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English Language

Unit 2
Theories to know:
1. MacArthur’s theory:

MacArthur (1987) identified 360 different types of ‘English’ (Inner circle, Outer circle and expanding circle) , of which one is
Creole; he then subdivided these into different regions.
Schneider's theory
Different Types of English
Scottish English
Features of different Englishes

West, East and Southern African English

Nigerian English: Fewer vowels and consonants. Simplification of consonant clusters and
monophthongisation of diphthongs and triphthongs

South African English: English is perceived both as the language of communication and aspiration, and
as an oppressive juggernaut because of its global power.
Non-lexical features of other South African languages have also made their way into SAE, as in two ways
of indicating emphasis — by reduplication (from Afrikaans), as in now-now, soon-soon, and (from the
African languages) by the use of falling pitch, from high to low, as in ‘fa-a–a-ar away’.

Ugandan English: English is a lingua franca among people of different ethnic groups whose mother
tongues are mutually unintelligible, especially if they cannot use Luganda or, to some extent, Swahili. Three
main languages: East African nation’s official language: Luganda, Swahili and English.
West, East and Southern African English

V1: Use of uninflected verb forms: It seem_ that he has returned.


V2: Avoidance of complex tenses: They could have lived a happy life if they were not told…
V3: Use of be + VERB-ing constructions for all verbs: I was not liking the food in the hotel.
V4: Wrong use of prepositions after verbs: They are advocating for primary education.
V5: Free variation in verb complementation: They made him to clean the whole yard.

N1:Lack of number and case inflections on nouns: Many varieties of fish with different colour will
need different aquarium.
N2: Overgeneralization of the -s plural marker: He had too many luggages.
N3: Omission of articles and other determiners: I am going to __ post-office.
N4: Use of wrong gender possessive determiners: The man holds a girl who is not her wife.
N5: Use of adjectives instead of adverbs: I can obtain the food easy.

S1: Use of unnecessary resumptive pronouns: Many of the fish they have different colours. l.
S2: Confirmation of negative yes/no questions based on the form of the question and not on the
absolute “inner logic”: You don’t know this, do you? Yes, I don’t.
S3: Use of an invariant question tag form: He came here, isn’t it?
S4: Use of subject-auxiliary inversion in indirect questions: Do you know what will be the price?
S5: Flexible use of word order rules, especially for adverbs: Always the tank must be clean.
Caribbean Standard English

Caribbean English: The lack of the verb ‘to be’ in statements is evident such as “She dreaming” whereas
standard English would require “She’s dreaming” This is a typical feature in Caribbean English.
Furthermore pronouns may not be marked for subject and or object distinctions and verbs may not always
use the tense marker as in the statement “He tell me dat” for he told.

Trinidadian English: Trinidadian English creole is non-rhotic which is a phonological feature. This means
that when speaking the /r/ does not occur after vowels with the exception of particular loan words.
Examples of American slang:
(Can be useful when talking
about lexis)
Scottish slang:
(Can be useful when talking about lexis)
Australian slang:
Some words to get familiar with in
case it comes:
Indian words that have made it into the
English language:
Some canadian slang words:
English as a global language:

English has spread around the world to become a global


language. Many of us live in societies where English is the
native language or a second language.

English is spoken as a first or native language by around 375


million speakers, although, the amount of people who speak it
as a second language outnumbers.
English as a lingua franca:

About one hundred years ago many educated people learned and spoke French when they met people
from other countries. Today most people speak English when they meet foreigners. It has become the
new international language. There are more people who speak English as a second language than people
who speak English as a first language. Why is this?

There are many reasons why English has become so popular. One of them is that English has become
the language of business. Another important reason is that popular American culture (like movies, music,
and McDonald's) has quickly spread throughout the world. It has brought its language with it.
Foreign language influences in English:

A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF ENGLISH VOCABULARY COMES FROM ROMANCE AND LATINATE SOURCES.

A portion of borrowings come directly from latin or through the romance languages,
particularly Anglo-norman and French but also Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.

The influence of latin in english therefore is primarily lexical in nature being confined
mainly to words derived from Latin roots.

While some words enter English as slang, most do not. Some words are adopted from other
languages; some are mixtures of existing words and some are new creations made of roots
from dead languages.
Languages influencing the English language:
French Old Norse

Celtic Hebrew and Yiddish

Latin Arabic

Greek

Norman

Dutch

Spanish

Italian

Indian languages

German