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Accessible Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter December 1, 2011

Indian English An Emerging Epicentre? A Pilot Study on Light Verbs in Web-derived Corpora of South Asian Englishes

Sebastian Hoffmann, Marianne Hundt and Joybrato Mukherjee
From the journal


In research into New Englishes, it has been suggested that English has turned into a genuinely pluricentric language in the late 20th century and that various regionally relevant norm-developing centres have emerged that exert an influence on the formation and development of the English language in neighbouring areas. In the present paper, we focus on Indian English (IndE), the largest institutionalised second-language variety of English, and its potential role as an emerging epicentre in South Asia. Specifically, we are interested in determining to what extent IndE as the dominant variety in the region shapes the norms in Standard(ising) Englishes in the neighbouring countries. The data for a case study on light verb constructions were retrieved from large web-derived corpora with texts from national English-medium newspapers in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka countries that all once formed part of the British colonial empire in South Asia and that have retained the English language as a communicative vehicle, albeit to different extents. Our insights from web-derived corpora open up new perspectives for the description of the closeness and distance between Indian English on the one hand and English in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka on the other.

Published Online: 2011-December
Published in Print: 2011-December