Rajend Mesthrie examines the rise of a new variety of English among Indian migrant workers indentured on the plantations of Natal in South Africa. Considering the historical background to, and linguistic consequences of, language shift in an immigrant context, he draws significant parallels between second language acquisition and the processes of pidginization and creolization. South African Indian English is compared with other dialects in South Africa, with English in India, and with Englishes generally.
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Historical background: the shaping of a New English; 2. Variation in SAIE: a first glimpse; 3. Syntactic variation: the relative clause; 4. Word-order principles; 5. Non-syntactic variation; 6. Perspectives from second-language acquisition; 7. Perspectives from pidgin and creole studies; Appendices; Notes; Sources and references; Index.