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World Englishes

Jennifer Jenkins

A resource book for students

A. Introduction

Key topics in World Englishes

A1: The historical, social and political context


English as a first language (L1) English as an institutionalised second language (L2) English as a foreign language (EFL) English as a lingua franca (ELF)

A1

The two diasporas of English

First diaspora: Migrations to North America, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa; L1 varieties of English = new Englishes Second diaspora: Colonialisation of Asia and Africa; L2 varieties of English = New Englishes

A1

A2: The origins of pidgin and creole languages

Definition pidgin A pidgin is a language with no native speakers: it is no ones first language but is a contact language.
(Wardhaugh 2006: 613)

Definition creole In contrast to a pidgin, a creole is often defined as a pidgin that has become the first language of a new generation of speakers.
(Wardhaugh 2006: 613)
A2

Pidgins
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Stigmatisation as inferior, bad languages European expansion into Africa and Asia during colonial period Contact languages between dominant European language speakers and speakers of mutually unintelligible indigenous African and American languages Fulfils restricted communicative needs between people who do not share a common language Little need for grammatical redundancy

A2

Creoles
Creolisation: development of a pidgin into a creole A: children of pidgin speakers use their parents pidgin language as a mother tongue creole B: pidgin is used as a lingua franca in multilingual areas and develops to be used for an increasing number of functions creole - Vocabulary expands and grammar increases in complexity Decreolisation: through extensive contact with the dominant language develops towards standard A2 dominant language

Theories of origins
Three groups of theories 1 Monogenesis: pidgins have a single origin 2 Polygenesis: pidgins have an independent origin 3 Universal: pidgins derive from universal strategies

A2

Monogenesis
The theory of monogenesis and relexification: -All European-based pidgins and creoles derive ultimately from one proto-pidgin source, a Portuguese pidgin that was used in the worlds trade routes during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries -Evidence for this theory: many linguistic similarities between present-day Portuguese pidgins and creoles, and pidgins and creoles related to other European languages
A2

Polygenesis
The independent parallel development theory: -Pidgins and creoles arose and developed independently, but in similar ways because they shared a common linguistic ancestor -Pidgins and creoles were formed in similar social and physical conditions

A2

Polygenesis
The nautical jargon theory: A nautical jargon, i.e. the European sailors lingua franca, formed a nucleus for the various pidgins, which were expanded in line with their learners mother tongues Evidence for this theory: nautical element in all pidgins and creoles with European lexicons

A2

Universal
The baby talk theory: -Based on similarities between certain pidgins and early speech of children -Also because speakers of the dominant language use foreigner talk (simplified speech) with L2 speakers

A2

Universal
A synthesis: -Based on universal patterns of linguistic behaviour in contact situations -Inherent universal constraints on language -Evidence for this theory: proficient as well as less proficient speakers from different L1s and speech communities simplify their language in very similar ways; children go through the same stages in the mastery of speech
A2

A3: Who speaks English today?

Three groups of users:

Those who speak English respectively as - a native language = ENL - a second language = ESL - a foreign language = EFL Neat classifications become increasingly difficult
A3

Who speaks English today?

English as a Native Language (ENL)


Language of those born and raised in one of the countries where English is historically the first language to be spoken (i.e. mainly the UK, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) ~ 350 million speakers

English as a Second Language (ESL)


Language spoken in a large number of territories which were once colonised by the English (e.g., India, Nigeria, Singapore) ~ 350 million speakers
A3

Who speaks English today?

English as a Foreign Language (EFL)


Language of those for whom it serves no purposes within their own countries Historically, EFL was learned to use the language with its native speakers in the US and UK ~ 1 billion speakers with reasonable competence

A3

Difficulties with the three-way categorisation


ENL is not a single variety of English Pidgins and creoles do not fit into the categorisation. There are large groups of ENL speakers in ESL territories and vice versa. It is based on the concept of monolingualism, but bior multilingualism is the norm. It is based on the basic distinction between native speakers and non-native speakers, with the first group being considered superior regardless of the quality of their language. (cf. McArthur 1998) A3

