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Pluricentric Languages and Non-Dominant Varieties Worldwide

Part I: Pluricentric Languages across Continents. Features and Usage


Edited By Rudolf Muhr

This is the first of two thematically arranged volumes with papers that were presented at the "World Conference of Pluricentric Languages and their non-dominant Varieties" (WCPCL). It comprises papers about 20 PCLs and 14 NDVs around the world. The second volume encompasses a further 17 papers about the pluricentricity of Portuguese and Spanish. The conference was held at the University of Graz (Austria) on July 8th-11th 2015. The papers fall into five categories: (1) Theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and the description of variation; (2) Different types of pluricentricity in differing environments; (3) African pluricentric languages and non-dominant varieties; (4) The pluricentricity of Arabic and Asian languages; (5) The pluricentricity of European languages inside Europe (Austrian German, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Hungarian, Belgium Dutch, French, Greek, Swedish, Russian).

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A corpus-based comparative analysis of indigenous invariant tags in Asian Englishes: Features, usage, and registers



This study describes and compares the features and usage of invariant tags in four non-dominant varieties of English in Asia, namely, Hong Kong English, Philippine English, Indian English, and Singapore English with a primary focus on indigenous features. Based on data from the International Corpus of English, this study found that speakers used invariant tags mainly in situations such as direct conversations and class lessons and that most indigenous invariant tags occurred in informal contexts. The main functions such as seeking confirmation and adding emphasis were observed across the varieties, but there were differences regarding the preferred form used for expressing certain attitudes. Speakers of Asian Englishes use indigenous invariant tags to add subtle attitudinal stances and to mark identity which cannot be expressed effectively by non-indigenous invariant tags.

1.   Introduction

At the beginning of the 17th century, English was spoken only by several million people in the British Isles (Jenkins, 2015: 2). It has since dramatically spread across the world, becoming one of the major pluricentric languages spoken in various areas of the world. Crystal (2003), for example, claims that the number of people who can adequately communicate in English has reached around 25% of the world population (69). According to Jenkins (2015), there are now more people who speak English as their second or foreign language than those who speak English as their first language (2). With its spread worldwide, English has undergone “acculturation and nativization,” yielding diverse varieties...

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