Front. Commun.
Sec. Language Sciences
doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2022.1029561

Englishes in a Globalized World: Exploring Contact Effects on Other Languages

  • 1University of Klagenfurt, Austria
  • 2University of Hamburg, Germany
Provisionally accepted:
The final, formatted version of the article will be published soon.

developed into fully functional codes that frequently remain in close contact with more standardized forms of English, leading to a process of variable decreolization, as in the contexts of Jamaica, the US (Gullah), the Bahamas, and Hawai'i, to name just a few.When applying the LCT to conventionally labelled Englishes, two major trajectories of variation have to be highlighted. Firstly, as the LCT takes contact settings as a point of departure, forms and uses of English can both be analysed on the individual speaker level as well as among a speaker community if the conditions of contact are shared. This means that actual manifestations of Englishes can be influenced by several contact scenarios at a time, and conventionally named Englishes can actually be shaped by a combination of different contact settings. For instance, Indian English, Nigerian English, Singapore English and many other X-Englishes, can be subject to variable contact settings, combining the types of multilingual, learner and global Englishes depending on the individual or community level of English use and exposure to the language. Secondly, intersections between the major contact types are also possible on an historical dimension. Irish English (see Kirk and Shimada, this volume), for example, was shaped in a bilingual contact setting of speakers shifting from Irish towards English, i.e. a context of EMC. From a current perspective, however, the contact features of Irish English that have been carried over from Irish have become conventionalized forms of Irish English and the language has become part of dialect contact scenarios (Koiné Englishes) while Irish English as an EMC remains possible in active bilingual communities of Gaelic and English speakers.Considering the flexible, contact-centric approach to the diversity of Englishes across the world, the contributions to this research topic speak to several of the main contact types. The majority of the articles exemplify the type of Global Englishes (GEs), in which English elements become incorporated in different recipient language communities. Irena Kapo's research report, for example, provides an overview of the types of English loans and their integration into Albanian, following a descriptive tradition of anglicism research. Jaime Hunt's study investigates the use of English loanwords in a German newspaper that is published for a bilingual audience of English and German as heritage language speakers in Australia. Among his findings, Hunt determines that anglicisms in texts taken from the German press agency (DPA) are more frequently flagged compared to articles published by local Australian journalists. Increased flagging can create an alienating effect in a fully bilingual, local readership in Australia.The contribution by Johannes Scherling, Lisa Kornder and Niamh Kelly takes the perception and reinterpretation of English song lyrics by native speakers of Japanese as a case in point to show how English elements are integrated into recipient language phonetic systems. The processes at play comprise sound substitutions, insertions, deletions and boundary transgressions with substitutions occurring by far most frequently in the author's corpus of soramimi ('mishearings').Melissa Schuring and Eline Zenner take a socio-pragmatic developmental approach to anglicism research. They investigate the use of English loanwords in Belgian Dutch among a group of young children using sociolinguistic interviews. Results show an overall rate of 9.7% of English loanwords with female children using significantly more English elements.Research on aspects of the contact type of Global Englishes continues with two indepth studies that each trace the integration and development of one English expression in a recipient language. Franziska Kailich follows the occurrence of the English-induced neologism Covidiota in Spanish Twitter posts, and Pascale et al. take construction grammar as a lens to observe the life-cycle of the phrasal borrowing pimp my ride in Belgian Dutch. The section on Global Englishes closes with a perspective article by Sarah Schäfer who takes the example of anglicisms in the German radio to call for future anglicism research to focus on semiotic assemblages in transmedial and transmodal mass media communication.Three studies in the collection deal with aspects of Englishes in multilingual constellations (EMCs). James McLellan investigates multilingual language practices in Malaysia and Brunei. He shows the interplay of English and Malay in examples of language use on social media, posing the question of whether social media are drivers of language change and whether the multilingual practices observable there might even be considered separate varieties.Hok-Shing Chan tackles the issue of constructional borrowing among bilingual English and Cantonese speakers in Hong Kong. The author provides a close up on three English constructions, which can occur in Hong Kong Cantonese when it functions as a matrix language in this multilingual constellation.Michael Westphal provides an analysis of multilingual contact effects in world Englishes on the level of pragmatics. He focuses on question tags in Nigerian English, taking both a corpus linguistic and a questionnaire-based survey approach. The findings of the corpus data demonstrate the use of invariant tags of both English and Nigerian origin while prescriptive attitudes emerge from the favourable ratings of variant tag questions.A few more papers in this research topic are couched in multilingual settings that intersect with Learner Englishes and the use of English as a lingua franca. In line with transnationalism and the sociolinguistics of globalization (Blommaert 2010), Susanne Mohr's study is an example of world Englishes research from a transnational and social-mediatized perspective. She investigates the use of English as a lingua franca in hashtags related to a popular tourist destination, tapping into the user's identity construction on social media.Aspects of multilingualism, learner Englishes and English as a lingua franca guide Eliane Lorenz's investigation of the discourse marker like in the United Arab Emirates. As part of a larger project on Language, Attitudes, and Repertoires in the Emirates (see, e.g. Siemund, Al-Issa and Leimgruber 2021), her study tests various potential factors that might influence the occurrence of like.Set in the related context of Saudi Arabia, Nuha AlShurfa et al.'s study is an example of the contact type of Learner Englishes. The authors discuss a range of syntactic features, demonstrating how transfer from L1 Arabic influences the shape of Saudi English.Learner Englishes and the importance of English as a global, international language is at the center of Elizabeth Peterson's article on English in Finland. The author takes a critical view as, on the one hand, English has become part of Nordic Exceptionalism, which is expressed in the widely held and misguided belief that "everybody can speak English". On the other hand, the teaching of English is still strongly geared towards so called native-speaker norms, perpetuating widely criticized imbalances across the Englishes-speaking world (cf. Kirkpatrick 2021 for a general discussion of this issue).Finally, two articles in the collection address aspects of Irish English that fits the classification of Koiné Englishes from a current point of view. Tamami Shimada traces the history of how Irish or Hiberno English was formed as a language shift variety in a bilingual constellation before focusing on three grammatical constructions that exemplify Irish contact and that have been retained as characteristic features of Hiberno English on its way of having turned into an L1 variety shaped by dialect contact over the past century.John Kirk takes the discussion of Irish English onto a more general level of world Englishes. Drawing from different data sources (ICE corpora, handbooks, the electronic World Atlas of Varieties of English, and the GloWbE corpus), he investigates how Irish English fits into models of world Englishes.The different facets of language contact involving Englishes addressed in this collection emphasize the diverse manifestations and influences of contact between Englishes and other languages. While this diversity can be organized in line with the Language Contact Typology summarized and applied here, all the contributions investigate unique aspects within these broad types. Moreover, the articles draw from a wide range of data, such as social media language, corpora, elicited responses, questionnaires, and interviews, and they provide further insights into the fundamental role of language contact for the uses and functions of Englishes worldwide.

Keywords: World Englishes, Language contact, Multilingualism, Anglicisms, Language Contact Typology of Englishes

Received: 27 Aug 2022; Accepted: 02 Sep 2022.

Copyright: © 2022 Onysko and Siemund. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Prof. Alexander Onysko, University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt, Austria