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Academic Paper


Title: Schneider, Edgar W., Kate Burridge, Bernd Kortmann, Rajend Mesthrie, & Clive Upton (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English: A multimedia reference tool
Author: Scott Fabius Kiesling
Email: click here TO access email
Homepage: http://www.pitt.edu/~kiesling/skpage.html
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: Schneider, Edgar W., Kate Burridge, Bernd Kortmann, Rajend Mesthrie, & Clive Upton (eds.), A handbook of varieties of English: A multimedia reference tool. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter, 2004. Vol. 1; vol. 2,

These two volumes and CD-ROM form an impressive and informative survey of all major English varieties currently spoken. The aim, in the words of the editors, is "documenting and mapping the structural variation among (spontaneously spoken) non-standard varieties of English." Various standard Englishes, such as Received Pronunciation (RP), are also described, although it is not clear how the editors distinguished a national standard from a national variety. These standard varieties are used as "implicit standard[s] of comparison" for most varieties. Although this perspective might seem surprising in a descriptive work, upon further thought this explicit acknowledgment is refreshing. In many studies, the use of a standard variety for comparison usually remains implicit, rather than being acknowledged at the outset.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 36, Issue 3.

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