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Variation in ‘Native’ Englishes For use with Chapter 4 of: Galloway, N. and Rose, H. (2015). Introducing Global Englishes. Routledge. © Dr. Heath Rose and Dr. Nicola Galloway Review of Lecture 3 • There are many advantages to having a global lingua franca – increased efficiency in international organizations, political gatherings, and international business, scientific scholarship, popular media, travel, and personal communication. • However, the spread of English and its adoption as a lingua franca come at a cost – a threat to other languages and associated with Americanization. • Linguistic imperialism is a notion that the spread of English and destruction of other languages was the direct result of policies connected to colonialism and the pursuit of power through inequality. • Arguments against linguistic imperialism take a bottom-up perspective. • We can also examine policy in light of globalization, which promoted English education and use through a top-down policy (such as Georgia’s switch from Russian to English), and which aimed to curb the bottom-up intrusion of English into educational domains (such as in Sweden). • Overall, issues and attitudes surrounding English are a complex mix of factors. Overview English language variation in the British Isles English language variation in Canada and the USA Variation in Australia and New Zealand English language variation in the Caribbean Introductory activities Look at the example sentences in the introduction to Chapter 4 and then discuss the questions below. 1. Discuss and record on a scale whether each sentence fits into an ideology of ‘acceptable English’ (1 = completely acceptable; 2 = acceptable; 3 = unacceptable; 4 = completely unacceptable). 2. Are there any forms that you personally believe are completely acceptable, but that standard language proponents might not? 3. Are there any forms that might be more acceptable in certain geographic regions of the world (or in certain demographic communities) but not in others? 4. All the sentences are found in native Englishes around the world. Calling the time half-eight is common for speakers in the UK but not in Australia. To say someone sings good is acceptable for younger speakers in the USA but not for older generations. How do you think such differences emerged? Consider historical factors, geographical factors, socio-economic factors, and generational factors. Levels of variation Vocabulary Sound Spelling Phonemic variation Consonants Grammarsyntactic Prosodic variation Vowels Stress Intonation Pragmatics This lecture will focus on only a few features: Levels of variation Vocabulary Sound Spelling Phonemic variation Consonants Grammarsyntactic Prosodic variation Vowels Stress Intonation Pragmatics Part 1 English language variation in the British Isles Image source: www.mapsinternational.co.uk/blog/index.p hp/2013/01/16/ mapping-dialect-and-its-influences/ Phonemic variation (1) • Vowel mergers of /ʌ/ and /ʊ/ – much research has focused on the strut–foot vowel merger. The /ʌ/ vowel does not appear in north of England accents (including Midlands) and some Irish accents. In these places the /ʊ/ sound exists in both words, making the words strut and foot rhyme. Interestingly, the difference here is due to a historical phonemic split of other regions (Hughes et al., 2012), which did not take place in northern England or Ireland. • Vowel mergers of /ʊ/ and /u:/ – Scottish speakers make little distinction between /ʊ/ and /u:/, or in /ɒ/ and /ɔ:/, causing the following pairs to be homophonous: pam–palm, pull–pool, cot–caught (Hughes et al., 2012). • Distinction of /a/ and /ɑ:/ – a distinction in north and south England can also be made with the vowels /a/ and /ɑ:/. Northern accents say /a/ in bath, but southerners say /ɑ:/. • Intrusive nasals – within the group of north of England accents a strong division exists between even neighbouring varieties, such as a distinct final /g/ sound in the word sing in Central Lancaster English, as opposed to a final /ŋ/ in the neighbouring areas north of Lancaster. Phonemic variation (2) • Interdental voiceless fricatives – the initial phoneme /θ/ in the word thin is pronounced /t/ throughout much of Ireland. • Labiodental replacing interdental fricatives – /v/ and /ð/ variations also exist across the UK and often have developed independently in regions as diverse as Scotland, Yorkshire, London, the south-west, and the southeast. It has been reported, for example, that /v/ has been used in place of /ð/ in words like smooth in Glasgow (Stuart-Smith, 2008). • Insertion of schwa in consonant clusters – in many accents across the region, the schwa intrudes in consonant cluster -lm, as in words like calm and film, producing a sound /ləm/. Lexical variation • Borrowing from indigenous languages – the result of an influence of contact with Celtic language in various parts of the British Isles has resulted in the adoption of borrowed lexical items. In Ireland and Scotland, there has been heavy influence from Gaelic, as seen from