World Englishes essay (achieved 23/30)

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Evaluate the idea that the future of the English language will be characterised by diversity rather than unity, as the concept of ‘World Standard English’ might suggest.

Language, by nature, is not static. It evolves and changes to reflect our changing lives. Two-thirds of Europeans have English as a Lingua Franca, which is a ‘koine language’ between groups of people that speak different languages. This is significant because people who adopt English as a lingua franca may alter certain linguistic characteristics in order to make the language ‘their own.’ The idea of a possible ‘World Standard English’ was originally proposed by McArthur. His circle of World English includes the categories World Standard English, regional standards and localised varieties. A problem with this model is that the varieties of English spoken in Europe are missing, and that the concepts of ENL, ESL and EFL are mixed up in the second circle. The future of the English will be partly characterised by diversity because, like Latin broke up into many languages, English is breaking up into varieties which could be because speakers want to create a sense of identity. However, there are factors such as communication and immigration which may lead to a potential standardisation.

Considering the idea that the English language is breaking up, one type of English is Pakistani English. There are many differences between the pronunciation of English spoken in Pakistan, and Received Pronunciation. Received Pronunciation has a /v/ and a /w/ sound, whereas Urdu only has a /v/ sound, so Pakistani speakers would only pronounce /v/ even instead of /w/. Also, the vowel ‘u’ in ‘hut’ is replaced by a schwa, as Urdu doesn’t have this vowel. This overall suggests that when someone speaks Pakistani English, it would be very distinctive to people that use Received Pronunciation.

There are also grammatical differences between Pakistani English and Standard English, with the most important difference being word order. English sentences follow the Subject-Verb-Object word order, whereas Pakistani English sentences follow the Subject-Object-Verb word order. Colloquialisms such as ‘gully’ to refer to an alley are also used. Hybrid words are also used in Pakistan, such as ‘hooliganism.’ This may link to the idea of categorisation theory as, by using words from their own first language, people would have categorised themselves as residents of Pakistan. Pakistani English is different from Standard English because a few terms have been converted into a different word class. For example, to ‘arson’ has changed from a noun to a verb.

English has a superior status in Pakistan, not only as an official language but

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