Edited by Sandra C. Deshors, Sandra Götz and Samantha Laporte
[Benjamins Current Topics 98] 2018
► pp. 121–146
This paper addresses the equivalence often drawn between labels such as ESL, New Englishes and Outer Circle on the one hand, and between EFL, Learner Englishes and Expanding Circle on the other. It argues that this mapping takes insufficient account of both intra-varietal variation and inter-varietal similarities. We compare the two non-native varietal types with each other and with native English on the basis of ‘user’ data from the International Corpus of English and the Corpus of Dutch English, focusing on three-word clusters in academic writing. Quantitative analyses reveal no clear grouping per circle, but rather a regional East Africa grouping. Case studies of four specific clusters (in case of, due to the, the fact that and the other hand) mostly show a native/non-native divide. Characteristics of both ESL and EFL, including innovative processes as well as learner strategies, are shown to be at play in the Outer and Expanding Circle alike. The findings are consistent with the notion of neither a strict divide between varietal types, nor a continuum.
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