Over the last four centuries, the English language has spread from its ancestral home to every continent and virtually every country in the world. It is spoken daily in some form by an estimated one thousand million people. Some use it as a mother tongue, others as a second foreign language, but most use it as a lingua franca--a medium which permits communication among people who do not share a language.
Almost all world languages have been influenced by English and in return the English language has borrowed words from all parts of the world. The language has become flexible enough to express the aspirations and cultures of people as far apart as London and Lagos and to reflect the changing life styles of speakers from New York to Papua New Guinea. Such rich diversity is the subject matter of this book.
Many aspects of variety in contemporary English are explored, beginning with the contrasts between written and spoken English. The nature of dialect is thoroughly examined, as are pidgins and creoles--the so-called "New Englishes." The book also includes discussions of paralinguistic features, style, the language of the media, advertising, the classroom and literature, including literature written in English by people for whom English is not a mother tongue.
"The book can be warmly recommended as an introductory text for all courses in universities, schools and colleges that seek to explore a wide range of general interest in language variation."
-"Lore and Language
Preface Conventions Speech and Writing Dialects, Accents and Standards Pidgins and Creoles Style English and the Media English in Advertising English in Literature English in the Classroom Index