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Conference Information

Full Title: Morphosyntactic Variation in World Englishes: Apparent-time and diachronic studies

Location: Vigo (Pontevedra), Spain
Start Date: 28-Sep-2017 - 30-Sep-2017
Contact: Cristina Suarez-Gomez
Meeting Email: click here to access email
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Meeting Description: Workshop at BICLCE2017 (7th Biennial International Conference on the Linguistics of Contemporary English, in Vigo, 28-30 September 2017

Cristina Suárez-Gómez (University of the Balearic Islands), Lucía Loureiro-Porto (University of the Balearic Islands) and Robert Fuchs (Hong Kong Baptist University)

Corpus-based research on World Englishes has increased exponentially since the 1990s, in particular with the gradual release of various corpora compiled as part of International Corpus of English project (ICE, (Greenbaum 1996), which facilitate synchronic comparative studies of linguistic aspects in different varieties. A number of these corpora contain metadata with information on social variables such as age, gender, native language(s), etc., which allow more detailed sociolinguistic and apparent-time studies. Additionally, several diachronic corpora of World Englishes are currently being compiled or have recently become available, such as, e.g., the Corpus of Oz Early English (COOEE) (see Fritz 2007), the Corpus of Early New Zealand English (CENZE) (see Hundt 2012), Phil-Brown (see Collins et al. 2014), the Historical Corpus of Singapore English (see Hoffman et al. 2012), the Historical Corpus of Ghanaian English (see Brato 2014), among others. This has made it possible to increase the scope of linguistic analysis of World Englishes to include diachronic corpus studies. Both types of corpora have allowed scholars to gain insights into the linguistic features of the different varieties around the world and to discover:

(i) linguistic patterns of convergence with the input varieties,
(ii) linguistic patterns derived from the status of these World Englishes as second-language varieties and therefore products of language acquisition,
(iii) linguistic patterns of divergence, motivated by the different local ecologies in which these varieties developed, and
(iv) more generally, patterns of language change, as shown by diachronic comparisons.

In parallel to the compilation of corpora, different models of analysis of World Englishes have been proposed in the last two decades (cf. Seoane 2016). Kachru’s Concentric Circles Model (1985) was complemented by Schneider’s Dynamic Approach (2003, 2007), which incorporates an evolutionary perspective lacking in previous models. The 21st century dynamics of English, however, are characterized by mobility, mediatization, and the development of English in polyglossic situations, aspects that are arguably captured better by more recent accounts: Mair’s ‘World System of Englishes’ (2013), for example, is based on the sociolinguistics of globalization (Blommaert 2010). Other recent attempts to account for the current situation of English include the concept of ‘Transnational Attraction’, described in Schneider (2014), as well as the model recently sketched out by Buschfeld & Kautzsch (2016) known as the ‘extra- and intra-territorial forces’ (EIF) model, which calls for an integrated approach to ESL and EFL varieties. The study of the integration of these two types of Englishes as well as the attempt to portray the diachronic evolution of these varieties is a novel line of research that needs to be continued.
Linguistic Subfield: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
LL Issue: 27.2987

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