Varieties of English, Assignment 2
- Provide a 15 min. sketch of one of the perspectives which
informs research on English varieties. You should sketch
- The background of the perspective, e.g. the influence of a first language on how well a second-language learner learns, what sorts of errors might be expected.
- The sorts of situations where one most expects to see the importance of the perspective, i.e. where it is most likely to explain things successfully.
- What research questions are asked
- What hypotheses are made, if any
- How a researcher might investigate linguistic features to pursue the perspective more closely.
Here are some of the possible perspectives. They overlap to some extent.
- The second-language perspective. Szmrecsanyi and Kortmann's paper address contributes to this, to some extent.
- (Related to the above), the perspective of substrate-superstrate relations. This is also one perspective of "contact linguistics". How does this differ from the second-language perspective? Schneider's paper should be useful.
- The "seed" perspective (Fischer), i.e. detecting signals of which British varieties gave rise to the newer ones. This is developed in Shackleton's paper.
- (Related to the above), Mufwene's "founder's principle", the idea that very early varieties are most influential in colonial situations -- even when colonists arrive from different areas. (I don't have a digital copy of Mufwene's paper, but it's in Diachronica 1996.)