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The aim of this research blog is to encourage sharing among researchers on the topic of linguistic politeness and pragmatics. This platform has been made accessible to public since 31 July 2013.

An Online Discussion & Resource Network
–Multilingual; Cross-Disciplinary (Business, Linguistics, Psychology, Sociology, etc.)
–Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, other Southeast Asian Subgroups & Clusters (Chinese, Indian, Malay, Peranakan, etc.)
–Undergraduates, Postgraduates and Scholars

Register at: sealinguist@gmail.com
(include full name and affiliation)

Reminder: ACLL2015 Asian Conference on Language Learning (30 April–3 May, Kobe, Japan)

(Image from http://www.kobejournal.com)

The final submission deadline for the Asian Conference on Language Learning 2015, held from April 30 to May 3 at the Art Center of Kobe in Kobe, Japan, is rapidly approaching.

This conference, themed “Integrated Practices: Creating Experiences to Enhance Learning”, has already received more than 400 submissions from researchers and professionals from around the globe. To be considered for presentation at this event, submit your abstract by March 1, 2015 at http://iafor.org/cfp.

Develop policies. Exchange ideas. Promote new partnerships. Experience Japan.

Join us in Kobe, Japan for presentations on Language Learning and Technology in the Classroom from:

Keynote Speaker
Kay Irie, Gakushuin University, Japan
Integrating Language Learning as Part of A Self Narrative

Featured Speaker
Michael Griffin, Chung-Ang University, South Korea
How we talk about English Teaching (in South Korea)

Featured Speakers
Kristen Sullivan and Paul Collett, Shimonoseki University, Japan

– Hear the latest developments in Education and Language Learning research
– Excellent opportunities to promote your research, organisation, or institution
– Have your research published in the official conference proceedings and eligible for journal publication
– Participate in interactive audience sessions
– Daily refreshment breaks and snacks
– International networking opportunities

For details on how to join as an audience member and further registration details, please go to http://iafor.org/acll2015-registration/

Any queries can be directed to acll@iafor.org


* A gentle reminder: Comprehensive lists of conferences in the first- and second-half of 2015 with Call for Papers, and conferences for the first-half of 2016 have already been posted. Click “Conferences” on your right on this website.

Linguistics Conferences in 2016 (January to June)


(Image from pnhpcalifornia.com)

 January 2016

SIGN LANGUAGE12th International Conference on Theoretical Issues in Sign Language Research (TISLR 12) 

American Name Society (Literary Onomastics) (ANS) 


American Name Society 2016 Annual Meeting (ANS 2016) http://www.wtsn.binghamton.edu/ANS


Language Change, Shifting Borders and Identity Construction (MLA-Language Change Forum) http://www.mla.org/convention
Lexical and Syntactic Experimentation in Postmodernist Literature (MLA) http://www.mla.org/future_conventions
Linguistic Ideology, Language Policy, and Prestige   Please google
Rethinking the ‘L’ in MLA (MLA-Language Change Forum) (A PANEL)   http://www.mla.org/convention
Second Language Acquisition in the Domestic Immersion Context (MLA – Special Session) http://www.mla.org/convention
Selected Topics in Romance Linguistics   Please google
Syntax and Poetry (MLA) http://www.mla.org/future_conventions

March 2016


LAFAL: Theoretical Issues in Humour: Building Bridges across Disciplines (LAFAL 4) (Poland)    Please google
Religions, Langues et Cultures Africaines a l’ère du Numérique (ReLCAN) (Cameroon)Please google

April 2016


1st International Symposium on Language Attitudes toward Portuguese, Spanish and Related Languages https://learn.ipfw.edu/wconnect/CourseStatus.awp?&course=16SBUS449
Multiculturalism in the Canadian Context (CAN-TEXT) http://www.cantext2016@wssm.edu.pl
NWAV AP4 2016 http://cloud.ccu.edu.tw/Site/nwav-ap4

May 2016


Negotiating Cultural, Jurisdictional and Disciplinary Boundaries http://www.crill.unina2.it
Youth Languages. Variation – Dynamics – Continuity (Austria)   Please google

June 2016


16th Symposium of the International Dostoevsky Society (IDS2016) http://www.ugr.es/~feslava/ids2016/index.html
6th International Conference on Bantu Languages (Bantu 6) (Helsinki, Finland)    Please google
International Society for the Study of Time (ISST Conference) http://studyoftime.org
Sociolinguistics Symposium 21 (SS21) http://www.um.es/sociolinguistics-symposium21


Pierre Bourdieu

  (Image by Marymartin.com)

Anthropologists, sociologists and philosophers most probably are familiar with the works of David Émile Durkheim (1858-1917) and Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002).  Although I am not researching in the named disciplines, I have recently cited both Bourdieu’s and Durkheim’s works as I find some of their theories useful in looking at language as a social action. For this post, I will upload Pierre_Bourdieu_and_language_in_society which I found online, written by Professor Blommaert (Tilburg University, Netherlands).


A Diminishing Ethnic and Speech Community

 (Image from jawi-peranakan.blogspot.sg)

On 20th June 2014 (2014/06/20), this website posted an article on the Kristang, a diminishing community.

In addition, just two days ago, the Straits Times (Singapore’s main newspaper) carried an article on the Jawi Peranakan.  For those of you who are not familiar with the term, Peranakan, it commonly, though not always, refers to Malaysians, Indonesians, Thais and Singaporeans of Chinese descent whose ancestors have intermarried with the indigenous people and have formed a distinct hybrid culture of their own. In short, they are children of mixed parentage. In Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, they are commonly known as Straits Chinese (named after the Straits Settlements; 土生華人 in Chinese; Tionghoa-Selat or Tionghoa Peranakan in Indonesian). In Thailand, there are the Phuket Baba in Phuket.  There are also other, comparatively small non-Chinese Peranakan communities, such as Indian Hindu Peranakans (Chitty), and Arab/Indian Muslim Peranakans (Jawi Pekan) (Jawi being the Javanised Arabic script, Pekan a colloquial contraction of Peranakan). The Peranakan as a group is parallel to the Cambodian Hokkien, who are descendants of Hoklo Chinese, and the Pashu of Myanmar,  a Burmese word for Chinese who have settled in Myanmar. They have partially maintained their culture despite their native language gradually disappearing a few generations after settlement.

Read also:



Interpreting meanings based on conventions

The association between language and convention came to my mind as I was looking at the degrees of several universities online.

I recall being quite “shocked” when I received my degree from Oxford University. It was not worded the same way like degrees of other universities. (See a degree sample below). I was more used to the straightforward “This is to certify that so-and-so…” pattern.   The Oxford one reads: “This is to certify that it appears in the Registrars of the University of Oxford that so-and-so satisfied …”.

I found incomprehensible ones in Latin which I don’t comprehend:

(Image from hmcsharry.pbworks.com)

I also found a degree from a particular American university which starts with: “To all to whom these letters shall come, Greeting:”.

I wonder what my next degree will look or read like? I only know that its emblem looks like this:


English in the Toilet

   (Image from my archive)

I stopped by this shopping mall to do my grocery shopping after a walk. It’s not my first time at the mall, but each time I use its toilet, I can’t help not reading this sticker. The message is “nosy” — why does it bother about whether I have brought along all my belongings or not? What it is trying to do is to serve as a gentle reminder to users so that they do not leave their belongings behind. In case you think this is Singlish, it is not.  I have never read reminders in English like this all these years of living in Singapore.