How different are the monophthongs of Malay speakers of Malaysian and Singapore English?
Early works on Singapore and Malaysian English used to consider them as a single homogeneous entity based on their shared history as previous British colonies. However, since 1965, both Malaysia and Singapore have been independent from each other. It is interesting to investigate, some four decades post-independence, how different the English speech patterns of Malaysians and Singaporeans have become taking into account the different language planning policies undertaken by both countries. This paper compares one particular aspect of pronunciation, i.e. the vowel qualities and durations of both varieties. The formants of the vowels of the read speech of five male and five female speakers of Malaysian English (MalE) are compared to an equivalent sample of speakers of Singapore English (SgE) in order to compare the vowel qualities between the two varieties. In particular, we compare the vowel quadrilateral space of MalE in comparison with SgE. Vowel durations are also measured for vowels produced in citation forms only. It is found that SgE speakers did maintain some distinctions between the long/short vowel pairs in terms of duration while the MalE speakers tended to conflate the long/short vowel pairs durationally.
Keywords: Malaysian English, vowel quality, Singapore English, vowel duration
Published online: 21 May 2010
Cited by 14 other publications
No author info given
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