English around the World: Sociolinguistic Perspectives

Only a few centuries ago the English language consisted of a collection of dialects spoken mainly by monolinguals and only within the shores of a small island. Now the English language includes such typologically distinct varieties as pidgins and creoles, ‘new’ Englishes, and a range of different standard and nonstandard varieties that are spoken on a regular basis in many different countries throughout the world. English is also, of course, the main language used for communication at an international level. The use of English in such a diverse range of social contexts around the world provides us with a unique opportunity to analyse and document the linguistic variation and change that is occurring within a single language, on a far greater scale - as far as we know - than has ever happened in the world’s linguistic history before. This volume is intended to give a comprehensive account of our current knowledge of variation in the use of the English language around the world. Overview papers, written by specialist authors, survey the social context in which English is spoken in those parts of the world where it is widely used. Case study papers then provide representative examples of the empirical research that has been carried out into the English that is spoken in that part of the world. The volume therefore contributes both to our understanding of the English language worldwide and to a more general understanding of language as it is used in its social context. It assesses the extent of our current knowledge of variation in the English language and points to gaps in our understanding which future research might set out to remedy.


List of figures; List of contributors; Acknowledgements; Introduction; Sociolinguistics and English around the World Jenny Cheshire; 1. The UK and the USA Jenny Cheshire; 2. Ireland John Harris; 3. Urban and rural varieties of Hiberno-English Markku Filppula; 4. Sociolinguistic variation and methodology: after as a Dublin variable Jeffrey L. Kallen; 5. The interpretation of social constraints on variation in Belfast English James Milroy; 6. Canada J. K. Chambers; 7. Phonological variation and recent language change in St John’s English Sandra Clarke; 8. Sociophonetic variation in Vancouver John H. Esling; 9. Social differentiation in Ottowa English Howard B. Woods; 10. New Zealand Allan Bell, and Janet Holmes; 11. Social constraints on the phonology of New Zealand English Donn Bayard; 12. Maori English: a New Zealand myth? Richard A. Benton; 13. Sporting formulae in New Zealand English: two models of male solidarity Koenraad Kuiper; 14. Australia Gregory Guy; 15. /ae/ and /a:/ in Australian English David Bradley; 16. Variation in subject-verb agreement in inner Sydney English Edina Eisikovits; 17. Australian Creole English: the effect of cultural knowledge on language and memory Margaret T. S. Steffensen; 18. South Asia Thiru Kandiah; 19. Final consonant cluster simplification in a variety of Indian English Farhat Khan; 20. Patterns of language use in a bilingual setting in India Anju Sahgal; 21. Speech acts in an indigenised variety: sociocultural values and language variation Kamal K. Sridhar; 22. Southeast Asia and Hongkong Mary W. J. Tay; 23. Stylistic shifts in the English of the Philippine print media Andrew B. Gonzalez; 24. Variation in Malaysian English: the pragmatics of languages in contact Peter H. Lowenberg; 25. Social and linguistic constraints on variation in the use of two grammatical variables in Singapore English John Platt; 26. East Africa (Tanzania and Kenya) Mohammed M. H. Abdulaziz; 27. The politics of the English language in Kenya and Tanzania Musimbi R. A. Kanyoro; 28. National and subnational features in Kenyan English Josef J. Schmied; 29. Southern Africa Maurice M. Chishimba; 30. Sources and consequences of miscommunication in Afrikaans English - South African English encounters J. Keith Chick; 31. Syntactic variation in South African Indian English: the relative clause Rajend Mesthrie; 32. The social significance of language use and language choice in a Zambian urban setting: an empirical study of three neighbourhoods in Lusaka Alice K. Siachitema; 33. West Africa Eyamba G. Bokamba; 34. The pronoun system in Nigerian Pidgin: a preliminary study Nicholas Faraclas; 35. The sociolinguistics of prepositional usage in Nigerian English Munzali Jibril; 36. Social and linguistic constraints on plural marking in Liberian English John Victor Singlar; 37. The Caribbean Donald Winford; 38. Standardisation in a Creole continuum situation: the Guyana case Hubert Devonish; 39. Gender roles and linguistic variation in the Belizean Creole community Genevieve Escure; 40. Sociolinguistic variation in Cane Walk: a quantitative case study John R. Rickford; 41. The Pacific Suzanne Romaine; 42. Watching girls pass by in Tok Pisin Peter Muhihausler; 43. Sociolinguistic variation and language attitudes in Hawaii Peter Muhihausler; 44. Variation in Fiji English Jeff Siegel.