everyday words like glen (valley) and loch (lake). • Same meaning, different words – an Atlas of English dialects offers nine alternative words for splinter alone (spell, spelk, speel, spill, splie, spool, splint, shiver, silver). Figure 4.1: Lexical variation in England (adapted from Upton and Widdowson, 1996) Grammar-syntactic variation • Tense and aspect – the use of progressive aspects in a wider range of applications is observable in Scottish English and Irish English, such as: Barbara is knowing the answer. • Irregular verb levelling – irregular verbs occur in Scottish English, such as brung instead of bought, writ instead of wrote, and selt instead of sold. • Plurality and concord with collective nouns – in Scotland, the following examples have been observed: The windies wiz aw broken (‘was’ replacing ‘were’ in stating ‘the windows were all broken’); The lambs is oot the field (‘is’ replacing ‘are’); and There’s no bottles (‘is’ replacing ‘are’, again). • Negation – we see variation in Scottish English, such as: She’s no leaving; She isnea leaving; ‘no’ used as a tag question in That’s miles away, is it no?; and ‘none’ used to indicate an absence of ability as in Rab can sing nane. Grammar-syntactic variation shows a north–south divide North South Scottish English Irish English Northern English Welsh English South-west English South-east English Second person plural pronouns: youse, y’all, you guys Progressive tense widening: She’s knowing that well Be as perfect auxiliary: They’re not finished yet Double modals: I tell you what we might should do Must for conclusions drawn: This mustn’t be true! What you doing? ✔ ✔✔ ✔✔ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✔ ✔✔ ✔ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✔ ✔✔ ✔ ✖ ✔ ✖ ✔✔ ✖ ✔✔ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✔✔ ✔ ✔✔ ✖ ✖ ✔ ✔ ✔✔ ✔✔ ✖ ✖ ✖ You get the point? ✔ ✔✔ ✔✔ ✔✔ ✖ ✖ Ain’t for negative ‘be’ Ain’t for negative ‘have’ I wasn’t a doing nothing They had them in their hair, innit? ✖ ✖ ✖ ✔ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✔ ✖ ✖ ✖ ✔ ✖ ✔ ✔✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ What in relative clauses: This is the man what painted my house ✖ ✔✔ ✖ ✔ ✔ ✔ Table 4.1: Kortman’s (2008, p. 491) synopsis of variation across the British Isles Attitudes towards variation in the British Isles • Even though RP is spoken by less than 3% of the population of the UK (Milroy and Milroy, 1999), it still holds power and prestige in UK political circles. • While geography plays a major role in determining an accent in the UK, class also plays a pivotal role – an RP accent can be found in almost any region of the UK. • In pop culture it is regional varieties of English that are thriving (e.g. The Beatles, Cheryl Cole, Gary Barlow, Geordie Shore). • The media is moving towards more linguistic diversity (e.g. BBC). Part 2 English language variation in Canada and the USA English in North America • In the USA, there is no official language, although English takes on the role of an official language for most political, administrative, and educational functions. • According to 2011 US census data: – English is the main language of 79.4% of the population. – Spanish speakers constitute half of the 21% of the population who speak another language at home. • English is the official language of Canada, alongside French. • According to 2011 Canadian census data: – 17.4% of the population are bilingual in both official languages. – More than 20% of Canadian population reported a mother tongue other than English or French. Image source: http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/dialectsofenglish.html • Standard American English is an institutional construct and thus ‘it has no native speakers’ (Kretzschmar, 2010, p. 101). • Standard American is characterized by speech with ‘no accent’. This does not mean that a standard American accent is neutral, but that it is devoid of characteristics usually associated with particular regional American accents. Phonemic variation • Vowel lengthening – prevalent across much of North America, has resulted in homophonous pairing of words like cot and caught, and don and dawn with vowel /ɔː/ (Levey, 2010). • Short vowels are realized as diphthongs – southern American English creates diphthongs from short vowel sounds, changing vowels like /ɪ/ in think to to produce vowels in the range of /ɛi~æi/ (Thomas, 2008). • Vowel mergers – Mary–merry–marry lexical set have merged to be equivalent of the vowel in square in Standard American (but not in the north-east) • Canadian rising – the famous example of this is the raising of /ɑʊ/ to /ʌʊ/ in words like about infamously mimicked by Americans as a boot. Lexical variation • Borrowing from indigenous languages – English originally adopted borrowings from indigenous languages, resulting in words like kayak and toboggan which have since spread to other parts of the world. • Same meaning, different words – tennis shoes vs sneakers; soda vs pop vs coke. Image source: https://www.eeducation.psu.edu/geog160/node /1882 Grammar-syntactic