Explain the trends of dialect leveling and internal variation in the process of development of new varieties of English.
“Dialect differences are reduced as speakers acquire features from other varieties as well as avoid features from their own variety that are somehow different. This may occur over several generations until a stable compromise dialect 1 997) The writer here is referring the linguistic accommodation made by speakers with different dialects to eventually converge and resemble a new dialect.Especially during the period of British Colonization/Colonialism, this happened in many countries in Asia, Africa and even America and Australia. English was introduced to these areas where the indigenous race’s had their own language’s. In Africa and Asia for example, in any one country, they had deferent people speaking many different dialects and/or languages.
With the many varlets of dialects and languages, the Introduction of English was firstly a language that could have been used for trading purposes, In Singapore.A variety of Pidgin was necessary to allow for communication between the locals and the English readers, with English as a supersaturate and Malay, Chinese or Tamil as a substrate. This is referred to by Edgar Schneider as the first stage or the Foundation stage, where English is brought over too non-English speaking country (Swan), where the locals and the English Settlers continue to communicate in their own separate groups except with some small contact with Interpreters and those with high status In the community.
Through this effort, a small level of bilingualism develops. As the English communities get further settled in and are more stabilized in the amount, English language is spoken and heard more regularly. At this point, it becomes established as the lingua franca of administration, education and legislation. Alistair Penitence suggests that In many colonies, English was not seen as the language for the masses. To ensure a compliant and docile population, they were all taught in their own local languages and English only reserved for the elite. Penitence, 1998) With the seeming rise of stature in the English Language for the elite few at this point, the locals too sought to improve their contact with the settlers o secure a higher status and mixed marriages. Along with the higher status, elitism sets In.
The locals here see English as an asset and standard. Schneider refers to this Juncture, as Exonerative, where the locals look to the Brothels as the standard and norm, thus had no distinct identity of their own.In a reverse measure, the English settlers too adopt small portions of the local dialects/languages to add to their language.
The locals would have developed code-switching and English as a second-language. Motivational” Schneider considers this third stage to be the most crucial from a ‘land of origin’ weaken, the English settlers feel more at home towards the Colonized land and both groups feel they belong to the same territory. The English settlers accommodate more features of the local language I. E.
Malay in Singapore case into their language, words like Godson, Rattan and Camphor.As the early settlers came from mixed demographic and class backgrounds and different regions in Britain, the English taken to the colonies too were non-standard and diverse. The speakers of all these diverse groups come together and the process of direct leveling occurs here, where a more uniform variety emerges.
The Locals too driven by the need to communicate with each other, the different dialects/languages converge with significant differences to leave out the unique, special characteristics and use simpler and more common features to communicate with each other.Since their sense of identity is culturally more grounded at this point, with the locals wanting independence and the settlers too feeling at home. It is now a more homogeneity roof, with a language that has modified, morphed and evolved to take on another form. It is this change in the process that Dialect Leveling has taken place. The fourth stage, Schneider calls Indetermination Stabilization, is a period where the local variety of English becomes more accepted and is heralded with great pride. There is more cultural reliance, in the sense that Britain is not relied on as a model for the locals to follow and emulate.
There is a rise in a new brand of community, a nation promoting local norms for language and culture and nation building. The role of English can then be seen as being a push to help assert political identity for Singapore. “Therefore here we see that language can play a key role in the establishment of a distinct political identity’. (Swan, The English of the World) With the newfound local norms and language forms recognized, there is more linguistic homogeneity in Singapore.
The last stage in the whole developmental process is called Differentiation.As the local variety of English is more established, different groups will form their own sense f local culture and linguistic identity, in Singapore, the Malady, Indians and Chinese would have their own brand of Singling, a language which arose out dialect leveling where the English is a supersaturate and the different languages the Substrate, phrases like, catch no ball or heart pain are English words with Hookier and subsequently Malay sentence structure. With the Group-internal linguistic markers, dialect markers, there begins the rise of the ethnic pride within the different communities.As much as English has united many tribes/ people in Africa, India, leveling their any languages to be able to speak and understand one language and communicate with one another and therefore be unified and be one nation, some have argued that it is a killer language that has killed many languages and by extension cultures, languages are hardly ever pure and take on different elements and borrow words from many different languages for many different purposes and many different context.
For a language to survive today, it is rather necessary I think that language is the new and young to be forever prevalent and relevant. References?