Non-standard or new standards or errors?

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Using data of speakers whose first language is a variety of Malay, a language that does not mark for tense, this article will investigate the hypothesis that speakers of second language (L2) varieties of English whose first languages (L1s) do not mark for tense, will use tense marking less frequently than those speakers of L2 varieties of English whose L2s do mark for tense. The article will also review other possible motivations for the presence of non-standard forms in the English, bearing in mind Thomason’s caution “that multiple causes are responsible for a particular change” (2010: 31). It is hoped that the study will contribute to our knowledge of contact-induced change in English worldwide (Schneider 2007, 2012).


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