Singapore Bazaar Malay

Singapore Bazaar Malay was spoken by fewer than 10,000 Singaporeans in the island state of Singapore in 2002-2004 when the research was carried out. This contact variety is under threat of extinction in the Singapore context as it has lost its former role as a lingua franca to English, especially among the younger generation.

Consequently, Singapore Bazaar Malay speakers nowadays are mostly the elderly Singaporeans and some middle-aged Singaporeans who need to be in occupational contact with the older generation who do not speak English and with whom they do not share any common language other than this contact variety. It is used only orally, although it may occur in written form, for example, in the cartoons in Malay. This contact language is normally confined to market places, shop houses, hawker centres and wherever people with no other common language meet and have to communicate.

Like other contact languages, Singapore Bazaar Malay is not a single unified variety with a multitude of variations corresponding to the speakers’ ethnic and linguistic background, age, education, exposure and frequency of use just to mention few.

The default lect described in APiCS is that of elderly people and those middle-aged Singaporeans whose age ranged from 49 to 77 and who came from different ethnic backgrounds. Some of them were formerly immigrants who had been in Singapore for more than 30 years.

Glossed text (61.9KB, application/pdf)
No. Feature Value % Details Source
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Consonants

bilabial
labiodental
dental
dental/alveolar
dental/alveolar
affricate
palato-alveolar
retroflex
palatal
velar
labial-velar
uvular
glottal
plosive/affricatepbtdt͡sd͡zt͡ʃd͡ʒʈɖcɟkgk͡pg͡bqʔ
aspirated plosive/affricatet͡sʰt͡ʃʰ
glottalized stop/affricateɓt͡sʼt͡ʃʼ
nasalmnɳɲŋ
trill, tap or flaprɾ
fricativeɸβfvθðszʃʒxɣχh
lateral/approximantɬlɭjw

Vowels

frontnear-frontcentralnear-backback
high
higher-mid
mid
lower-mid
low

Legend

 Exists (as a major allophone)
 Exists only as a minor allophone
 Exists only in loanwords
 Does not exist
No. Feature Value % Details Source