Principles in the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Features in World Englishes

Principles in the Emergence and Evolution of Linguistic Features in World Englishes

eBook - 2014
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This study deals with different explanatory models for the emergence or existence of linguistic features in varieties of the English language. After a brief overview of the current research, five non-standard varieties from all over the world, ranging from a traditional dialect to pidgins and creoles, are analyzed in two morphosyntactic and two phonological features. The theoretical approaches are discussed with reference to the features, providing recommendations for or advice against certain explanatory models. Finally, Bybee's usage-based functionalist approach and the usage-based synthesis of new-dialect formation according to Ansaldo are highlighted as plausible explanations for the features. Formalist, descriptive universals are rejected in favour of functionalist, cognitive universals in human language processing, acquisition and evolution, as they occur in language contact or speaker contact scenarios - the driving force of language change.   Auszug aus dem Text Text Sample: Chapter 3., Selection of varieties of English: In order to create a subset as interesting and representative as possible, five varieties of English were chosen for our purpose. We find one member of every variety type as classified in Kortmann/Lunkenheimer (2012: 3f.). The five types are: 1) L1t, a low-contact traditional L1 dialect or native-speaker variety, defined as '[t]raditional, regional non-standard mother-tongue varieties, e.g. East Anglian English and the dialects spoken in the Southwest, the Southeast and the North of England' (Kortmann/Lunkenheimer 2011). 2) L1c, a high-contact L1 variety, including 'transplanted L1 Englishes and colonial standards (e.g. Bahamian English, New Zealand English), as well as language shift varieties (e.g. Irish English) and standard varieties (e.g. colloquial American English)' (ibid.). 3) L2, an indigenized non-native variety
that compete with local native languages, and 'that have a certain degree of prestige and normative status in their political communities, like Pakistani English, [...] but also non-native varieties that compete with local L1 varieties for prestige and normative status, e.g. Chicano English and Black South African English' (ibid.). 4) Creoles, English-based contact languages and native language to many people, and 'that developed in settings where a non-English-speaking group was under strong pressure to acquire and use some form of English, while access to its L1 speakers was severely limited (e.g. in plantation settings). Many creoles have become the native language of the majority of the population', e.g. Jamaican Creole (ibid.), and. 5) Pidgins, 'English-based contact languages that developed for communication between two groups who did not share the same language, typically in restricted domains of use (especially trade).' Almost all pidgins in eWAVE can be considered expanded pidgins in contrast to prototypical pidgins, i.e. they are less restricted in the domains of use, and many people speak them as native or primary languages (ibid.). Furthermore, the chosen varieties have historically quite well-recorded influences with respect to the origin of their settlers. In other words, we know the linguistic ecology of these varieties quite well, which provides fair chances of explanation to all theoretical approaches. Another aspect is the broad but distinct variety of substrate influences. We can find European, Asian, and Pacific languages in contact situations with non-standard varieties of English, creating quite a diverse impression. Scottish English was chosen as L1t because of its distinct features distinguishing it from Standard British English, and its influence on other language types as a result of contact situations due to colonial
seafaring in the past centuries, especially as of the seventeenth century colonial expansion which finally lead to an increase of English-speakers all over the world (Hansen et al. 1996: 25). All varieties discussed here have founders who were British, partly Scottish, navy sailors - 'men of little education' and probably speakers of a non-standard variety of English (Zettersten 1969: 133). An attractive L1c is New Zealand English, spoken almost at the opposite end of the world and influenced by native Maori. The indigenized L2 in this work will be Chicano English which is mainly spoken by Mexican immigrants to the United States but which took an interesting development. The Bonin Island English, also called Ogasawara Mixed Language, is an English-Japanese hybrid spoken on an archipelago south of Japan and will serve as creole. Last but not least, we will deal with the pidgin spoken on Norfolk Island and Pitcairn with its Tahitian roots. In the following, the five varieties will be introduced in order to gain insight in their sociolinguistic, historical and geographic situation, outlining their main characteristics and providing aspects for later discussion. 