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E-Ching Ng

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I am currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago, bonded to the English Department at the National University of Singapore. I received my Ph.D. from the Yale Linguistics department, with some assistance from the departments of Medieval Studies (M.Phil.) and English (M.A.).

My dissertation was titled ‘The phonology of contact’. It comprises three case studies on front rounded vowels, vowel harmony and word-final vowel epenthesis, and it contrasts typological gaps in creoles, other types of language contact and unbroken L1 transmission.

I am a citizen of Singapore, and that’s where I taught General Paper and English Literature at Raffles Junior College before returning to graduate school. My undergraduate degree was in English, also at Yale. More details appear in my curriculum vitae.

You can contact me at

And yes, my surname has a (rising) tone, but no vowels.


I work on phonetically grounded approaches to sound change and language contact.

My work includes formal OT and fieldwork; Singaporean English, Bazaar Malay, Hokkien (southern Min Chinese), Mandarin Chinese, Old English; the Atlantic creoles and their substrates.

Recently I have focused on segmental sound changes, but I have an ongoing interest in stress, tone and the prosodic word.


Papers and publications


Research groups

I have been a member of the following research groups at Yale:


In addition to the courses below, I also taught English Literature and General Paper for five years at Raffles Junior College in Singapore, and I hold a basic certificate in Early Childhood Care and Education.

Lecturer/Tutor, National University of Singapore

Teaching Fellow, Yale


Singaporean English (Singlish)


As a Singaporean and a Yalie twice over, I have been intensely interested in the progress of Yale-NUS College, because I genuinely believe it will be a wonderful thing for both Singapore and Yale if done right. I have written and spoken about the surrounding discussion at Yale as well as issues of teaching in Singapore.

News about Yale-NUS College is available at the following websites: reposts recent news coverage from Singaporean media. Media discussion of Yale-NUS is also reposted at the following websites, both of which make an effort to include multiple perspectives.