World Englishes and local cultures
DOI link for World Englishes and local cultures
World Englishes and local cultures book
The relationship between language and culture is complex and the subject of several chapters in this Handbook (e.g. Chapters 2, 30, and 32 this volume). This chapter will consider how diﬀerent varieties of English reﬂect the culture and pragmatic norms of their speakers. While diﬀerent varieties of English can be distinguished by their distinctive use of morphosyntactic and phonological features, although many share non-standard forms, it is the reﬂection of the local culture and the pragmatic norms of its speakers that really create a distinctive variety of English. This process has been called acculturation (Kachru 2005; Sridar 2012) which is the process by which a language takes on the cultural cloak of its speakers. In the case of varieties of English, acculturation is often accompanied by deculturation, where the new variety of English divests itself of cultural references to older varieties, such as British English. And when the new varieties of English are postcolonial, this typically occurs at what Schneider has called the ‘nativisation’ stage of a new variety of English, a stage at which ties with the country or origin are weakening and interethnic contacts are strengthening (2007, 2010: 381) Acculturation is accomplished through several means. These are presented below, along with examples.