Swearing in Singapore : doing it the multilingual way.
Teo, Tze Swen.
Date of Issue2013
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Singapore is a multilingual and multicultural society where members of the general population speak at least two languages. A great deal of research has been conducted on the study of multilingual swearing in other countries but very little hitherto in Singapore, despite the unique linguistic landscape here. The study investigates the language preferences of Singaporeans when swearing and the reasons behind such preferences. This research involves a partial replication of two studies conducted by Dewaele (2010) and Bolton and Hutton (1997). Quantitative and qualitative approaches were undertaken through the use of a questionnaire and interviews. The results showed that the most common choice of language for swearing reported by those university students who were sampled in this survey was English. The results also suggested that one possible reason for this preference was the students’ proficiency in the English language, compared with other languages in their repertoires. At the same time, however, the results of this study also provide evidence that, in addition to English, the Hokkien language was also a significant language of choice for the purposes of swearing, particularly among students of a Chinese ethnicity.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University