Abstract

This article discusses four grammatical constructions that have been appropriated from Chinese into Singapore English and spelled out with English morphosyntactic materials. These constructions have developed unique structural properties and usage patterns that differ in interesting ways from those of their respective Chinese sources and English exponents. While the structural properties of these constructions are shaped by the grammars of Chinese and English, the two languages with a constant presence in Singapore, the usage patterns are largely determined by the grammatical requirements associated with the English exponents. I argue that frequency of use in the contact language plays a crucial role in substratum-derived linguistic change, and propose a usage-based exemplar model of substratum transfer and stabilization that gives an adequate and cogent explanation of the facts discussed here.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 792-820
Launched on MUSE
2010-12-30
Open Access
No
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