Editor for this issue: Randall Eggert <randylinguistlist.org>
. The chapter by Finn on Cape FlatsEnglish (CFE) considers the variety spoken in Cape Town's multiracial andmultilingual district of that name. The phonological description is preceded bya useful account of the speakers' origins and the district's settlement history.This is a thorough account of CFE phonology, and particularly useful due to itnot being very widely known.
Sheila Wilson's chapter on St. Helena English (223-230), though short, gives asuccinct overview of the island's history, followed by a description of eachvowel's lexical set. The KIT set is confusingly described as having tworealizations, both of which are represented by [I].
South Asian varieties are then investigated in Ravinder Gargesh's (IndianEnglish, 231-243) and Ahmar Mahboob & Nadra Huma Ahmar's (Pakistani English,244-258) chapters. Gargesh, begins with a typology of literature on IndianEnglish (IndE), rather than with the more common socio-histories, and moves thenstraight into the phonological system of IndE. The chapter attempts adescription of Pan-Indian English, taking regional and social variation intoaccount. This results in the list of lexical sets incorporating information,e.g., on the geographical distribution of individual variants. Prosodic featuresare covered in detail. Mahboob and Ahmar's chapter on Pakistani English (PakE)begins with a historical overview, followed by an explanation of the country'slinguistic ecology, before embarking on a ''preliminary description of PakEphonology'' (247). Vowels fall into two groups: invariant and varying in quality.No explanation is offered for the variation observed, something the authorsacknowledge in the conclusion (257).
The last three chapters of this first part are on Southeast Asian Englishes.Lionel Wee's chapter on Singapore English phonology (259-277) begins with thehistory of English in the island-state, and with an explanation of the currentlinguistic ecology and language policies. Two factual errors spotted (Brunei ishardly one of the countries that ''surround'' Singapore , and Lee Kuan Yew isno longer Senior Minister ) do not diminish the importance of the section.Wee then introduces the two main approaches to English variation in Singapore(lectal continuum vs diglossia), however without reference to recent work on thetopic (Alsagoff 2007). The phonemic inventory is largely and explicitly based onBao (1998), although Wee's vowel system contains three more than Bao's.Phonological processes are discussed extensively, although l-vocalization (seee.g. Tan 2005) is absent. The chapter concludes with an account of prosody,including an overview of stress assignment. A mention of tone (Goh 1998, Lim2007) might have been of interest.
Malaysian English (MalE) phonology is introduced by Loga Baskaran (278-291). Anaccount of the ethnic make-up of the country is followed by the author'sclassification of MalE into three lects (''official'', ''unofficial'', and ''broken'',282). The phonological description that follows does not, unfortunately, specifywhich of these lects it considers, except where consonant substitution isconcerned (287).
Ma. Lourdes G. Tayao begins her chapter on Philippine English (PhlE, 292-306)with an account of the country's language policies, before reviewing theliterature on PhlE phonology and explaining its regional/social varieties. Thevowel and consonant systems given in table form (296-299) take this variationinto account, showing the realizations for acrolect, mesolects, and basilectwhere appropriate. Lexical stress is given ample treatment.
Part I concludes with the editor's ''Synopsis: the phonology of English in Africaand South and Southeast Asia'' (307-319). It has a strong typological element,with the short vowel systems of Africa-Asia's Englishes being classified(6-vowel system and two types of 5-vowel systems). All lexical sets are listed,recapitulating the various varieties' realizations. Final obstruent devoicingand cluster reduction are highlighted as the most common processes, as is thetendency of these varieties to lean towards syllable-timed rhythm. The chapterends with a note on the phonological similarity of these varieties.
Part II, ''Morphology and syntax'', begins with M.A. Alo & Rajend Mesthrie'schapter (323-339) on Nigerian English grammar. It avoids a repetition of thephonology's extensive historical background, and sets out to explain why NigE isthe way it is. A list of contributing factors, mostly sociolinguistic, isfollowed by an overview of the variety's inherent variation. The section on TAM(tense, aspect, modality) concentrates mostly on modality, and to a lesserextent, aspect. What follows is a summary of primarily Jowitt (1991),considering auxiliaries, negative, variable relative markers, andcomplementation, before a section each on word order, HAVE and phrasal verbs,reduplication, and lexis.
Nicholas Faraclas' chapter on Nigerian Pidgin English morphology and syntax(340-367) calls NigP a ''dialect of Afro-Caribbean English Lexifier Creole''(340), and starts with an explanation of its internal variability. The TAMsystem is given in-depth coverage, particularly the analysis of anterior tense.Using plenty of examples from the author's fieldwork, the section on nounphrases is extensive and well structured. The ''range of meanings'', apart fromrealis mode of sentence-final ''o'' (366), could have benefited from more explication.
