LINGUIST List 11.2338

Sat Oct 28 2000

TOC: English World-Wide

Editor for this issue: Naomi Ogasawara <>


  1. Paul Peranteau, English World-Wide 21:1, 2000

Message 1: English World-Wide 21:1, 2000

Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 16:26:45 -0400
From: Paul Peranteau <>
Subject: English World-Wide 21:1, 2000

English World-Wide 21:1 (2000)

� John Benjamins Publishing Company

Manfred G�rlach (pp. 1-23)
Rhyming slang world-wide: Homegrown or imported?

Karen P. Corrigan (pp. 25-62)
"What bees to be maun be": Aspects of deontic and epistemic modality in a
northern dialect of Irish English

David Jowitt (pp. 63-80)
Patterns of Nigerian English intonation

Long Peng and Jane Setter (pp. 81-108)
The emergence of systematicity in the English pronunciations of two
Cantonese-speaking adults in Hong Kong

Nicola J. Woods (pp. 109-150)
Archaism and innovation in New Zealand English

N. Krishnaswamy and Archana S. Burde: The Politics of Indians' English:
Linguistic Colonialism and the Expanding English Empire (Jean D'Souza)

Shorter Notices

Rhyming slang world-wide: Homegrown or imported?
Manfred G�rlach

Rhyming slang (RS) sprang to life in mid-19th century London when it was
first recorded by Ducange Anglicus (1857) together with other unusual forms
of slang, such as back slang and Polari. In the period of extensive British
emigration to the United States, Canada, South Africa, Australia and New
Zealand, this special type of lexis was also carried around the world
though in much less regular distribution than might have been expected on
the basis of shared socioeconomic colonial histories. Three types of
development were possible: 1. individual RS items might survive (and
possibly acquire new meanings);2.they might die out, leaving a historical
record of their extraterritor ial existence at best;3. they might prompt
local fashions, imitating the pattern but creating new words. The
phenomenon of RS has found various references in books on national
Englishes (such as those by Baker (1970), but significantly less so in
Ramson (1966) and Mencken (1977)); however, it has never been explored on a
contrastive level. Such an approach has become more feasible today now that
the set of historical dictionaries of English is complete following the
publication of the works edited by Silva (1996), Ramson (1988) and Orsman
(1997) even though slang is badly documented, since it was not always
considered worthy of inclusion in general dictionaries.

"What bees to be maun be": Aspects of deontic and epistemic modality in a
northern dialect of Irish English
Karen P. Corrigan

Irish-English (IrE) as a contact vernacular permits tense, mood and aspect
categories to be marked in a manner which distinguishes this variety from
all other world Englishes. Researchers, however, have been preoccupied with
its distinctive tense and aspect markers and much less is known about the
manner in which IrE modal relations are expressed. This paper attempts to
redress the imbalance by comparing aspects of modality in IrE and other
English varieties and by introducing a morphosyntactic syntagm termed
"modal be+to" which can be used to express both deontic and epistemic
modality. The marker is frequent in Northern Irish Englishes and a detailed
account of its use in the South Armagh vernacular is offered here. In
addition, attention will be given to locating the potential sources of
be+to as the product of a language contact situation.

Patterns of Nigerian English intonation
David Jowitt

This paper presents some of the findings of a new experimental study based
on Cruttenden's model of intonation and using O'Connor and Arnold's
pedagogical materials. The study was designed to examine chiefly the form
and frequency of intonation patterns among educated Nigerian speakers of
English, not the communicative value of these patterns. The general
conclusion is that certain patterns having a high frequency constitute a
system in Nigerian usage, differing in important respects from
native-speaker systems, though lacking stability.

The emergence of systematicity in the English pronunciations of two
Cantonese-speaking adults in Hong Kong
Long Peng and Jane Setter

This paper describes and analyses the phenomenon of consonant cluster
simplification in the English of two native Cantonese speakers in Hong
Kong. We show that this process is systematic in that it targets the
alveolar plosives and removes them when they are members of a coda
consonant cluster in spite of the fact that the details of the
simplification may vary from subject to subject. We compare this process to
a seemingly similar cluster simplification in native varieties of English
and show that they differ in two key respects. Our study provides evidence
of a systematic morphophonemic alternation in the English of L1 Cantonese
speakers, confirming the observation in a number of sociolinguistic studies
that this process is a linguistic feature of the English of L1 Cantonese

Archaism and innovation in New Zealand English
Nicola J. Woods

Colonial Englishes have been observed to contain both archaic and
innovative linguistic features, and are thus seen to display evidence of
both language preservation and change. This paper examines the use of
certain phonological features of New Zealand English (NZE) and discusses
their status as relics or innovations. Examination is made of the diphthong
which occurs in the mouth lexical set and the front short vowels trap,
dress and kit. Trends in usage are studied using real time analysis of
speakers recorded in the 1940s and their present day descendants recorded
in 1993/94. In this way, the development of NZE is charted by means of the
analysis of different generations of the same New Zealand families.

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