World Englishes in Asian Contexts

World Englishes in Asian Contexts

Yamuna Kachru
Cecil L. Nelson
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 436
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  • Book Info
    World Englishes in Asian Contexts
    Book Description:

    This is the first English-language book to focus on the electric rice cooker and the impact it has had on the lives of Asian people. This account of the rice cooker's globalization aims to move away from Japan-centric perspectives on how "Made in Japan" products made it big in the global marketplace, instead choosing to emphasize the collaborative approach adopted by one Japanese manufacturing giant and a Hong Kong entrepreneur. The book also highlights the role Hong Kong, as a free port, played in the rice cooker's globalization and describes how the city facilitated the transnational flow of Japanese appliances to Southeast Asia, China, and North America. Based on over 40 interviews conducted with key figures at both National/Panasonic and Shun Hing Group, it provides a fascinating insight into the process by which the National rice cooker was first localized and then globalized. Interspersed throughout are personal accounts by individuals in Japan and Hong Kong for whom owning a rice cooker meant far more than just a convenient way of cooking rice. The book includes over 60 images, among them advertisements dating back to the 1950s that illustrate how Japanese appliances contributed to the advent of a modern lifestyle in Hong Kong. This account of the rice cooker's odyssey from Japan to Hong Kong and beyond is intended for a general audience as well as for readers with an interest in the empirical study of globalization, intercultural communication, Hong Kong social history, and Japanese business in Asia.

    eISBN: 978-988-220-364-8
    Subjects: Linguistics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-xiv)
  3. List of illustrations
    (pp. xv-xvi)
  4. Series editor’s preface
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
    Kingsley Bolton
  5. Preface
    (pp. xix-xx)
    Yamuna Kachru and Cecil L. Nelson
  6. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xxi-xxi)
  7. List of symbols and abbreviations
    (pp. xxii-xxiii)
  8. Map of Greater Asia
    (pp. xxiv-xxiv)
  9. Introduction
    (pp. 1-6)

    The notion ‘world Englishes’ provides the major conceptual framework for a useful and reasoned understanding of the spread and functions of the English language in global contexts. This concept also forms the theoretical and methodological basis for the twenty-two chapters of this volume. Earlier proposals for such a conceptualization — not necessarily using the term ‘world Englishes’ — were presented in studies that include B. Kachru (1982b [1992d], 1986a), Smith (1981, 1983, 1987), and Strevens (1980). Since then, the area of research labelled world Englishes (WEs) has grown rapidly and has produced a great number of publications on many aspects of WEs,...

  10. Part I: Theory, Method and Contexts
    • 1 World Englishes today
      (pp. 9-22)

      The latter half of the twentieth century saw an amazing phenomenon — the emergence and acceptance of a single language as an effective means of communication across the globe. English by now is the most widely taught, learnt and spoken language in the world. It is used by over 300 million people as a first language in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA, and by over 700 million people as a second or additional language in the countries of Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and of the island nations of the world (Crystal, 1985a; B. Kachru, 1999)....

    • 2 Conceptual framework
      (pp. 23-34)

      Concepts of varieties and variation must be examined from a number of points of view in order to give anything like a complete picture of contemporary world Englishes. Chapter 1 presented a brief overview of the development of varieties of English across the world diasporas, and Chapter 3 explicates the characteristics of varieties, e.g., phonological and grammatical features. This chapter presents the basic theoretical concepts that must be understood in order to hold a clear view of the status of English as an inclusive entity, and of the relationships of the many various Englishes extant in the world today. The...

    • 3 Structural variation
      (pp. 35-50)

      For the users of the English in the Outer and Expanding Circles, English is either a second language, or, if they are multilingual, it is one of the languages in their linguistic repertoire. As such, their English is in constant contact with the languages of the regions which they inhabit. Consequently, these varieties of English are influenced by the local language(s) in various areas of their grammars and exhibit specific phonological, lexical, syntactic and discoursal characteristics. The excerpt above from a text in Nigerian English exemplifies features that are not familiar to users of other varieties of English. The text...

    • 4 Contexts and identities
      (pp. 51-64)

      It is clear from the exchanges between Susan and Takeshi cited above that the negotiation of meaning between the two participants is not going well. Both, of course, are equally proficient in English; however, it is doubtful that they share the same competence in using their linguistic proficiency for communicating across cultures.

      Unlike proficiency, which generally refers to a control of linguistic structure, competence in language has several components, at least three of which can be discussed in broad terms under the labels of linguistic competence, pragmatic competence, and sociocultural competence. Linguistic competence refers to the knowledge of language that...

    • 5 Parameters of intelligibility
      (pp. 65-76)

      A recurrent discussion in world Englishes contexts turns around the likelihood that present or future varieties of English may not be readily intelligible when used outside their home localities, nations, or regions. Much of ESL or EFL teaching is concerned with the development and practice of forms of English such that learners’ presentations will be functional across regional and national boundaries. Such concerns perhaps most often have geographical or ethnic bases, though one can readily imagine others — for example, questions about cross-generational intelligibility. We may spend a good deal of classroom time doing ‘same or different?’ recognition and repetition exercises...

