<i>... ging uns der ganze alte Dialektbegriff in eine Illusion auf</i>
Referring to the work of the Innsbruck-born and Berlin-based dialectologist Alois Brandl (1855–1940), the paper shows how the opportunities provided by early recording technology made linguists question the notion of dialect as a stable, regionally defined variety of a language. It goes on to argue that since then rapid migration and the new media, with their interactive potential, have joined to further sever the link between territory and dialect and have, in many instances, led to an almost instant globalization of vernacular features which is not yet adequately captured by our existing variationist models. Examples are taken from English-based pidgins and creoles, which were geographically and socially marginal languages in the colonial period, but have gained considerable visibility world-wide in the last few decades. The paper concludes by making the point that globalization does not merely affect the spread and influence of standard varieties of English but that there is today also a large pool of deterritorialized dialect features which make it useful to postulate the existence of a “World Non-Standard English” (WNSE).