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English in Language Shift
The History, Structure and Sociolinguistics of South African Indian English

$45.99 (C)

  • Date Published: June 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521026499

$ 45.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • This is an academic historical and sociolinguistic study of South African Indian English (SAIE), and considers its rise as a new variety of English among Indian migrant workers, indentured on the plantations of Natal
    • Rajend Mesthrie draws important parallels between second language acquisition and the processes of pidginization and creolization
    • He compares SAIE with other South African dialects, Indian English and Englishes throughout the world. He focuses on its distinctive syntax, with respect to word order and clause structures
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "It will interest sociologists, creolists, and students of language acquisition. Perhaps not all readers will agree with all of Mesthrie's conclusions, but he nevertheless offers enough data about a fascinating variety to make his book worthwhile reading." Timothy C. Frazer, Language

    " outstanding contribution to the ever-growing body of cross-disciplinary literature on the intimate and often overlooked relations between language variation, language acquisition, and language shift. Its readers will vary from specialists in English as a second language, history, anthropology, education, linguistics, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics to those interested in the expansion of the literary and cultural canons related to the English language." Rakesh M. Bhatt, Anthropological Linguistics

    "This book is of great relevance to the study of language development in a wide sense...and it makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of sociohistorical, psycholinguistic, and linguistic processes of language shift involved in the emrgence of new languages and dialects....It can be recommended also to linguists interested in such varied fields as quantitative variation of the Labovian kind and Chomsky's generative linguistics, as well as second language studies, since in this book all these areas are approached in a non-partisan and mostly jargon-free fasion..." Eduardo D. Faingold, Word

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521026499
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 154 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.396kg
    • contains: 3 b/w illus. 3 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    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
    Sources and references

  • Author

    Rajend Mesthrie, University of Cape Town

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