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10.a Crystal Eng as a global lang

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noticed in one variety is also to be found in others, either nearby
or further afield.24 Nor do the case studies adopt the same kind of
intra-regional variationist perspective as illustrated by Biber et al.
23 Biber et al. (1999: 488–9).
24 This point is discussed in Crystal (1995a: 358ff.). An exception is Ahulu
(1995a), comparing usage inWest Africa and India, and his two-part study
of lexical and grammatical variation in international English, as found in
postcolonial countries (1998a, 1998b).
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ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE
(1999), or examine lexico-grammatical interaction. The studies
are often impressionistic – careful collections of examples by lin-
guistically trained observers, but lacking the generalizing power
which only systematic surveys of usage can provide. On the other
hand, during the 1990s there has been a steady growth in the use
of corpora and elicitation testing.25
The absence of statistical data, in the literature referred to
below, means that the varietal status of features identified as non-
standard (with reference to British or American English) is always
open to question. There are so many possibilities: a variant may be
common as a localized standard form, in both written and spoken
contexts, or restricted to one of these mediums; it may be formal
or informal, or register-bound, occurring only in newspapers, stu-
dent slang,26 or other restricted settings; it may be idiosyncratic, as
in the case of some literary creations; it may co-exist with a variant
from British or American English; and it may be locally stigma-
tized, or even considered to be an error (by local people). Given
that it has taken forty years for corpus studies of the main vari-
eties of English to reach the stage of comparative register-specific
analysis (as in Biber et al.), it is not surprising that relatively little
such work has taken place elsewhere. But this does not mean that
a compilation of sources, such as those listed in Table 4, is of no
value. On the contrary, such studies are an excellent means of fo-
cusing attention on areas of potential significance within a variety,
and are an invaluable source of hypotheses.
Table 4 illustrates a range of features which have already been
noted, some of which are very close to what anyone might rea-
sonably want to call ‘core’. A table of this kind needs very careful
interpretation. Its only purpose is to illustrate the kinds of gram-
matical feature being proposed as distinctive in studies of New
Englishes, and it makes no claim to exhaustiveness or representa-
tiveness. Providing an example from, say, Ghana, to instantiate a
feature, is not to suggest that this feature is restricted to Ghana:
Ghana is simply one of the countries in which this feature may
be found (as claimed by at least one of the authors identified at
the right of the table), and doubtless several others also display
25 As in Mesthrie (1992a), Skandera (1999). 26 Longe (1999).
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The future of global English
Table 4 Some potentially distinctive grammatical features of
New Englishes
Construction Illustration Sample sources
Sentence functions
Rhetorical questions Where young! (= I’m Mesthrie (1993b)
certainly not young)
Where he’ll do it! (= He Mesthrie (1993b)
certainly won’t do it!)
What I must go! (= I Mesthrie (1993b)
don’t want to go)
Tag questions He can play golf, or not? Baskaran (1994)
He can play golf, Baskaran (1994)
yes or not?
You stay here first, Baskaran (1994)
can or not?
You didn’t see him, is it? Tripathi (1990)
He left, isn’t? (= He Mesthrie (1993b)
left, didn’t he?)
You are coming to the Kachru (1994)
meeting, isn’t it?
Clause elements
SV order at no stage it was Baumgardner (1990)
demanded . . .
Why a step-motherly Baumgardner (1990)
treatment is being . . .
What they are talking Baskaran (1994)
about?
When you would Kachru (1994)
like to go?
She is crying why? Baskaran (1994)
Complementation busy to create (= busy Baumgardner (1990)
creating)
banning Americans to enter Baumgardner (1990)
decision for changing Baumgardner (1990)
Object deletion Those who cannot afford Fisher (2000)
Adverbial position You must finish today Baskaran (1994)
all your practicals
Sushila is extremely a lazy girl Baskaran (1994)
Seldom she was at home Baskaran (1994)
Hardly they were seen Baskaran (1994)
in the library
(cont.)
