Edited by Lisa Lim and Nikolas Gisborne
[English World-Wide 30:2] 2009
► pp. 133–148
The Asian typology of English
Theoretical and methodological considerations
This paper looks at the emergence of Asian English varieties in terms of the evolution of new grammatical features. I propose that, in order to reach a thorough understanding of how the unique combination of grammatical features that define specific Asian Englishes come about, we must approach these features from a typological and evolutionary perspective which allows us to contrast them not only with Standard English varieties but also with the Asian languages with which these come into contact. As restructured vernaculars, Asian English varieties are de facto contact languages, and, as such, evolve as a consequence of selection of features from a multilingual pool. In this pool, features of Asian varieties play a significant role in determining the output grammar and must therefore be appreciated in their own right. In order to illustrate these points, I introduce an evolutionary view of contact language formation, and I present a set of features typical of Singlish, which are all instances of replication of Asian, not English, features
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