The influence of religious institutions on language maintenance in Singapore
Siti Amirah Mohd Amin
Date of Issue2019-06-26
School of Humanities
Situated in Singapore’s language shift phenomenon (Cavallaro & Serwe, 2010), this study seeks to understand how language policies in different layers ranging from the government – e.g. The Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura (MUIS) - to community – e.g. mosques and the attending public – influence the vitality of the Malay language. Using ethnography of language policy (Johnson & Ricento, 2013), data were collected through interviews from policy actors in the different layers such as officials at the mosque and members of public. Other materials such as websites and existing publications by the governing bodies were also examined. The findings suggest that there is the intention by the higher authority to provide more religious programmes in English. However, the situation is more complex as there are multiple factors on the ground that influence the programmes’ medium language, such as the preference of the public, the ease of asatizahs to deliver, and the role of other religious organisations in the religious domain. The study suggests that policy actors from the different layers are currently in the midst of a push and pull, where the fate of the minority language is still uncertain due to the mixed attitudes to minority languages and it’s use in religion.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University