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Lia conference dc_colored

  1. 1. English as a global language David Crystal (2003)
  2. 2. English as a global languageWhy a global language?Why English? The historical contextWhy English? The cultural foundationWhy English? The cultural legacyThe future of global English 2
  3. 3. Why a global language?What is a global language?What makes a global language?Why do we need a global language?What are the dangers of a global language?Could anything stop a global language?A critical era 3
  4. 4. Why English? The historical context Origins America Canada The Caribbean Australia and New Zealand South Africa South Asia Former colonial Africa South-east Asia and the South Pacific A world view 4
  5. 5. Why English? The cultural foundationPolitical developmentAccess to knowledgeTaken for granted 5
  6. 6. Why English? The cultural legacyInternational relationsThe mediaInternational travelInternational safetyEducationCommunicationThe right place at the right time 6
  7. 7. The future of global English The rejection of English Contrasting attitudes: the US situation New Englishes The linguistic character of new Englishes The future of English as a world language An English family of languages? A unique event? 7
  8. 8. Why a global language?English is a global language:You hear it on TV, spoken by politicians from all over the world.You see English signs and advertisements.Hotel receptionists and waiters in a foreign city understand you when you speak English. 8
  9. 9. What is a global language? A language achieve a genuinely global status when it develops a special role (with many facets) that is recognized in every country. Such a role will be most evident where a large number of people speak the language as a mother tongue (the USA, Canada, Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, several Caribbean countries, etc. See pp. 62 - 65 9
  10. 10. What makes a global language? The speakers: nothing to do with the number of speakers but who those speakers are. Power: e.g. Latin during the Roman Empire (when the Roman military power declines, Latin remain as the international language due to a different sort of power: the ecclesiastical power of Roman Catholicism. Political and military, economic, technological, and cultural power. 10
  11. 11. Why do we need a global language? People using different languages need a ‘lingua franca’ to communicate: e.g. a pidgin, a simplified language adopted by several ethnic groups along the West African coast to do trade. Mandarin Chinese (an indigenous lang.) emerged as a ‘lingua franca’ among the Chinese because it is the language of the most powerful ethnic group. International academic and business communities need a ‘lingua franca’ to communicate: e.g. to converse over the Internet between academic physicists in Germany, Italy, and India, or to discuss a multinational deal involving the Japanese, German, and the Saudi Arabian businessmen. People become more mobile both physically and electronically. 11
  12. 12. What are the dangers of a global language? A global language will cultivate an elite monolingual linguistic class. Those who have such a language as a mother tongue will be more able to think and work quickly in the language and to manipulate to their advantage. A global language will hasten the disappearance of minority languages; the danger that some people will celebrate one language’s success at the expense of others. Linguistic power and linguistic complacency (pp. 16 -17) 12
  13. 13. Could anything stop a global language? The answer may be yes but the technology to build a ‘machine translation’ would take a generation or two to realize. Some firms are offering a basic translation service between certain language pairs on the Internet; real-time automatic translation is progressing but, by the time, the position of English as a global language will very likely have become impregnable (strong). 13
  14. 14. A critical era Within little more than a generation, we have moved from a situation where a world language was a theoretical possibility to one where it is an evident reality. Languages of identity need to be maintained but access to the emerging global language--language of opportunity and empowerment--need to be guaranteed. Governments should allocate resources for language planning, whether to promote English or to develop the use of other languages in their community (or, of course, both). 14
  15. 15. A world view The present status of English is primarily the result of two factors: The expansion of British colonial power, which peaked towards the end of the 19th century; And the emergence of the United States as the leading economic power of the 20th century (70% of all English-mother tongue speakers in the world). Braj Kachru came with three concentric circles: the inner circle, the outer circle, and the expanding circle. 15
  16. 16. Expanding circle Outer/expanded circle Inner circle: e.g. USA, UK 320 - 380 million e.g. India, Singapore 300 - 500 million e.g. China, Russia 500 - 1000 millionThe three ‘circles’ of English (Kachru, 1988: 5) 16
