Linguistic Innovations
  • ISSN 2215-1478
  • E-ISSN: 2215-1486
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Singapore English and Hong Kong English started out as contact varieties and developed into ESL varieties belonging to the Outer Circle (Kachru 1985). Both varieties show a similar contact ecology (Chinese), but differ in their socio-institutional status in the Dynamic Model (Schneider 2003, 2007). By analyzing innovative verb-to-noun conversion in these two varieties, and comparing them to British English, this study shows that despite the obvious similarities in substratum, the usage frequency of conversion in both varieties differs considerably. These findings, similar to — most recently — Deshors (2014) and Gilquin (2015), call into question the established notion of ESL in general and the status of SgE and HKE as ESL varieties in particular. In order to accurately reflect contemporary language use, it is reasonable to conceptualize the notion of ESL as a continuum and to situate HKE and SgE at opposite ends.


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