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twelve, can or not? [distinctive tag question in English] you were saying you wanted to go shopping, nak pergi tak? [tag question in Malay ‘Want to go, not?’] Increasing lexical hybridization No chance to ronda otherwise. [Malay ‘loaf’] then real susah! [Malay ‘difﬁcult’] You were saying, that day, you wanted to beli some barang-barang. [Malay ‘buy . . . things’] But if anything to do with their stuff – golf or snooker or whatever, then dia pun boleh sabar one. [Malay ‘he too can be patient’] Malay Betul juga. [‘True also’] Continua of this kind have long been recognized in creole lan- guage studies. What is novel, as McArthur points out, is the way phenomena of this kind have become so widespread, happening simultaneously in communities all over the world. After reviewing several speech situations, he concludes: ‘Worldwide communica- tion centres on Standard English, which however radiates out into many kinds of English and many other languages, producing 167 ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE clarity here, confusion there, and novelties and nonsenses every- where. The result can be – often is – chaotic, but despite the blurred edges, this latter-day Babel manages to work.’45 � Other domains Grammar and vocabulary are not the only domains within which linguistic distinctiveness manifests itself among theNewEnglishes of the world: pragmatic and discoursal domains also need to be taken into account. However, studies in these areas are few, anec- dotal and programmatic. The Singaporean case described above is somewhat exceptional in its depth of detail. The sources listed in Table 4 give only sporadic examples, such as the nomenclature of titles, kinship terms and politeness strategies. In the Nigerian sources, for example, occupation titles are reported to cover a wider range of cases than in British English (e.g. Engineer X ) and to allow different combinations (e.g. Dr Mrs X, Alhaja Engineer Chief X ). In the Zambian and Ghanaian studies, terms such as father, mother, brother, sister and so on are shown to have dif- ferent ranges of application, reﬂecting the internal structure of the family (e.g. the name father can be given to more than one person). Also in Ghana, and doubtless often elsewhere, reference is made to a distinctive strategy in which someone says sorry to express sympathy when something unfortunate happens to some- one else, even when the speaker is not at fault. These are isolated observations. As yet there is nothing even approximating to a systematic description of the pragmatics of world English. There is more to be said with reference to phonology. Most of the descriptive reports in Table 4 do give some account of the vowel and consonant segments characteristic of a variety. How- ever, few give details of the non-segmental characteristics of New Englishes, especially of the general character of their intonation and rhythm, and of the way in which these factors interact with vowels and consonants.46 The general lack of attention to the 45 McArthur (1998: 22). 46 For non-segmental phonology, in its sense of the whole range of prosodic and paralinguistic features of a language, seeCrystal (1969). Jowitt (2000) 168 The future of global English domain is regrettable, as there is plainly a major factor in evi- dence here which has a potentially signiﬁcant structural impact, especially in the way in which it affects the comprehension of spoken English. One author comments:47 ‘Most Nigerian lan- guages are “syllable-timed” languages . . .However close a Nige- rian speaker approximates to consonant and vowel qualities, if he uses “syllable-timing” when speaking English, he may well be faced by total incomprehension on the part of any listener who is a native speaker of English.’ The distinction between syllable-timing (found, for example, in French, Greek, Italian, Spanish, Hindi, Yoruba, Telugu, Indonesian and the majority of the world’s languages) and stress-timing (found for example in English, Russian, Arabic, Portuguese, Swedish, Thai, German, Welsh) goes back to Kenneth Pike:48 the former term suggests that all syllables occur at regular time intervals, whether they are stressed or not; the latter that the stressed syllables fall at regular intervals, whether they are separated by unstressed syl- lables or not. The distinction is widely referred to in English Language Teaching manuals, notwithstanding the criticism it has received. It is now known that languages vary greatly in the amount of stress-timing or syllable-timing they employ, and that there is more to rhythmical prominence than timing: segmen- tal sonority, syllabic weight and lexical stress are major factors in affecting auditory impressions of rhythm.49 And even within a language, both stress-timing and syllable-timing can be heard in varying degrees. The more formal the speech, for example, the more rhythmical it is likely to be. Peter Roach concludes that ‘There is no language which is totally syllable-timed or to- tally stress-timed – all languages display both sorts of timing . . . [and] different types of timing will be exhibited by the same speaker on different occasions and in different contexts.’50 And Laver suggests replacing the terms by ‘syllable-based’ and ‘stress- based’ respectively, a suggestion which will be followed here.51 on Nigerian English is an impressive example of intonational and com- parative detail. 47 Dunstan (1969: 29–30). 48 Pike (1945: 35). 49 Laver (1994: 527). 50 Roach (1982: 78). 51 Laver (1994: 528–9). 169 ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE Most people would accept Pike’s judgement that English – for at least 500 years – has been essentially stress-based, with just oc- casional use of syllable-based speech. But the contact with other languages which is part of the context of New Englishes is funda- mentally changing this situation. The vast majority of these En- glishes are syllable-based, as the following observations suggest:52 For those Africans whose ﬁrst language is syllable-timed (as many are), the resultant pronunciation of a word such as society . . . is very different from what is heard in England or America . . . The use of tone rather than stress, and of syllable-timing rather than stress-timing, combine to make some African English strikingly different from other varieties in pitch and rhythm . . .One of the most prominent features of Singaporean English is the use of syllable-timed rhythm . . . Rhythmically, Standard Filipino English is syllable-timed . . . Rhythm [in Hawaiian English] varies from the stress-timing usual in English to the syllable-timing characteristic of much Hawaiian Creole. Type B Indian speakers [i.e. those with a rhotic accent] sometimes use patterns of accentuation that are different from the patterns in native English. The rhythm is also different from the stress-timed rhythm of native English. SABE [South African Black English] maintains an unchanging rate of syl- lable utterance (tempo) over given periods of time, unlike SAE [South African English] . . . In this particular respect, therefore, SABE shows ‘syllable-timed’ characteristics. These general impressions must be interpreted cautiously. As de- tailed studies emerge, descriptive generalizations will need to be reﬁned. For example, the impression that structural words are stressed in syllable-timed speech will need some qualiﬁcation, as some of these words tend to attract stress more than others. This is reported for Singaporean English, for example, where the stress- ing of demonstratives and modal verbs has been noted as a feature of this variety.53 Another study reports the use of individual strate- gies in coping with timing in second-language English.54 And I 52 The ﬁrst set of quotations is fromWells (1982: 642, 644, 646, 647, 651); the second from Bansal (1990: 227); the third from Lanham (1990: 250).