The use of prepositions by NTU students.
Lau, Carolyn Kia Lin.
Peh, Woon Teng.
Tan, Shi Lin.
Date of Issue2009
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
Historical events are often the main causes and reasons for social changes in a country. This can be seen in the Singapore context, where having once been a British colony had far-reaching influence on the use of the English language in society. Our literature review reveals that over the past few decades, there have been many changes to the status, features and functions of English in Singapore. It has evolved from being a language of trade to a language of daily use. A pioneer study published by R. K. Tongue in the 1970s revealed the three common difficulties faced when Singaporeans use prepositions. Since then, there have been hardly any studies being conducted on prepositional usage as it constitutes only a small portion of the English grammar. Henceforth, the objective of this paper is to address the changes, if present, in prepositional usages. A survey has been conducted on Nanyang Technological University (NTU) students to gauge their use of prepositions and in turn we deduced that there are illustrations which show that changes have possibly occurred. We juxtaposed the survey responses according to examples of prepositions from the Singapore and American media as well as the British National Corpus. It can be seen that not only is there a strong relationship between users of English in Singapore and the native speakers, the interaction between and within languages do play a part in influencing perceptions on acceptable prepositional usage. While there are a number of limitations to this study, which resulted mainly from logistical constraints, this paper is still able to address the fundamental issues raised. We have included several recommendations for further research.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University