ISSN 1226-8682

대한영어영문학회 전자저널

대한영어영문학회 전자저널


47권 4호 (2021년 11월)

Against the Usage-based Approach to Substratum Transfer: Singapore English one


Pages : 189-230





Kim, Chonghyuck. “Against the Usage-based Approach to Substratum Transfer: Singapore English one.” Studies in English Language & Literature 47.4 (2021): 189-230. The pronominal one displays peculiar properties in Singapore English. Unlike one in Standard English which is mainly used as a pronominal, it has two additional productive functions; it is used to nominalize a phrase or emphasize (a part of) a sentence. In contact linguistics, these peculiar properties of Singapore English one are viewed as a consequence that results from a process known as substratum transfer, where the superstratum language, English, acquires non-English-like properties from the substratum languages spoken in the local environment, mainly Chinese languages in Singapore. In the literature, the standard assumption about substratum transfer, at least since Lefebvre (1998), is that it emerges through a merger of the lexicons of the superstratum and substratum languages, a lexicalist conception of substratum transfer which has its theoretical root in the generative grammar. Bao (2009) argues, however, that this standard generative conception of substratum transfer fails to account for Singapore English one, and proposes instead to adopt a usage-based approach to substratum transfer. Within this usage-based approach, substratum transfer has nothing to do with lexicons but with constructions. In a recent paper, Kim (2021) defends the lexicalist hypothesis by showing that all the major problems that Bao attributes to the lexicalist hypothesis are only apparent and not problematic. While Kim succeeds in defending the lexicalist hypothesis, he fails to show that it is superior to the usage-based approach. In this article, I compare Kim’s analysis with Bao’s point by point with the aim to show that Kim’s lexicalist hypothesis is superior. I argue that even the usage patterns of one, which have been used to support the usage-based approach, in fact turn out be a strong support for the lexicalist approach. (Jeonbuk National University)


# Singapore English one # Chinese de # copula deletion # substratum transfer # contact linguistics


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