ILA lectures will take place on Zoom in 2022. We have an amazing line-up of speakers.


October 1, 2022

Singaporean English in Action

Dr. K. K. Luke
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Time: October 1, 2022. 11:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 870 2918 0717
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Singaporean English (aka ‘Singlish’) has been described at length at various linguistic levels, including phonetic/phonological, morphological and syntactic, and semantic/pragmatic. Holistically, there is little disagreement among linguists that Singaporean English is readily recognizable as a distinct form of speech, with its own accent, grammar and usage patterns. It is also generally acknowledged that this distinctiveness is largely the outcome of a long history of contact between a number of contributing languages and cultures, including Chinese (multiple varieties), Malay (multiple forms), Indian (multiple languages) and other sources. This substantial literature on the linguistic features of ‘Singlish’ notwithstanding, relatively little is known about the fascinating ways in which the language is used by speakers in everyday interactions to achieve a multitude of communicative goals. In this paper we zoom in on talk-in-interaction in Singapore and examine at close range snippets of social interactions in the form of video recordings, using an Ethnomethodological and Conversation Analytic approach. By approaching these interactions as ‘culture in action’ (Hester & Eglin 1997), I will unpack the localisms and distinctive forms of expression in an attempt to document and celebrate a rich kaleidoscope of creative practices that constitute Singaporean English.

Monthly Lectures 2022 - 2023


Date Title Speaker (Affiliation)
March 05 'Talk to (and with) the hand': African American Language, gestures and the Black body Dr. Renee Blake (New York University)
April 09 Toward an Integrated Framework for Studying the Relationship between Bilingual Language Experience and Cognitive Reserve Dr. Laura Spinu (Kingsborough Community College, CUNY)
May 07 A (class)room of our own: Towards a multimodal grammar of pedagogical conversation on the WhatsApp messaging platform Dr. Cecilia Magadán (National University of San Martin, Argentina)
October 01 Singaporean English in Action Dr. K. K. Luke (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)
November 05 15 Years of Chirila Dr. Claire Bowern (Yale University)
December 03 Nepali Migrant Workers' Use of Tamizh in Chennai: Insights into Adult Naturalisitic Acquisition in a Multilingual Context Dr. Usha Lakshmanan (Southern Illinois University at Carbondalea)


Date Title Speaker (Affiliation)
February 04 Recruiting syntax (and more) to learn the meaning of adjectives Dr. Kristen Syrett (Rutgers University, New Brunswick)
March 04 Multilingualism and heritage language practices amongst third generation Australian Italians Dr. Antonia Rubino (The University of Sydney)
May 06 Proto-Basque and the Single Sibilant Hypothesis: Evidence, reassessment, and implications Dr. Juliette Blevins (CUNY, Graduate Center)