Models of the spread of English

Strevens (1980): World map of English Kachru (1985/1988): Three-circle model of World Englishes McArthur (1987): Circle of World English Grlach (1988): Circle model of English
A3

Three circle model of World Englishes


Kachru (1992: 356) Most useful and influential model World Englishes divided into three concentric circles: 1 Inner Circle: ~ ENL countries, norm-providing 2 Outer Circle:
~ ESL countries, norm-developing

3 Expanding Circle:
~EFL countries, norm-dependent
A3

Limitations with Kachrus model


Based on geography and history, rather than the speakers use of English. Grey area between Inner and Outer Circles as well as Outer and Expanding Circles. The worlds bilingual or multilingual speakers are not taken into account. Difficulty of using the model to define speakers in terms of their proficiency in English. Does not account for the linguistic diversity within and between countries of a particular circle. The term Inner Circle implies that speakers from ENL countries are central, and may thus be interpreted as superior.

A3

A4: Variation across Outer Circle Englishes


New Englishes Four defining criteria by Platt, Weber and Ho (1984)

1.

2.

3.

4.

It has developed through the education system. It has developed in an area where a native variety of English was not the language spoken by most of the population. It is used for a range of functions among those who speak or write it in the region where it is used. It has become localised or nativised by adopting some language features of its own (e.g., sounds, intonation patterns, sentence structures, words, expressions).
A4

Innovation in English

Five internal factors to decide the status of an innovation (Bamgbose 1998):


Demographic factor (how many speakers use it?) Geographical factor (how widely dispersed is it?) Authoritative factor (where is its use sanctioned?) Codification (does it appear in reference books?) Acceptability factor (what is the attitude towards it?)

1 2 3 4 5

A4

Levels of variation

Main levels of variation: pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary/idiom, discourse style

Pronunciation Consonant sounds, e.g., dental fricatives // and //


Vowel sounds: vary across the New Englishes in terms of both quality and quantity

A4

Levels of variation

Grammar
a tendency not to mark nouns for plural a tendency to use a specific/non-specific system for nouns rather than a definite/indefinite system, or to use the two systems side by side a tendency to change the form of quantifiers a tendency not to make a distinction between the third person pronouns he and she a tendency to change the word order within the noun phrase (cf. Platt, Weber and Ho 1984)
A4

Levels of variation

Grammar
limited marking of the third person singular present tense form limited marking of verbs for the past tense a tendency to use an aspect system (which shows whether an action is finished or still going on) rather than tense system (which shows the time an action takes place) a tendency to extend the use of be + verb + ing constructions to stative verbs the formation of different phrasal and prepositional verb constructions (cf. Platt, Weber and Ho 1984)
A4

Levels of variation

Vocabulary/Idiom
Locally coined words/expressions Prefixation (e.g., enstool, destool) Suffixation (e.g., teacheress, spacy) Compounding (e.g., key-bunch, high hat) Borrowings from indigenous languages Idioms Direct translations from indigenous idioms (e.g., to shake legs) Variation on native speaker idioms (e.g., to eat your cake and have it) Combination of English and indigenous forms (e.g., to put sand A4 in someones gari)

Levels of variation

Discourse style
Formal character Complex vocabulary and grammatical structure Specific expressions of thanks, deferential vocabulary and the use of blessings Greeting and leave-taking

A4

A5: Standard language ideology in the Inner Circle


Standard language Term used for that variety of a language which is considered to be the norm. Prestige variety: spoken by a minority of those occupying positions of power within a society Yardstick against which other varieties of the language are measured Held up as optimum for educational purposes
A5

Standard language and language standards


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Language standards Prescriptive language rules which constitute the standard to which all members of a language community are exposed and urged to conform during education. Reverse side of the standard language coin Because natural languages are dynamic, these rules are subject to change over time. During earlier and transitional stages, language change is regarded as error by promoters of A5 standard language ideology.

Standard language and language standards


[] standard languages are the result of a direct and deliberate intervention by society (Hudson 1996: 32)

1 2 3 4

Four stages of this process of intervention Selection Codification Elaboration of function Acceptance
A5

What is Standard English?


