[ben] North East district (No. 19), especially Hougang and Sengkang areas; scattered elsewhere. 1,820 (2004 J. Leclerc). Ethnic population: 80,000 (2006 People’s Daily). Status: 6b (Threatened). Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese. Comments: Non-indigenous. Hindu, Muslim.
Chinese, Min Bei
Chinese, Min Dong
Chinese, Min Nan
[nan] Mostly Telok Ayer area. 625,000 (2015 World Factbook). Includes 448,000 Hokkien and 177,000 Teochew. Ethnic population: 1,860,000 (2010 census). Includes 1,120,000 Hokkien, 562,000 Teochew, 178,0000 Hainanese. Status: 3 (Wider communication). Alternate Names: Banlamgi, Min Nam, Southern Min. Dialects: Hokkien (Amoy, Fujian, Fukienese, Xiamen), Teochew (Chaochow, Chaozhou, Taechew), Hainanese. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Chinese. Comments: Non-indigenous.
[eng] 3,650,000 in Singapore, all users. 1,650,000 (2015 World Factbook). 2,000,000 (Crystal 2003a). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national working language (1963, Constitution (amended), Article 153A(1)). Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English. Comments: Non-indigenous.
[zlm] 659,000 (2015 World Factbook). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1963, Constitution, Article 153A(2)), not dominant despite status. Alternate Names: Colloquial Malay, Local Malay, Malayu. Dialects: Jugra-Muar-Melaka-Johor. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Malayo-Chamic, Malayic, Malay. Comments: Non-indigenous. Local Malay [zlm] in Singapore is distinguished from court-Malay-derived Standard Malay [zsm] by its sociolinguistic status as a vernacular, as well as by various linguistic features. Muslim.
[mbf] Mainly Kallang district, near city center; Geylang and Jao Chiat districts. 10,000 (Pakir 1986). Ethnic population: 250,000 (1986). Total users in all countries: 12,000. Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Baba, Chinese Malay, Low Malay, Peranakan, Straits Malay. Dialects: None known. It developed after 15th century from Low Malay with many Min Nan Chinese [nan] borrowings. Regional variants between Malacca and Singapore. Partially intelligible with Standard Malay [zsm]. It is generally believed that Baba of Malaysia is more, refined, and that of Singapore more, rough. Most learn Standard Malay and English in school. Distinct from Peranakan Indonesian [pea]. Baba in Melaka, Malaysia speak a Hokkien-influenced Malay creole; those in Penang, Malaysia speak a localized version of Hokkien [nan] (2006 Tan Chee Beng). Classification: Creole, Malay based.
[zsm] Few L1 speakers. L2 speakers include ethnic Malays and some others, particularly the older generation. Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Bahasa Malaysia, Formal Malay, Malay, Malayu, Melayu, Melayu Baku. Classification: Austronesian, Malayo-Polynesian, Malayo-Chamic, Malayic, Malay. Comments: Non-indigenous. In Singapore, Standard Malay [zsm] exists in a diglossic relationship with Local Malay [zlm].
Singapore Sign Language
[sls] Scattered. 3,000 (2007 SIL). Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 4,000 (2007 SIL). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: SGSL, SgSL. Dialects: Natural Sign Language, Contact Signing (PSE, Pidgin Signed English). Strong influence from sign language in Shanghai, American Sign Language (ASL) [ase], and Signing Exact English (SEE2), with some locally-developed signs. Classification: Sign language. Comments: Singapore Chinese Sign School for the Deaf (SCSSD) founded 1954, using Shanghainese Sign Language (SSL), a variety of Chinese Sign Language [csl]; it merged with the oral deaf school in 1963 to form Singapore School for the Deaf (SSD). Strong oralist influence in language policies and education starting 1983 (Low and Tay 2016). American Sign Language (ASL) [ase], Signing Exact English (SEE2), and Total Communication introduced in schools in the 1970s, but since 2014, SSD uses SgSL for instruction and teaches English as a second language; other schools use other approaches. Interpreters and sign language classes available through Singapore Association for the Deaf (Singapore Association for the Deaf 2016).
[sin] 3,140 (2010 census). Ethnic population: 12,000 (1993). Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Chingalese, Singhalese, Sinhalese. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Southern, Sinhalese-Maldivian. Comments: Non-indigenous. Great difference between the literary and colloquial language. Buddhist.