The chapter on Ghanaian English by Magnus Huber & Kari Dako (368-380) beginswith a section on the verb phrase, considering phrasal verbs, transitivity, TAM,auxiliaries, and negation. Sections on relativization, adverbial subordination,and agreement follow, as well as a longer one on the noun, with particularreference to articles. A section on topic-prominence and one on lexis, includingidioms, concludes this chapter.
Magnus Huber investigates the syntax and morphology of Ghanaian Pidgin English(381-394), contrasting it to NigP, with which it shares ''many similarities''(381). TAM, pronoun, and article systems are usefully presented in table form. Alonger subsection explains various types of reduplication, and the chapterconcludes with focus and topicalization.
John Victor Singler's chapter on Liberian Settler English (395-415) begins witha summary of the more extensive historical and sociolinguistic account providedin his phonology. The chapter is divided into four large sections: the verb(TAM, copula, and negation), adjectives, the noun (plurals, possessives, anddemonstratives), and relativization and complementization. A section on theAfrican American diaspora and one on local influences help explain the origin ofsome of its structural features.
The chapters on Cameroon English by Paul Mbangwana (416-427) and on CameroonPidgin English (Kamtok) by Miriam Ayafor (428-450) both start their analysiswith lexis: CamE idioms in creative writing are considered, as are processes ofborrowing and word-formation, followed by an extensive overview of the lexis inKamtok. Mbangwana then concentrates on CamE syntax, interrogatives, andpronouns, relying mostly on Sala (2003), whereas Ayafor has a large section onparts of speech, including nouns, pronouns, verbs, modifiers, prepositions, andconjunctions. She concludes the Kamtok chapter with a discussion of sentencestructure.
Josef Schmied's chapter on East African English (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania,451-471) begins with an acknowledgement that the grammar of a variety of thiskind can at best be described in terms of tendencies, rather than in terms of auniform or even independent norm. The data used is from ICE--East Africa, andillustrates ''broad categories of word class type'' (451), into which theremainder of the chapter is subdivided: morphology (VP, NP, pronouns, modifiers,and question tags), word order, discourse, and lexis (borrowings, semantics, andidioms). The chapter concludes with a section on further research, particularlywith reference to the sparse data (with a suggestion the world wide web mightprovide a useful database), language teaching, and intercultural communication.
Four chapters on South African English follow: White SAfE by Sean Bowerman(472-487), Black SAfE (488-500) and Indian SAfE (501-520) by Rajend Mesthrie,and Cape Flats English by Kay McCormick (521-534). In terms of internalstructure, Mesthrie's chapters follow the same pattern ofTAM-negation-relativization-complementation-agreement-NP structure-pronouns-wordorder also found in the chapter on NigE. Bowerman's chapter is slightlydifferently organized, but addresses the same issues; more emphasis is put onlexis, with a two-page list of borrowings. Similarly, McCormick has a section onthe lexicon, including borrowings and calques (particularly from Afrikaans), aswell as a list of English words whose use is different in CFE from Standard English.
Sheila Wilson & Rajend Mesthrie begin the chapter on St Helena English (535-546)by arguing for StHE's origin in contact between non-standard southern Britishvarieties and a pidginized variety. The section on TAM is largest, followed byagreements and auxiliaries. Plenty of examples illustrate each feature. Asection on vocabulary concludes the chapter.
Indian English morphology and syntax is analyzed by Rakesh M. Bhatt (547-562).An introductory section explains his analytical framework, including an attemptat qualifying IndE as diglossic. A historical overview precedes a list of datasources. Wh-movement is analyzed first, followed by tag questions andtopicalization (with particular reference to the particle ''only'', 554-556).Pro-drop processes and a brief account of null expletives follow, before a listof ''other miscellaneous features'' (559-560).
Priya Hosali then analyzes Butler English (563-577), a pidgin variety usedpredominantly by domestic classes in India. The introduction presents itshistorical background and current sociolinguistic status. A section on reductionand one on simplification follow, before the main section on syntax. The latterfocuses on negation, interrogatives, and dislocation. The conclusion brieflymentions ButlE's rule-governed status, which may however not prevent it fromextinction.
The chapter by Ahmar Mahboob on Pakistani English (579-592) consists of twomajor sections, one on syntax and one on lexis. The former includes aspect,complementation, and word order, followed by a subsection entitled ''syntax andmorphology'' -- this structure can be confusing (Part II: ''Syntax andmorphology'', chapter 16: ''Pakistani English: syntax and morphology'', section 2:''Syntax'', subsection 2.7: ''Syntax and morphology''), and it is not immediatelyobvious why do-support, articles, and prepositions are not simply part ofsection 2. The section on lexis conveniently differentiates between borrowings,affixation, preposed phrases, and semantic shift.