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ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE
Table 4 (cont.)
Construction Illustration Sample sources
End-placed She can talk English but Mesthrie (1993b)
conjunctions
I cooked rice too, Mesthrie (1993b)
I cooked roti too (=
I cooked both
rice and roti)
Topicalization (not Myself I do not know him Tripathi (1990)
necessarily emphatic)
That man he is tall Tripathi (1990)
My friend she was telling me Mesthrie (1993a)
His uncle he is the cause Baskaran (1994)
of all the worry
Verb phrase
Auxiliary/Copula When you leaving? Baskaran (1994)
deletion
They two very good friends Baskaran (1994)
Aspect/Tense I am understanding it now Mesthrie (1993a)
He is having two Mercs Baskaran (1994)
I finish eat (= I have eaten) Mesthrie (1993b)
I already eat Platt and Weber
(1980)
You never see him? (= Mesthrie (1993b)
Haven’t you seen him?)
waited-waited (= waited Mesthrie (1993b)
for a long time)
to give crying crying (= Kachru (1994)
always crying)
I have been signing yesterday Baskaran (1994)
I would be singing next Baskaran (1994)
week (expressing distant
future, vs. will)
The government shall Fisher (2000)
be responsible
Phrasal verbs cope up with [something] Tripathi (1990)
stress on [something] Baumgardner (1990)
fill this form Skandera (1999)
pick the visitor (= pick up) Fisher (2000)
participate a seminar Baumgardner (1990)
pluck courage Fisher (2000)
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The future of global English
Table 4 (cont.)
Construction Illustration Sample sources
Noun phrase
Preposed elements milk bottle (= a bottle of milk) Baumgardner (1990)
knife bread (= bread knife) Tripathi (1990)
under construction bridge Baumgardner (1990)
(= bridge which is
under construction)
detrimental to health medicines Baumgardner (1990)
Apposition Johnny uncle (= uncle Johnny) Mesthrie (1993b)
Naicker teacher (= teacher, Mesthrie (1993b)
Mr Naicker)
Number aircrafts, equipments, luggages, Ahulu (1998b)
machineries, stationeries,
damages (= damage),
jewelleries, cutleries,
furnitures
trouser Awonusi (1990)
Article use a good advice Ahulu (1998b)
a luggage Ahulu (1998b)
There’ll be traffic jam Baskaran (1994)
She was given last chance Baskaran (1994)
Pronoun deletion Did you find? (something Mesthrie (1993a)
previously mentioned)
If you take, you must pay Baskaran (1994)
Other constructions
Prepositions request for Gyasi (1991)
investigate into Gyasi (1991)
gone to abroad Gyasi (1991)
ask from him Awonusi (1990)
discuss about politics Awonusi (1990)
return back Tripathi (1990)
Comparatives more better Tripathi (1990)
younger to Tripathi (1990)
junior than Tripathi (1990)
Postpositions Durban-side (= near Durban) Mesthrie (1993b)
morning-part (= in Mesthrie (1993b)
the morning)
twelve-o-clock-time Mesthrie (1993b)
(= at twelve o’clock)
(cont.)
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ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE
Table 4 (cont.)
Construction Illustration Sample sources
Particles I told you, what (= Don’t Baskaran (1994)
you remember, I told you)
He is really serious, Baskaran (1994)
man (= I’m telling you)
He’s a real miser, Baskaran (1994)
one (= a typical miser)
He’s not the eldest, Baskaran (1994)
lah (= I’m telling you)
Where you going ah? Preshous (2001)
We are going, oo (= right now) Ahulu (1995b)
He is tall, paa (He is very tall) Ahulu (1995b)
Reduplication now-now (= soon, at once) Mesthrie (1993a)
who-who (= who plural, whoever) Mesthrie (1993b)
what what (= whatever) Fisher (2000)
one-one (= one each) Mesthrie