Tuesday 7 February 2012

Why does the world need another blog on Englishes?

Well, I guess it doesn't, really - but I've been asked to write a book chapter on World Englishes and I thought it would be nice to have somewhere to share my thoughts, observations and notes on some of the varieties I come into contact with and issues to do with English around the world.

My research in this area is primarily on Hong Kong English (HKE). This began because I was living in Hong Kong at the time and had to find something to write a PhD on. There is a lot of discussion about whether HKE is a variety or an emerging variety or (just) a learner language, and this is something which is faced by many Englishes around the world. At the time, I was coming from it as a teacher of English as a foreign language; the issues to do with the validity of HKE as a variety hadn't really occurred to me until I'd finished the thesis, which was on speech rhythm in HKE. One gets so tied up in these things it's sometimes difficult to see the wood for the trees. Anyway, since then I've produced a book on HKE with colleagues in Hong Kong (Edinburgh University Press 2010) and have been teaching a class on World Englishes since 2004.

It's a fascinating area, not just because of the richness of different varieties around the world - including the UK - but also because of the socio-political and economic issues involved. I hope anyone reading this will be interested in what I've got to say as a member of Kachru's Inner Circle looking out, and that you'll be prepared to interact with me in order to discuss and inform.


  1. Sounds interesting.

    Hey! ˈWhere \is everybody?

  2. \Thanks /Beatrice || (note my use of the high fall + low rise pattern there!)

  3. I look forward to reading your posts. This an area that really interests me, especially because of the way native speakers of dominant variants tend to assume that there is only one English. For some reason, reminding such people that there are as many if not more English speakers in India as in the US doesn't tend to go down well, and my own NZE is almost universally discounted. So in my humble opinion, you're wrong in your very first sentence - I think the world DOES need another blog on Englishes, and I've added it to my collection of links on English, thank you for starting it!

    1. Thank you! I'd not spotted this comment before. I've glossed this "the view of an Inner Circle phonetician looking out" as it is sometimes difficult to realise you've not been objective - but I hope you'll tell me when that happens. :)