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I am a Singaporean linguist and an Associate Professor at the English, Linguistics and Theatre Studies department of the National University of Singapore. I spent a year at Stanford University as a postdoctoral fellow, after obtaining my PhD at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa in December 2014. My stints at both institutes were aided by the Ministry of Education- National University of Singapore Overseas Postdoctoral Fellowship, and the National University of Singapore Overseas Graduate Scholarship. 


I am Peranakan Chinese by birth, and am interested in my endangered heritage language, Baba Malay. I also carry out research on Colloquial Singapore English and other contact languages. I seek to understand language change brought about by multilingualism. My specific areas of interests lie in language endangerment, language death, language documentation, creoles, typology, and sociolinguistics. It is my hope that my training in linguistics will better prepare me to contribute towards the revitalization of Baba Malay. I also enjoy teaching, and I have taught a range of classes (intro to linguistics, intro to linguistics for engineers, semantics and pragmatics, child language, language documentation, and typology, to name a few). I welcome MA and PhD supervisees in ​the above areas, including supervisees who are interested in embarking on a sociolinguistics project, especially those focusing on contact or heritage languages; or in producing a grammatical description using the functional approach. 

In Semester 1 of AY 2022/2023, I teach a graduate level typology (ELC5204). In Semester 2, I teach intro linguistics (EL1101E).

Outside of research and teaching, I am an Assistant Dean at the Research Division at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

And beyond academia, I enjoy being active, reading a good book, knitting, travelling and spending time with my toddler!



My 2014 PhD dissertation is a grammar of Baba Malay with sociophonetic considerations, and my committee members are Lyle Campbell (chairperson), Andrea Berez, Robert Blust, Katie Drager and Barbara Watson Andaya (external member).

The grammar has since been published as A Grammar of Modern Baba Malay by Mouton de Gruyter (2022).

Material collected from the field have been archived at Kaipuleohone, the University of Hawai'i Digital Ethnographic Archive.


I am one of the co-developers of the Language Endangerment Index (LEI) that is used by the Endangered Languages Catalogue ( If you would like to find out more about LEI, please feel free to contact me.

With regard to Baba Malay, I am currently looking at material from the late 1800s and early 1900s, and comparing this with present-day data to look at how the language has evolved in its changing ecology.

With regard to contact languages and language endangerment, I am interested in how and why 

contact languages become endangered, and in highlighting the issue of endangerment where these languages are concerned. I am also interested in issues to do with the assessment of language vitality.

My latest project with Cynthia Siew adopts a network analysis approach and a computational approach to the issue of language loss.



National University of Singapore
Department of English Language and Literature
Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
National University of Singapore
Blk AS5, 7 Arts Link
Singapore 117570



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