1 The dialect of educated people throughout the British Isles. It is the dialect normally used in writing, for teaching in schools and universities, and heard on radio and television (Hughes and Trudgill 1979, repeated in the 2nd ed., 1996) The variety of the English language which is normally employed in writing and normally spoken by educated speakers of the language. It is also, of course, the variety of the language that students of English as a Foreign or Second Language (EFL/ESL) are taught when receiving formal instruction. The term Standard English refers to grammar and vocabulary (dialect) but not to pronunciation (accent). (Trudgill and Hannah 1982, and repeated in the 4th ed., 2002).
A5

What is Standard English?


3 Standard English can be characterized by saying that it is that set of grammatical and lexical forms which is typically used in speech and writing by educated native speakers. It includes the use of colloquial and slang vocabulary as well as swearwords and taboo expressions (Trudgill 1984). (The term) Standard English is potentially misleading for at least two reasons. First, in order to be self-explanatory, it really ought to be called the grammar and the core vocabulary of educated usage in English. That would make plain the fact that it is not the whole of English, and above all, it is not pronunciation that can in any way be labelled Standard, but only one part of English: its grammar and vocabulary (Strevens 1985). A5

What is Standard English?


5 Since the 1980s, the notion of standard has come to the fore in public debate about the English language We may define the Standard English of an English-speaking country as a minority variety (identified chiefly by its vocabulary, grammar and orthography) which carries most prestige and is most widely understood. (Crystal 1995, repeated in the 2nd ed., 2003). 6 Traditionally the medium of the upper and (especially professional) middle class, and by and large of education [] Although not limited to one accent (most notably in recent decades), it has been associated since at least the 19th century with the accent that, since the 1920s, has been called Received Pronunciation (RP), and with the phrases the Queens English, the Kings English, Oxford English, and BBC English (McArthur 2002). A5

Standard English: what it isnt


It is not a language: it is only one variety of a given English. It is not an accent: in Britain it is spoken by 1215% of the population, of whom 912% speak it with a regional accent. It is not a style: it can be spoken in formal, neutral and informal styles, respectively. It is not a register: given that a register is largely a matter of lexis in relation to subject matter (e.g. the register of medicine, of cricket, or of knitting), there is no necessary connection between register and Standard English It is not a set of prescriptive rules: it can tolerate certain features which, because many of their rules are grounded in Latin, prescriptive grammarians do not allow. (cf. Trudgill 1999)A5

Standard English

A dialect That differs from other dialects in that it has greater prestige That does not have an associated accent That does not form part of a geographical continuum. It is a purely social dialect.
(Trudgill 1999)
A5

Non-standard Englishes

Non-standard native English varieties New Englishes: standard and non-standard varieties

Implicit belief that New Englishes are result of fossilisation

A5

READING D5: IS LANGUAGE (STILL) POWER?

A6: The spread of English as an international lingua franca


Ambivalent attitude towards English as an international lingua franca Reasons for the international status of English: Historical reasons Internal political reasons External economic reasons Practical reasons Intellectual reasons Entertainment reasons Personal advantage/prestige (Crystal 1997)

A6

Mutual intelligibility and group identity

Intelligibility and identity: two opposing forces Mutual intelligibility: accent differences decrease

Identity: accent differences increase

A6

A7: The roles of English in Asia and Europe

Europe Expanding Circle Emerging Euro-English

Asia Outer Circle Asian Englishes

Bi- and multilingual contexts Linguistic orphans (Kachru 1992)


A7

English as an Asian language

Regional categorisation
South Asian varieties Southeast Asian and Pacific varieties East Asian varieties

Functional categorisation
Institutionalised varieties (Outer Circle) Non-institutionalised varieties (Expanding Circle)

A7

English in Europe

European Union (EU):


23 official languages 3 dominant languages: English, French, German English = the de facto European lingua franca Emerging features (Seidlhofer, Breiteneder, Pitzl 2006) Nativisation processes

A7

A8: The future of World Englishes



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Language distribution vs. language spread (Widdowson 1997) Difficulties inherent in the English language:
Orthographic Phonological Grammatical

Spanish as the principal world language:


Increasing influence in the EU and America Simpler pronunciation, spelling and verb system
A8