WiSe 12/13: S-Sociolinguistics and Varieties of English II
English is caught between a number of pulls, metaphorically speaking. There are, for one, the many local or, one should say, national varieties that have emerged during the past centuries as a result ... Lesen Sie weiter
English is caught between a number of pulls, metaphorically speaking. There are, for one, the many local or, one should say, national varieties that have emerged during the past centuries as a result of the transplantation of English to colonial countries - both British and American - and their interaction with other languages during colonization. Decolonization and political independence have stabilized them and led to 'internal' sub-varieties along social, ethnic or other types of social stratification. Secondly, there is the cross-national or global influence of (especially) AmE and BrE, the effects of science and technology, political trends, or fashion. That, too, bears upon English worldwide and acts as an 'umbrella' that counters localization. International English or, from a somewhat different angle, English as a Lingua Franca is the result. Finally, there is the fact that, as English is learnt more by non-native speakers than native speakers and used more between non-native speakers than with native speakers, it be-comes 'de-nativized' and 're-nativized' in multiple settings. Between the local/national and global/cross-national levels there are said to emerge pan-regional varieties such as Asian Englishes, European or African Englishes.
English the dominant language in traditional 'native English-speaking countries' such as Great Britain or the United States, but it has typically become a part of multilingual habitats as in India or South Africa. Users are able to code-switch between languages and to borrow words from local languages. As such countries are multilingual, English is part of diverse linguistic and cultural contexts. Non-natives have more linguistic resources available to them than the typical native speaker. They have an edge over the traditional native speaker, who is unable to reproduce such switches.
Observations like these form the background to this seminar. A common line through the seminar will be that English is a pluricentric and a multi-layered language, with different national and regional centres that develop norms for their own purposes. We will focus on
- social history to highlight the path that has led to (largely) independent local develop-ments
- global forces that counter-act localization
- issues of standards and codification
- key features of varieties of English
- corpus linguistic studies that reveal the use of characteristic features
Given this scope, I have excluded pidgins and creoles (see Singh 2000) and deemphasize in-ternal patterns of variation, with the exception of England and the USA.
Topics will be investigated on the basis of a careful and critical reading of recent and/or lead-ing older publications. Participants will be able to download much reading materials within the framework of e-learning (blackboard) and access websites and other resources.