chapter  13
19 Pages

Vernacular Universals and the Sociolinguistic Typology of English Dialects


It is clear that recent typological work on varieties of English by Chambers, beginning with Chambers (2001), has stimulated some important and valuable research. His suggestion that different types of variety of English might exhibit different types of linguistic characteristics has been shown to be correct, and we now have a solid picture of what a number of these characteristics are and their origins. For example, although Trudgill and Hannah (1982) pointed out informally that varieties of English with some degree of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) input seemed to have some features in common (such as undifferentiated tag questions, such as You’re leaving, is it?, and loss of the mass/count distinction, e.g. chalks, informations), we now have a structured and fuller, richer, and more differentiated understanding of such phenomena.