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Pluricentric Languages: New Perspectives in Theory and Description


Edited By Rudolf Muhr and Dawn Marley

This volume presents a selection of papers from the «3 rd International Conference on Non-Dominant Varieties of Pluricentric Languages» that was held in 2014 at the University of Surrey, Guildford (UK). The papers in section one deal with the theoretical aspects of pluricentricity and methods of description of the variations in pluricentric languages. Section two contains a number of papers about «new» pluricentric languages and «new» non-dominant varieties that have not been described before. Section three showcases pluricentric languages that are used alongside indigenous languages and section four deals with the pluricentricity of special languages.
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The transformation of language situations: the habitat model


Gerhard Leitner*

(FU Berlin, Germany)

Abstract: Modelling pluricentric English is an important area of research with implications on the structure of the discipline of English Studies and educational policies. The need for it was the result of the challenge by Braj Kachru in the early 1970s that English was no longer a language with one underlying system. That gave rise to a controversy between Kachru’s “Englishes” camp and that which continued to argue that English had a “core”, a standard form universally applicable, and a dynamic set of peripheries. That controversy and the revisions of either position have had implications in descriptive, applied linguistics and in educational politics (Leitner 2009; Azirah/Leitner 2014). The concept of “Englishes” was widened to other languages where the concept of pluricentrity has become fruitful (Clyne 1992; Muhr 2012). Alternatives have emerged in the past decade that have made the impact on the political and educational domain clearer. The broadest model, the Habitat Model looks at the transformation of societies and is close to linguistic anthropology, ethnography and related fields. It promises deeper insights into how habitats and whole societies are transformed – from a language perspective. In this paper I will outline the research context of the Habitat Model (Leitner 2004a/b) and illustrate its applications to Australia and South-East Asia.

Controversies about the nature of English came up long after the bipolarity of British and American English had been taken for granted. The developments of American English were...

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