South Pacific Englishes

A Sociolinguistic and Morphosyntactic Profile of Fiji English, Samoan English and Cook Islands English

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Second-language varieties of English in the South Pacific have received scant attention, until now. This monograph offers the first book-length analysis of the sociolinguistics and morphosyntax of three representatives of South Pacific L2 English in comparison – two of which have never been described linguistically. The book describes the spread of English, its current status and use in the three island states and compares the most frequent and salient morphosyntactic features to corresponding structures in Asian and African Englishes and the Oceanic substrate languages. As part of a larger theoretical discussion on the multiple factors that determine the evolution and dynamics of L2 varieties in general, Mufwene’s feature pool model is extended to a new model that integrates cognitive aspects of language acquisition and use, typological aspects of the languages/varieties involved and socio-cultural motivations of language use. The book also examines the role of New Zealand English as a potential epicentre in the South Pacific and considers ethical and methodological issues of linguistic field research.

Subjects: Historical linguistics; English linguistics; Germanic linguistics; Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; Theoretical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Zurich

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