Erlewine, Michael Yoshitaka, 2017.
“The limits of relexification: The story of Singlish already.”
Presented at the 2017 summer meeting of the Society for Pidgin and Creole Linguistics, University of Tampere.
I investigate the syntax/semantics of Singlish (also: Colloquial Singapore English) sentence-final already and related sentence-final particles (SFPs) in Chinese languages in its contact ecology. Based on new evidence from their semantic scope, I show that Singlish already unambiguously attaches high to its host clause (above TP), whereas the related substrate le/liao/laa SFPs attach unambiguously to a clause-medial position (between VP and TP). I propose that this unambiguously high attachment of Singlish already was triggered by a structural universal, the Final-over-Final Constraint, and the availability of verbal inflection in Singlish, unlike in its substrate Chinese languages.