  11. Part II: Acquisition, Creativity, Standards and Testing
    • 6 World Englishes and language acquisition
      (pp. 79-92)

      Second Language Acquisition (SLA) emerged as a distinct field of research in the late 1950s to early 1960s (see, e.g., Mitchell and Myles, 1998; Ritchie and Bhatia, 1996) attempting to answer questions such as the following: Is it possible to acquire an additional language in the same sense as one acquires a first language? If yes, are the two processes similar; if not, what is the difference between acquisition and learning? Are the motivations for people to acquire additional languages primarily integrative, or are they instrumental? Is there a difference between the end results of the process of language acquisition...

    • 7 Standards, codification and world Englishes
      (pp. 93-108)

      The global spread of English and its unprecedented success as a language used in many domains by almost all sections of human societies have created both elation and consternation among language experts. There is a great deal of satisfaction that people of the world, at last, have a viable medium for international communication. There is, however, an equal measure of concern at the emerging variation among Englishes used around the world and the apprehension that ultimately this will lead to the decay and disintegration of the English language. Of course, what is at stake here is not English per se,...

    • 8 Creativity and innovations
      (pp. 109-120)

      It is perhaps legitimate to wonder whether, in the intense and now immense discussions of ‘world Englishes’, there might not exist an underlying continuation of the alleged dichotomy between the ‘native and non-native’ speakers. That is, it might be easy to foster an implicit, however unintended, view that Englishes across the world are all very well in their respective places and times, but that ‘real’ English still resides within the social grammars of the older worlds’ users of the language. As the quotation above from Mark Twain’s powerful Huckleberry Finn shows, this author was keenly aware of the differences among...

    • 9 Teaching and testing world Englishes
      (pp. 121-136)

      The teaching of English in its world contexts has long since ceased to be the prerogative of a few scattered ‘expert, native speakers’. Indeed, that the situation was ever such in any widespread way is called into question by current reassessments. In any case, for the present day and for the future, the view that either English-language instruction must be carried on by representatives of the Inner Circle or, at least, that one of their models must be the target of any learners of English, no matter where they are or what their intention for the uses of their English...

    • 10 Teaching world English literatures
      (pp. 137-149)

      In most contexts of language teaching, literature is kept strictly separated from the teaching operation. The rationale for such separation is that literary works contain idiosyncratic uses of language that do not lend themselves to grading of language material, which may be considered essential from the point of view of good teaching practice. However, Widdowson (1979: 154) suggests that literary works ‘can be incorporated as an integrative element into a language course, and that, properly presented, [they] can serve as an invaluable aid in the development of communicative competence’.² Additionally, they can lead to cross-cultural understanding by making readers familiar...

  12. Part III: Profiles across Cultures
    • 11 South Asian English
      (pp. 153-165)

      South Asia is a linguistic area with one of the longest histories of contact, influence, use, and teaching and learning of English-in-diaspora in the world. As B. Kachru (1986a: 36) clarifies, ‘[the] use of the term South Asian English is not to be understood as indicative of linguistic homogeneity in this variety nor of a uniform linguistic competence. It refers to several broad regional varieties such as Indian English, Lankan English and Pakistani English.’

      Setting aside a visitor from England to the tomb of St Thomas in South India in 882, as reported in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (McArthur, 1992: 504),...

    • 12 East Asian Englishes
      (pp. 167-180)

      For a full picture of the global forms and functions of English, its presence in contexts in the Expanding Circle (see Chapter 2) must not be neglected. The Expanding Circle comprises countries where English is not an official language of government or a medium of education; it may, however, be required or strongly encouraged at a certain level of schooling. As opposed to English being an institutionalized language, as in the Outer Circle, it is used in performance varieties within restricted social domains, except in Hong Kong where creative writing in English flourishes (Bolton, 2002c).

      In the People’s Republic of...

    • 13 Southeast Asian Englishes
      (pp. 181-196)

      English plays a major role in many spheres of life in Southeast Asia, including those that involve academic, diplomatic, and economic pursuits. However, the Southeast Asian region presents a more diverse picture as compared to South Asia in that some parts of it have institutionalized Englishes (e.g., Singapore, the Philippines), whereas others fall into the Expanding Circle of English along with China, Japan and Korea (e.g., Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand). In this chapter, we will focus on some aspects of English in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. In some sense, these countries share some common cultural traits and developments...

    • 14 African Englishes
      (pp. 197-210)

      English in Africa, as in other Outer-Circle situations, is very much in the character of a naturalized citizen: it retains its heritage, and also takes on features of its newer social and functional contexts. The colonial powers left their marks on the African continent in linguistic ways, as in others. Along with French and Portuguese, English is a continuing presence in the government, education and commerce of African countries including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Tanzania (McArthur, 1992: 20; Bokamba, 1992: 126). Functions of English include its use in high courts, parliaments, print and broadcast media, road signs and...

