Assistant editors: Christian Grösslinger / Christopher Herzog
Edited By Sabine Coelsch-Foisner and Herbert Schendl
Research Perspectives on English as a Lingua Franca
← 56 | 57 → BARBARA SEIDLHOFER/NORA DORN/CLAUDIO SCHEKULIN AND ANITA SANTNER-WOLFARTSBERGER
The linguistic branch of English studies has traditionally focused on the diachronic and synchronic description of English as the language of its native speaking communities. This is still the primary object of description in most dictionaries and grammars and these sustain the privileged status of native-speaker English. The primacy of this English has, of course, not gone unchallenged. Apart from this Inner Circle English, as Kachru calls it, there are the Englishes of the Outer Circle, which also have legitimate claims for recognition (Kachru 1985, 1992). In Outer Circle communities, as in those of the Inner Circle, there are varieties of English which serve as a means of communication and social identity. These so-called World Englishes, essentially those varieties of the language that have developed in post-colonial countries where English was originally imported from the Inner Circle, have now been extensively described and discussed and lay claim to represent a distinctive paradigm of enquiry.
But English in the world is by no means confined within these two circles but as both a consequence and a driving force of globalization has spread well beyond them. English has expanded and continues to expand, but not only in what Kachru calls the Expanding Circle, countries not colonised by the Inner Circle, where English is a foreign language with no majority or official role to play. English is expanding everywhere on a global scale. As David Crystal puts it, “There has...
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