RAFAEL MONROY-CASAS The Teachability-intelligibility Issue: Vowel Lengthin Glob English 229
229 RAFAEL MONROY-CASAS The Teachability-intelligibility Issue: Vowel Length in GlobEnglish It is an indisputable fact that English has become not just a global language but the global language. There are other languages that can claim this prerogative (Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Italian, etc. – see Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 26, 2006), but none of these can question the privileged position English occupies as a world lan- guage. The ‘English factor’ in Graddol’s words (2007) is everywhere, and yet, despite this gratifying thought to both native and non-native speakers for what it means in terms of greater easiness of communi- cation, there are a number of elements that can challenge the idea of a unified world system (Monroy, 2007). There is on the one hand, an increasing internal centrifugal movement, which, although observable in other linguistic systems, is particularly evident in the case of Eng- lish, as titles like World Englishes (Kachru, 1985), The English Lan- guages (Tom McCarthur, 1998), Englishes (Görlach,1991), More Englishes (Görlach, 1995), Still more Englishes (Görlach, 2002), World Englishes (Jenkins, 2003), World Englishes (Melchers & Shaw, 2003) show; on the other, emerging pronunciation standards in nations like India, Singapore, Pakistan, Nigeria, etc., “each as ‘correct’ as any other” (Quirk, 1985: 2–3), are superseding normative models such as RP or GA as better options in a world where NNs (non-native speak- ers) with different linguistic backgrounds outnumber Ns (native speak- ers) (Graddol, 1997; 2006). No wonder that experts fear that frag- mentation could be a...
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