The emergence and diffusion of Multicultural English

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We draw on the observation that many features of new urban language varieties in multilingual contexts do not seem to be associated with any one particular ethnic group. Rather, many young speakers draw on and share at least a portion of the wide linguistic resources reflecting the ethnically mixed nature and multilingual backgrounds of their communities. We discuss new varieties of this kind in Britain’s two largest cities, London and Birmingham. Our results support the existence of a Multicultural English, with social and regional variation. An important factor appears to be the amount of social interaction that takes place between individual speakers and we demonstrate that multi-ethnic friendship networks play a key role in its emergence and diffusion.


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