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A Handbook of Varieties of English

A Multimedia Reference Tool. Volume 1: Phonology. Volume 2: Morphology and Syntax

Ed. by Kortmann, Bernd / Schneider, Edgar W.

In collab. with Burridge, Kate / Mesthrie, Rajend / Upton, Clive


    739,00 € / $1,035.00 / £672.00*

    eBook (PDF)
    Publication Date:
    December 2008
    Copyright year:
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    Aims and Scope

    The Handbook is by far the most thorough reference work on phonology and the first-ever comprehensive overview of the morphology and syntax of varieties of English in the world. The Handbook consists of a two volume book accompanied by an interactive CD-ROM. The genuine speech samples and interactive maps of the CD-ROM not only supplement the printed articles by offering lively illustrations of the varieties of English around the world, but the material offered can also be used for linguistic research. The multimedia material is now also available online.

    Survey Articles

    The books feature descriptive survey articles that are authored by widely acclaimed specialists in the field and that

    • cover all main national standard varieties, distinctive regional, ethnic, and social varieties, major contact varieties, as well as major ESL varieties;
    • share a common core, which makes them invaluable research tools for cross-linguistic comparisons;
    • provide information on the historical and cultural backgrounds as well as the current sociolinguistic situations in the respective regions;
    • serve as state-of-the-art reports on major issues in current research.


    The CD-ROM not only supplements the printed volumes through interactive access to the varieties but also provides a comprehensive database with:

    • a unique collection of speech recordings of English from around the world;
    • sound samples that open new perspectives on the varieties of English, as speech recordings also constitute the central aspect of research - students as well as professional academics will feel encouraged to use the material for new investigations;
    • interactive and synchronized maps that allow either phonological or morphosyntactic (grammatical) comparisons;
    • extensive bibliographies on the relevant research literature;
    • links to pertinent websites.

    Online Version

    The online version provides departments of English and Linguistics with the opportunity to make the multimedia tools simultaneously available to a wider number of faculty members and students.

    • instructors can deploy the sound samples and interactive maps to enhance their classroom presentations and to highlight important language features;
    • researchers are provided with a database of multimedia material for further study;
    • students can employ the data when working on classroom assignments.

    Together, the books and the CD-ROM are an indispensable reference work and research tool for sociolinguists, dialectologists, phonologists, grammarians, typologists, and specialists in contact languages and varieties of English around the world. Given its accessible style and its rich auditory and visual support, this Handbook is also ideally suited not only for professional academics but also for undergraduate and graduate students.

    The editors are responsible for the following topics:

    • Kate Burridge/ Bernd Kortmann: Australia / Pacific Archipelagos
    • Bernd Kortmann: British Isles: Morphology and Syntax
    • Rajend Mesthrie: Africa / South and Southeast Asia
    • Edgar W. Schneider: The Americas / Caribbean
    • Clive Upton: British Isles: Phonology

    System requirements for the CD-ROM:

    Pentium 500 MHz or AMD K6-III+ 500 MHz, PowerPC G3, 64 MB RAM, 16-bit Soundcard
    Operating Systems: Windows 98, NT, Me, 2000, XP/ Mac OS 9.x, X 10.x/ Linux (any distribution with Kernel 2.0)
    Supported Browsers: Internet Explorer 5.5 or 6 (Mac OS: Internet Explorer 5.1)/ Netscape 7.x/ Mozilla 1.0/ Mozilla Firefox 0.8
    Plugins: Macromedia Flash Player 6/ Acrobat Reader


    xxxvi, 2388 pages
    Type of Publication:
    English; Language

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    Bernd Kortmann is Professor at the University of Freiburg/Breisgau, Germany.

    Edgar W. Schneider is Professor at the University of Regensburg, Germany.

    Kate Burridge is Professor at La Trobe University, Australia.

    Rajend Mesthrie is Professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

    Clive Upton is Professor at Leeds University, United Kingdom.


    "These state-of-the-art volumes are a magnificent testimony to the incredible amount of research which has been carried out in the last quarter century on variation in English around the world. The editors should be heartily congratulated [...]"
    David Britain in: Journal of Linguistics 3/2007

    "The editors have set their sights high - and managed to achieve them admirably. [...] this is the kind of reference work that comes along maybe oncein a generation, and will revolutionize the ways in which we and our students can work with the English language."
    Monika S. Schmid in: Linguist List 16.1740

    "The handbook marks a milestone in the field of English linguistics."
    Holger Diessel in: Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 11/2006

    "This impressive reference presents the most up-to-date findings on the phonology (v.1), morphology, and syntax (v.2) for 60 varieties of English, including national standard; regional, ethnic, and social; pidgins and creoles; and the major English as a second language varieties of the British Isles, Americas and Caribbean, Pacific and Australasia, Africa, and South and Southeast Asia."
    Reference & Research Book News, 08/2005

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