variation • Tense and aspect – the perfective done is observed in pockets across the continent (e.g. That squirrel was done eat in Appalachian English). • Pronouns – the second person plural pronoun y’all is used pervasively in the south, in favour of you guys in the north and the west (although geographic pockets prefer alternative terms, such as yous in Newfoundland). • Negation – double negation (he didn’t do nothing) is also pervasive. • Adverbs – the adoption of adverbs without -ly is pervasive across the North American continent. Attitudes towards variation in the United States • Milroy and Milroy (1999, p. 153) state ‘distasteful public disparagement of African American English is commonplace and often openly racist’. • Appalachian accents are often negatively used to depict uneducated characters such as Cletus in The Simpsons. • When the movie Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was first released there was controversy that the bumbling idiotic character of Jar Jar Binks was based on African American or Black Caribbean stereotypes. • Sothern accents are favourably viewed in politics (e.g. George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush). Part 3 English language variation in Australia and New Zealand A note on why different accents emerged • The Englishes that emerged in Canada and the US (and Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa) were the result of mixing of contact dialects from numerous parts of the British Isles. • This type of mixing of dialects is referred to as koineization. • Variables such as proportions of dialects (Scottish settlers, Irish settlers, Cockney settlers, settlers from other nations) in each of the country’s koineization mix created quite distinct Englishes across and within each of the countries. • The accents in Australia and New Zealand are less regionally defined within their borders, because these are younger countries, and population mobility and improvements in communications didn’t allow for the geographic isolation needed for accent fragmentation. Phonemic variation • Vowel mergers – the merger of near and square to the /iə/ diphthong in New Zealand causes bear and bare to be pronounced the same as beer. • Vowel distinctions – the kit vowel in New Zealand English is centralized, e.g. fish and chips as [fəʃ ən tʃəps]. • Vowel distinctions /æ/ and /a:/ – there are class and regional differences in the pronunciation of certain vowels, such as /æ/ or /a:/ in words like chance and castle, with middle classes favouring the latter. • Rhoticity – speech is generally non-rhotic across the region, except in some pockets like the Southland region of New Zealand. Lexical variation • Borrowing from indigenous languages – in Australia, lexical borrowing mainly occurred in the naming of aboriginal or local environmental items, such as boomerang (hunting weapon), billabong (waterhole). In New Zealand, borrowing extends further than items associated with indigenous culture. • Same meaning, different word – walking in the woods is called hiking in Australia and tramping in New Zealand; light footwear are jandals in New Zealand and thongs in Australia; and a sweater is a jumper in Australia and a jersey in New Zealand. • Preserved vocabulary and idiomatic expressions – of interest is the preservation of lexis that have been largely dropped from use in their UK origins. Examples include billy (a pot for boiling water) from Scotland, fair dinkum (authentic) from Derbyshire. • Abbreviation – another common feature is lexical shortening, including the addition of the famous -o and -ie suffixes typical of Australian English. The result is words like tellie (television), chrissie pressies (Christmas presents), barbie (barbeque), and journo (journalist). These features are also found in New Zealand English. Grammar-syntactic variation • Tense and aspect – studies have shown younger speakers in Australia are levelling irregular verbs, but New Zealand English is more conservative in terms of the regularization. • Modal verbs – modals in Australasia see the decline of shall in favour of will, and should in favour of ought. The region also sees better or gotta instead of have to or should (e.g. we better go; we gotta go). • Pronouns – inconsistency of use of gendered pronouns. There are objects that are consistently masculine (e.g. plants, animals, and vehicles with unknown drivers), and objects that are consistently feminine (e.g. environment, vehicles themselves, and buildings). Interestingly, a vehicle–driver combined referent is masculine (e.g. A truck came flying out in front of me, and he was swerving all over the place), but a vehicle by itself is feminine (e.g. She’s a beautiful car, that one). Attitudes towards variation in the Australia • The Australian media has been very active in bringing the accents of politicians to the forefront: – The Courier Mail newspaper, for example, associates the broad accent of Julia Gillard (former prime minister) with political prowess. – Alexander Downer’s (politician) ‘cultivated’ Australian accent has