3.1, Traditional L1 variety: Scottish English: It seems to be rather difficult to define the term Scottish English. Aitken and others think of 'Scottish English as a bipolar linguistic continuum, with broad Scots at one end and Scottish Standard English at the other' (Stuart-Smith 2004: 47). Maguire (2012: 55) expands this bipolar continuum to 'a multi-dimensional sociolinguistic variation space' in which the speakers operate. This space is dependent on the speakers' socioeconomic class, level of education, identification as a Scot or a British, religion, urban or rural origin, age, and fashion of speaking, which still is an abstraction from reality. By far the greatest differences between
Standard English and ScE exist in pronunciation and intonation (Hansen et al. 1996: 71). Scots is generally, with exceptions, spoken by working class people, and in informal situations with friends and family, mainly in the rural area. Scottish Standard English, in contrast, is typically spoken by educated middle class people in the urban areas of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and is used in more formal occasions (Stuart-Smith 2004: 47). Many speakers are able to switch between degrees of broader or standard-near Scots, what Aitken describes as style/dialect shifting or style/dialect drifting (ibid.). Most examples cited in WAVE are from the broad Scots end of the continuum. For this reason, Scots features are mainly ranked B in the WAVE description, as they do not account for all speakers in all contexts. This means, features are not pervasive in all occasions of language production; rather they depend on the situation's and speakers' sociolinguistic and socioeconomic characteristics (Smith 2012: 21). How did this variety continuum evolve? Scots is often perceived of as Standard English spoken with a Scottish accent. The continuum itself results from dialect contact and language change over many centuries (Stuart-Smith 2004: 47), Smith (2012: 21) traces it back to the seventh century Old English dialect spoken in Northumbria influenced by further spread of English from the thirteenth century onward. Before the Anglian invasion, the area was predominantly Celtic-speaking, but a northern variety of Anglo-Saxon was introduced. About 150 years later, Vikings invaded Scotland from the south. At the time of the Norman Conquest, most people in the area of Scotland spoke a form of Celtic, while Norse was used in the far north and west, and Anglian was spoken in the south-east, with an increase of Anglian speakers from the twelfth century onwards (Stuart-Smith
2004: 47). Until 1500 A.D., a Lowlands variety of English known as Inglis - Gaelic was called Erse or Irish - developed under the main historical influence of Norse. Later, Norman French left its traces in Scots place names and literature (ibid.: 48). In 1398, Scots was declared the language of record, and flourished as a literary language, until influence of English increased after the 1603 Union of Crowns and 1707 Union of Parliaments (ibid.). In a process of language shift, Scots replaced Gaelic in the Lowlands and English replaced Gaelic in the Highlands (Maguire 2012: 53). From that time on, Standard Southern English became the written standard in Scotland while the spoken standard approximated as well, especially because of its prestige among the middle class. Today's spoken Scottish English in urban areas has a low overt prestige, and is considered as bad or degenerate. In contrast, rural varieties are considered good (Stuart-Smith 2004: 48). Despite the still prestigious role of Received Pronunciation in Scotland, most speakers do not assimilate, especially because a too obvious assimilation in speech habits is perceived of as affected or hypercorrect, such as the two RP-oriented varieties Morningside accent and Kelvinside accent spoken in Edinburgh or Glasgow respectively. These marked forms of RP are socially stigmatised for most speakers, and are mainly spoken by elderly middle-class women (Hansen et al. 1996: 71f.). Today, there are roughly 5 million potential speakers of Scottish Standard English, of which two thirds speak Urban Scots. Still, it is difficult for both speakers and linguists to distinguish Scots from Scottish Standard English, and to determine whether or not it is an independent, autonomous language, facing the ongoing process of dialect levelling towards Standard English (ibid.: 49). Next to varieties of English,
Scottish.
Publisher: Hamburg : Diplomica Verlag, 2014
Edition: 1st ed
Copyright Date: ©2014
ISBN: 9783954896912
9783954891917
Branch Call Number: Electronic book
Characteristics: 1 online resource (98 pages)
Additional Contributors: ProQuest (Firm)

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