"How many c(R)s do you have?"

A Look into Postvocalic /r/ in Singapore English

  • Alexandra Hofbauer


Singapore English (SgE) is, thus far, not known to be a rhotic variety of English, having its roots in standard British English (BrE). However, recent studies have shown evidence of rhoticity in SgE, and this has been attributed to the widespread influence of the American media, especially on local youth. This study questions the factors affecting rhoticity among young, female Singaporeans. It looks at rhoticity in SgE by considering speakers who have attended a particular group of schools with a strong tradition of English language proficiency. Rhoticity is investigated through a reading task and a Diapix task, and it is found that within this group a small number of individuals do exhibit some limited rhoticity, but that most of them seem to prefer a more local speech style. The use of rhoticity and American English (AmE) evidenced here is nonetheless interesting, perhaps taking on a more specific function in this group—one of achieving particular conversational goals and of establishing commonality among a group who share an affinity with American culture.

How to Cite
Hofbauer, A. (2018). "How many c(R)s do you have?". Lifespans and Styles, 4(1), 2-16. https://doi.org/10.2218/ls.v4i1.2018.2608