Linguistic Innovations
  • ISSN 2215-1478
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1486
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This paper addresses the equivalence often drawn between labels such as , and on the one hand, and between , and on the other. It argues that this mapping takes insufficient account of both intra-varietal variation and inter-varietal similarities. We compare the two non-native varietal types with each other and with native English on the basis of ‘user’ data from the International Corpus of English and the Corpus of Dutch English, focusing on three-word clusters in academic writing. Quantitative analyses reveal no clear grouping per circle, but rather a regional East Africa grouping. Case studies of four specific clusters (, , and ) mostly show a native/non-native divide. Characteristics of both ESL and EFL, including innovative processes as well as learner strategies, are shown to be at play in the Outer and Expanding Circle alike. The findings are consistent with the notion of neither a strict divide between varietal types, nor a continuum.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Expanding Circle; Learner Englishes; New Englishes; non-native innovation; Outer Circle
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