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Chapter 17. English in Southeast Asian pop culture

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Abstract

Southeast Asian countries are diverse in their histories, ethnic and racial populations, and languages. English in these countries therefore functions within a wide variety of roles and contexts that are not always very similar to one another. One exception to this, however, is the role of English within popular culture. This chapter examines the different ways that English is used across popular culture in Southeast Asia. As the linguistic expressions in popular culture are not “naturally occurring” or spontaneous uses of language, popular culture data have long been overlooked in sociolinguistic descriptions of Englishes. Therefore this chapter also proposes a rationale and methods for the study of pop English in Southeast Asia.

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