been labelled ‘posh’ and ‘plummy’. – Tony Abbott (current prime minister) stated that his political party would ‘always speak with a strong Australian accent’ when targeting a member of the then prime minister’s cabinet, who spoke with a broad Scottish accent, as not being ‘local’ or ‘home-grown’. • Because of such public attitudes, ‘posh’ Australian accents are very likely to vanish in the following decades from Australia as they are seen as the remnant of a colonial past (Moore, 2007). Part 4 English language variation in the Caribbean Development of Caribbean Englishes • Channel 2 (slavery) played a larger role in the spread in this region than channel 1 (settler migration). – Most importantly in the present linguistic perspective, different settlement patterns have resulted in North American varieties of English being characterized by dialect transmission (with some degree of koineization but also innovation) as against Caribbean forms of English being shaped by process of creolization (Schneider, 2008, p. 23). A note on difficulties in generalizing across regions • The book acknowledges the inherent dangers in making any geographic or historical division of linguistic boundaries: – The English of the Bahamas has more in common with North American Englishes due to its place in history as a settler destination for AngloBahamian British loyalists who escaped the US after the Revolutionary War (Childs and Wolfram, 2008). – Boundaries with USA are less distinct, such as Gullah-speaking AfroBahamians moving from South Carolina and Georgia to the Bahamas. – Barbados could be argued to have developed its creole English very differently than other plantation colonies in the Caribbean, due to its long 300-year British colonization history and the fact that white settlers outnumbered black slaves in the first 25 years of its settlement, marking a huge difference in language exposure in the creolization process (Blake, 2008). Role of English in the Caribbean • English is the official language of a number of Caribbean nations, including: – – – – – – – – – – – Antigua and Barbuda The Bahamas Barbados (alongside Bajan) Dominica (alongside Antillean French creole) Grenada Jamaica (alongside Jamaican Patois) Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia (alongside Saint Lucian French creole) Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Trinidad and Tobago Belize. • Only Jamaica lists their English creole (Patois) alongside English as a separate official language. Most nations have English as the official language, although in practice the English creole is more commonly used, or an official distinction is not made between the two. Phonemic variation (1) • Bahamian English vowels are more similar to North American than Caribbean varieties in the cases of their goat and lot vowels (Childs and Wolfram, 2008). • The mid-central vowel /ʌ/ in strut is prominent in Bajan English, but it is rare in North American Englishes. Anglo-Bahamian Englishes are often compared to UK varieties of English (Childs and Wolfram, 2008). • Bajan English has a distinctive pronunciation of the price and prize diphthong as [ʌɪ], which causes visitors to comment that Bajan English is somewhat ‘reminiscent of the west of England, or an Irish brogue’ (Blake, 2008, p. 315). • Vowel mergers – in Trinidadian English, vowel mergers appear, such as the vowels in bird–bud; body–buddy; cut–cot–caught; bit–beat; and harm–ham. Words like hat and heart are only distinguishable by vowel length (James and Youssef, 2008). Phonemic variation (2) • • • • • Dental fricatives – the stopping of voiced and voiceless dental fricatives is characteristic of Caribbean English, with RP accented /θ/ realized as /t/ as in think, and /ð/ realized as /d/ as in these. Rhoticity – Caribbean accents tend to be non-rhotic across most of the region except in Bajan, which is fully rhotic across all communities of speakers. There is a tendency in the Bahamas to delete the initial /h/ sound in words like harm, hat, and hurry (to produce ’arm, ’at, ’urry). Tobagonian English also omits the /h/ sound in most words where it is the initial sound (James and Youssef, 2008). Vowel assimilation in Jamaican English occurs across syllables, as in see it pronounced [si:t]; and syllable amalgamation occurs across syllables like do it pronounced [dwi:t], and go on pronounced [ɡwa:n] (Devonish and Harry, 2008). A similar phenomenon is also reported in Tobagonian English, where words like boil become bwoil (James and Youssef, 2008). Consonant clusters – in Togonian English, sounds are omitted in consonant clusters, such as from becoming fom, and smell becoming mell (James and Youssef, 2008). Lexical variation • Due to the process of creolization, many African words from the language: – e.g. Bahamian obeah meaning witchcraft. • Because of the links between the USA and the Bahamas, some lexical items entered Bahamian English through Gullah: – hoe-cakes (cornmeal cake) – gulin (greedy) – ninny (breast) (Reaser and Torbert, 2008). Grammar-syntactic variation • Tense and aspect: – Omission of