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How Communities And Speakers Interact And Appraise Each Other's Linguistic Practices?

By Author: Mike Jones
Total Articles: 256

It should be noted that by making this observation we are not claiming that linguistic varieties are mendacious fiction. On the contrary, our discussion above highlights one very good reason as to why we should pay attention to such labels in linguistic analysis, for names of varieties, while not neatly corresponding to some coherent linguistic entity, carry ideological significance that must be accounted for. The desire of speakers to Five Fingers Shoes associate particular constructions with labels such as 'Indian English' or 'Marathi English', and the genesis of labels such as 'Korean English' are inevitably informed by broader ideological understandings of what these labels entail.

If there exists a group of speakers for whom the labels 'Indian English' or 'Marathi English' reflect some sociolinguistic reality, this is a phenomenon that is in turn indicative of these speakers' (growing, emerging) metalinguistic awareness that there are shared commonalities in their linguistic practices. Or at the very least, it is an indication of the speakers' expectations that such commonalities do or should exist. As an ingroup metalinguistic label, the name of a variety very possibly orients the linguistic practices of these speakers towards each other, and away from those whom they might consider non-members of the group. Effects on grammatical structure can be plausibly expected as the manifestations and interpretations of linguistic forms are gradually adjusted or calibrated in the course of recurrent interactions. This suggests that we should 'focus on coherent communities and speakers and the relatively tangible set of variables that makes them the kind of language users that they are'. But the lesson from globalization, of course, is that communities interact with each other in complex ways. A community may strive at times to develop a distinct identity whilst still unable to Vibram KSO escape the perception it ought to adopt the practices associated with some other community. This is no less the case with English, where individual speakers as well as communities are regularly juggling the demands of multiple and sometimes conflicting signals about what it means to be a competent user of the language.

In this way, there is an inherently ideological dimension to how communities and speakers interact and appraise each other's linguistic practices. It therefore becomes clear that understanding the dynamics and interrelations of World Englishes requires more explicit attention to the complex set of language ideologies that not only shape local language politics, but also global relations among Englishes in different contexts. It is our claim that the Three Circles model, despite its limitations, becomes a useful heuristic precisely because it embodies important aspects of that ideological structure. Thus we suggest a reinterpretation of the model as a representation of those ideologies.

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