Singapore English is described by Lionel Wee (593-609), who divides his chapterinto five sections: the verb phrase (generally uninflected verb, lexical tenseand aspect, little agreement, copula-deletion), the noun phrase (articles,mass/count distinction, relativization), the clause (pro-drop, topic-prominence,interrogatives, passives), reduplication (nominal, adverbial, and verbal), andparticles (focusing on ''lah'', ''wat'', and ''lor''). In each case, examplesillustrate the feature described, although their source is not always clear(e.g. (1)-(10)).
The final chapter is by Loga Baskaran on Malaysian English (610-623). Anintroduction presents the country's ethnic composition and cites the varioussubstrate languages present, and lists the data sources. A section on the nounphrase (articles, pronouns, and mass/count distinction) and one on the verbphrase (tense, modals, and progressive) are followed by one on ''clause structurevariation'' (including wh-movement an interrogatives) and one entitled ''othersyntactic variational features'' (pronoun copying and ellipsis, adverbialpositioning, and discourse particles). The chapter concludes with a section onlexis, focusing on a typology of loanwords and on ''Standard Englishlexicalisation'', i.e. StE lexical items used ''in novel ways'' (620) in MalE.
Part II concludes with the editor's synopsis (624-635), which begins with theobservation that the similarity between chapters in this part warrants aclassification into three broad categories: L1 Englishes, L2 Englishes, andPidgins and Creoles. The problematic nature of this categorization isacknowledged, particularly the shift of some varieties from L2 to L1, andsimilarities with other varieties from other continents are highlighted. Thechapter then sets out to bring the observed features together in individualsections: TAM, the verb phrase, negation, subordination, the noun phrase,pronouns, adverbs, and word order and discourse. These essentially list thevarieties, summarizing their treatment of these features. Occasionally, patternsthat confirm the proposed three-way classification are highlighted (628, 629, 633).
EVALUATIONThis volume, together with its companion volumes, is an invaluable addition tothe bookshelf of anyone interested in the varieties of English. Students andscholars alike will find it a useful reference tool; its stated audience ofstudents makes it a perfect textbook resource for teachers. The minor flawsobserved do not compromise its status as one of the great publications in its field.
Particularly the comparability that was maintained across chapters deservesmentioning. Having twenty-four authors conform to the same conventions regardingabbreviations, lexical sets, and phonetic transcription, is remarkable. Thefeatures under investigation were clearly set by the editors, and adhered to.
As far as the structure of the book is concerned, its division into two parts(labeled ''phonology'' and ''morphology and syntax'') is not ideal to my mind. Whilethis has enabled experts in the field to give detailed accounts of theindividual varieties' phonologies and syntactic features respectively, it mighthave been a wiser choice to present each variety in a slightly longer singlechapter, with the division between phonology/syntax made within each chapter.This would have enabled students of a particular variety to get a completepicture of that variety, and prevented some of the overlap in introductorysections. More importantly, it would have avoided the regrettable fact thatPhilippine English only has a section on phonology, and Butler English only oneon morphology and syntax.
These and other minor issues (such as an unusually high number of monospaced IPAsymbols, which clash visually with the other, variable-width characters), donothing to diminish the volume and the series' importance within the discipline.The interactive CD-ROM that comes with the volume contains information andrecordings for all the varieties described in the four volumes. This additionmakes even a single volume an amazing teaching and reference tool.
At USD/EUR29.95 for the four volumes, this paperback series is much moreaffordable than its ''Handbook'' predecessor, and is one of these milestones thatis bound to become a standard reference work in the field.
REFERENCESAlsagoff, Lubna (2007) Singlish: Negotiating culture, capital and identity. InVaish, Gopinathan & Liu, eds. _Language, Capital, Culture. Rotterdam: SensePublishers_. 25-46.
Goh, Cristine C. M. (1998) The level tone in Singapore English. _English Today_53(1). 50-53.
Kortmann, Bernd & Edgar W. Schneider & Kate Burridge & Rajend Mesthrie & CliveUpton, eds. (2004) _A Handbook of Varieties of English. Vol. 1: Phonology. Vol.2: Morphology and Syntax_. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Lim, Lisa (2007) Mergers and acquisitions: On the ages and origins of SingaporeEnglish particles. _World Englishes_ 26(4). 446-473.
Tan, Kah Keong (2005). Vocalisation of /l/ in Singapore English. In Deterding,Brown & Low, eds. _English in Singapore: Phonetic Research on a Corpus_.Singapore: McGraw-Hill. 43-53.
ABOUT THE REVIEWERJakob R. E. Leimgruber is completing his D.Phil in English language at Oxford,and is a Lecturer in Sociolinguistics at the School of Linguistics and EnglishLanguage of Bangor University. His main research interests are contactlinguistics and the varieties of English, as well as sociolinguistic typology.His D.Phil research involves the modeling of variation in Singapore English.