the verb to be: you [are] fat, I [am] smart, he [is] over there. – Levelling of verbs to the present in the Caribbean (e.g. he swim yesterday). – Tense markers (e.g. past tense indicated with the addition of ben in I ben run, done in he done eat it). • Auxiliary verbs – double-modals (he might could come) are common in Jamaican English, but not in Bahamian. • Pronouns – like many British varieties of English discussed in Section 4a, substitution of pronouns is pervasive across the Caribbean. Gendered pronouns (e.g. she’s a good boat) are also pervasive, perhaps due to the influence of seafarers in the islands. Reaser and Torbert (2008) on Bahamian English; Patrick (2008) on Jamaican Creole English; and James and Youssef (2008) on Trinidad and Tobagonian English. Attitudes: the case of Jamaica • Jamaica is one of the few Caribbean nations to make an official distinction between English and Patois as co-official languages, creating a political view that they are two distinct languages. • While English is used in formal public settings and in written discourse, Patois is used in informal private setting and in oral discourse. • The lines between the two languages are not as distinct as policy indicates, and as education in Jamaica has traditionally moved speakers towards Jamaican English and away from Patois, features of Jamaican English regularly make their way into spoken Patois. • Devonish and Harry (2008) argue that for many Jamaicans, English is a second language acquired through education as the language of formal speech and writing, and that the creole is spoken as a native language. • In the Caribbean, historical educational policy sought communities to move toward a more ‘standard’ English instead of the creoles spoken there: – Policy over time has changed and Caribbean Englishes are now promoted in education, government, and literature. – In Jamaica, ‘recent years have seen the “functional dethronement” of Standard English as the exclusive language of public–formal domains and there is a shift toward a local variety as the new standard’ (Melchers and Shaw, 2011, p. 123). Summary of Lecture 4 (1) • • • • • The ‘native’ Englishes were developed from transported Englishes from the British Isles. Contact with other languages and accents in each region gave birth to new varieties of English. Power of class-based divisions in the UK manifested in a geographically unbound RP accent. The Englishes of Canada, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand are the result of koineization process. Plantation colonies in Jamaica, Bermuda, and other parts of the Caribbean resulted in the development of new L1 varieties of English through creolization. It is clear that English varieties have different connotations of politics and power in various parts of the Inner Circle: – In the UK, an RP accent is considered a marked accent and still holds a great deal of power. – In America, the standard American accent (whether northern or southern) permeates across America. This region sees divisions in power and language that are based along race and regional lines, rather than class and regional lines as seen in the UK. – Due to the youth and mobility of the Australian population, there is far less regional variation than in the UK and USA, and lines are drawn almost entirely according to ‘broad’ and ‘cultivated’ lines. Summary of Lecture 4 (2) • Other members of the Inner Circle show divisions of power and standardizations along the lines of these three examples: – In Ireland and New Zealand there are similarities with post-colonial Australia which show a movement away from RP-influenced accents. – Canada follows a similar line with the USA with an unmarked ‘standard’ English, although racial lines are far less pronounced than in the USA due to a very different history of racial tensions. – The Caribbean sees movements like those witnessed in the UK, where regional varieties are becoming a source of pride and identity rather than as deviations. • In summary, politics, power and language is a very complex network, and is subject to quick change due to society attitude and other external factors. Key terms Koineization Gendered pronouns High rising tone Accommodation Canadian rising Vowel merger Appalachian English African American Vernacular English Bare root verbs Levelling (of accents) Bajan Patois Further reading On Englishes of the British Isles: • Kortmann, B. and Upton, C. (eds). (2008). Varieties of English: The British Isles. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. • Hudges, A., Trudgill, P., and Watt, D. (2012). English Accents and Dialects. New York: Routledge. On the Englishes of North America and the Caribbean: • Schneider, E. W. (ed.). (2008). Varieties of English 2: The Americas and The Caribbean. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. On the Englishes of Australia and New Zealand: • Kortmann, B., Buridge, K., Mesthrie, E., Schneider, E. W., and Upton, C. (eds.) (2008). Varieties of English 3: The Pacific and Australasia. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.