be taking a closer look at two postcolonial varieties of English in Southeast Asia. Our main focus of interest will be Singapore English – a variety that is on the verge of becoming the native language for the majority of its speakers. This is complemented by a less detailed picture of the English spoken in neighbouring Malaysia, where different political and ethnic circumstances have influenced the development of a local variety in interesting ways. Apart from a detailed look at typical features of these two varieties on various levels of linguistic description (phonology, lexis, syntax, pragmatics), we will – among others – be dealing with topics such as "language planning" and "language and identity". In addition, we will also discuss the methodological toolkits available to linguists who study New Englishes, e.g. using corpus linguistic resources. The final part of the course will take a diachronic perspective and consider various theoretical models of variety formation.

No previous knowledge about varieties of English in general or Singapore/Malaysian English in particular is required to attend the course. Participants will however be expected to read a small range of papers before the first session. Depending on the size of the class, students may also be asked to prepare a (short!) presentation or design a class activity relating to a specific topic (to be determined in advance via email).



Friday 4.4.     10-13 (Pinni B3111)

10.15 - 11.15   Introduction, basic concepts, historical overview, Language(s) in Singapore, Census data

                        Reading: Schneider (2012) as very basic background

11.15 - 11.30   break

11.30 - 12.45   The sounds and words of Singapore (and Malaysian) English

                        Reading: Bao Zhiming (1998)


Monday 7.4.   10-13 (Päätalo E301)

10.15 - 11.15   Lexico-grammar and Syntax of Singapore (and Malaysian)  English

                        Reading: TBA

11.15 - 11.30   break

11.30 - 12.45   (variational) pragmatics (esp. particles)

                        Reading: TBA


Tuesday 8.4.  10-12 (Pinni B4079)

10.15 - 11.45   Modelling the language situation in Singapore (diglossia, etc.), the concept of the native speaker

                        Reading: Gupta, Leimgruber

                        Language policies in Singapore (Speak Good English Movement, Speak Mandarin Campaign) and Malaysia

                        Reading: TBA


Wednesday 9.4. 10-12 (Pinni B4079)

10.15 - 11.45   Diachrony

                        Models/Theories of the development of New Englishes (Kachru, Moag, Schneider)

                        Reading: Schneider (2003/7)

Sebastian Hoffmann, Universität Trier

Sebastian Hoffmann is Professor of English Linguistics at Trier University, and currently also guest professor at the School of Language, Translation and Literary Studies at the University of Tampere. He received his doctoral degree from the University of Zurich, where he also worked for several years. Before moving to Trier, he spent three years at Lancaster University (UK) as Lecturer in English Linguistics (2006 - 2009). His research predominantly focuses on the application of usage-based approaches to the study of language; recent research topics include: syntactic change (e.g. Grammaticalization and English Complex Prepositions: A Corpus-based Study; Routledge, 2005), tag questions, the lexico-grammar of New Englishes and corpus linguistic methodology involving Internet-derived data. He is a co-author of BNCweb, a user-friendly web-interface to the British National Corpus, which also forms the basis for his textbook publication Corpus Linguistics with BNCweb – a Practical Guide (Peter Lang, 2008; with S. Evert, N. Smith, D. Lee and Y. Berglund-Prytz).

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment for the course by email to Professor Juhani Klemola by Monday 31.3. Any questions concerning the course should also be directed to Professor Klemola.



4-Apr-2014 – 9-Apr-2014

Further information

Kurssin voi suorittaa joko 5 op:n laajuisena englannin optiokurssina (ENGS6-13) tai 2-5 op:n laajuisena yksikön yhteisten opintojen opintojaksona LTLY210 Kielen erikoiskurssi.

The course can be registered either as an English Language and Literature Option course (ENGS6-13, 5 credits) or as LTLY210 Special Course in Language Studies, 2-5 credits.