    • 15 African-American Vernacular English
      (pp. 211-222)

      In a country with a wide diversity of social groups, it is a given that there will be various dialects or varieties of speech. Wolfram (1981: 50) lists eighteen major dialect areas in the US, for example, Northeastern New England, the Virginia Piedmont, and Western Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. In a nation as geographically large and socially diverse as the US, most people are at least informally aware of many kinds of English. There are some types that may have a higher level of general visibility, such as ‘New York (City) English’, ‘California English’, ‘Chicano English’, and so on. Such...

  13. Part IV: Applied Theory and World Englishes
    • 16 Researching grammar
      (pp. 225-240)

      Grammarians and historical linguists have always been aware of the fact that language is ‘continuously dynamic’; grammatical rules of languages are not static. They are neither resistant to change nor without exceptions. Furthermore, it is not the case that speakers, however well educated, are always sure about their judgements regarding grammatical rules, especially if the rules themselves have several subparts. Researchers in world Englishes are interested in observing the ongoing changes and variations in grammar in all the Circles of English. They investigate how rules work by observation, and by collecting large-scale corpora to analyse. It will be instructive to...

    • 17 Dictionaries of world Englishes
      (pp. 241-254)

      The items in italics in the above constructed dialogue are difficult to understand for speakers of English not used to this variety. The word pick for the phrasal verb pick up, the idiomatic expression vicious cycle for vicious circle, and the response Thank you to Goodbye are all common in Kenyan English (Skandera, 1999), though they are not listed with these meanings in any dictionary familiar to most users of English (e.g., Oxford, Cambridge, Random House, Webster’s, Longman’s).

      The role that dictionaries play in standardizing a language has been demonstrated effectively by the compilation of dictionaries of British English by...

    • 18 Code-mixing and code-switching
      (pp. 255-266)

      A well-recognized phenomenon in the speech of bilingual or multilingual people (hereafter, the inclusive term ‘multilingual’ will be generally used) is the appearance of items, phrases and longer strings of speech in two or more languages or codes in the utterances of individual participants. South Asian English speakers quite typically will employ, for example, Hindi and English in their conversations, in blocks of speech that have not proven easy to identify in terms of the linguistic structures involved. The points in sentences or discourse which seem to allow or to cause speakers to switch from language A to B and...

    • 19 Culture and conventions of speaking
      (pp. 267-282)

      English is used differently in interpersonal interaction throughout the three Circles. In multilinguals’ language use, there is much mixing and switching of different codes, as is illustrated by the excerpt above from a Malaysian conversation among two school teachers. There are a number of solidarity and attitude markers in the above conversation, e.g., ah, you know, and two instances of lah. This use of such markers seems to be a feature of East Asian and Southeast Asian Englishes such as SME more than of, say, South Asian or Inner-Circle Englishes.

      In addition to linguistic and interactional features, conventions of speaking...

    • 20 Culture and conventions of writing
      (pp. 283-292)

      It was pointed out in Chapter 5 that writing conventions vary significantly across varieties of English. It is a myth that Inner-Circle Englishes follow the same conventions of writing for a particular genre (Baker and Eggington, 1999; see Chapter 16). It is even more of an imaginative feat to assert that registers and genres are uniform across the circles, notwithstanding Widdowson’s assertion that

      Registers relate to domains of use, to areas of knowledge and expertise which cross national boundaries and are global of their very nature ... Registers as the varieties used by ... expert communities ... do indeed, and...

    • 21 Genre analysis across cultures
      (pp. 293-304)

      Indian English newspapers and magazines, including the ones published in the USA, as News India Times is, usually have classified advertisements for arranged marriages, a genre peculiar to South Asia, though a comparable genre, Personal advertisements, exists in the West, too. A cursory glance at the above excerpt, however, is enough to convince a reader of the differences between the genres of Personals in the West and the Matrimonials in South Asia. First, the ads are placed by the family, not by the young woman who is seeking a marital partner (the same is true of ads on behalf of...

    • 22 Power, ideology and attitudes
      (pp. 305-318)

      As preceding discussions have shown (see Chapter 7), English as a language with trans-national presences in various configurations of institutionalization, ranges of functions, and depths of penetration in societies lends obvious advantages to its users. On the other hand, it is not surprising that such access to a global language comes with costs of various sorts. English is the paradigm modern language of political and economic power; as such, it is claimed by some observers to be the factor responsible for disenfranchisement of a vast majority of populations in the third world, and a major cause of the ‘deaths’ of...

  14. Conclusion: Current trends and future directions
    (pp. 319-326)

    While no book of this nature can claim to be comprehensive and exhaustive, even within a relatively limited context, the previous twenty-two chapters provide an overview of the approaches, the issues, the debates, the research findings and the cross-currents of opinions, realities and contexts of world Englishes in Asia. Before concluding this discussion, it may be instructive to recapitulate what has been realized and what needs to be kept in mind.

    As a research area, the sociolinguistically inspired enterprise in the study of English around the world has had to explore many related topics: grammatical descriptions of varieties, language variation,...

  15. Notes
    (pp. 327-330)
  16. Glossary
    (pp. 331-346)
  17. Annotated bibliography
    (pp. 347-356)
  18. Additional resources
    (pp. 357-360)
  19. References
    (pp. 361-396)
  20. Index
    (pp. 397-412)