  17. 17. Why English? The historical contextGeographical-historical: English came to England in the 5th century and began to spread around the British Isles. It entered parts of Wales, Cornwall, Cumbria, and southern Scotland, traditionally the strongholds of the Celtic language. After the Norman invasion of 1066, many nobles from England fled north to Scotland, where they were made welcome, and eventually the language (in a distinctive Scots variety) spread throughout the Scottish lowlands. From the 12th century, Anglo- Norman knights were sent across the Irish Sea, and Ireland gradually fell under English rule. 17
  18. 18. Why English? The historical context Three hundred years later, the progress of English towards its status as a global language took place. The movement of English around the world: America (1584, 1st settlement, 1607), Asia, and the Antipodes (Aust. and NZ, James Cook, 1770) , and to Africa, 1820, and the South Pacific, 1600 (the British East India Company) In India, Thomas Macaulay (1835) proposed the introduction of an English educational system. In Penang (1786), in Singapore (1819), and in Malacca (1824). 18
  19. 19. Political development World English is due to the growth of the British Empire. The British Empire covers nearly one third of the earth’s surface and the British subject is nearly one fourth of the population of the world. Around the British Empire: the language as a guarantor, as well as a symbol of political unity. English became a new unifying medium of communication within a colony, but at the same time it reflects the bonds between that colony and the home country. 19
  20. 20. Access to knowledge By the beginning of the 19th century Britain became the world’s leading industrial and trading nation. Most of the innovations of the Industrial Revolution were of the British origin: Thomas Newcomen, James Watt, Mathew Boulton, etc. The new terminology of technological and scientific advance had an immediate impact on the language. Those who wished to learn about them would need to learn the language. 20
  21. 21. Taken for granted Innovations make the use of the language as a primary or sole means of expression. The first radio station used English and no one questioned about it. There was no competition from other languages. If there is a language that needs protection, the dominant power would take measures to preserve the language. Some countries use English as an official language to avoid the problem of having to choose between the conflicting local languages. 21
  22. 22. The cultural legacy English is one the official languages used in the UN. English is used in most proceedings of most other major international political gatherings. English is used in the media (the press, advertising, broadcasting, cinema, and popular music), in international travel and international safety. 22
  23. 23. Education English is the medium of a great deal of the world’s knowledge esp. in science and technology.A 1980 study of the use of English: 85 % of papers in scientific periodicals were written in English. In 1995, nearly 90% of the 1,500 papers listed in the journal Linguistics Abstracts were in English. English has become the normal medium of instruction in higher education for many countries. The ELT business has become one of the major growth industries around the world. 23
  24. 24. Communication Three quarters of the world’s mail is in English. 80% of the world’s electronically stored information is currently in English. The first protocols devised to carry data on the Net were developed for the English alphabet, using character set (called Latin 1). 24
  25. 25. The right place at the right time In the 17th and 18th century, English was the language of the leading colonial nation -- Britain. In the 18th and 19th century, it was the language of the leader of the industrial revolution -- also Britain. In the late 19th century and the early 20th it was the language of the leading economic power -- the USA. English emerged as a first-rank language in industries which affected all aspects of society -- the press, advertising, broadcasting motion pictures, sound recording, transport and communication. 25
  26. 26. The future of global EnglishWhat kinds of development could impede the future growth of English? A significance change in the balance of power -- political, economic, technological or cultural. 26
  27. 27. The rejection of English Could be a strong reaction against continuing to use the language of the former colonial power. E.g. Malaysia, in 1967, disestablished English as a joint official language. Economic arguments which might persuade a country to reduce its investment in the English language. The need for intelligibility and the need for identity often pull people -- and countries -- into opposing directions. 27
  28. 28. Contrasting attitude: the US situation The USA has come to be the dominant element in so many of the domains identified in earlier chapter so that the future status of English must be bound up to some extent with the future of that country. The power which has fueled the growth of the English language during the 20th century has stemmed from America. The USA contains nearly four times as many mother-tongue speakers of any other nation. It has been more involved with international developments in the 20th-century technology than any other nation. It is in control of the new industrial (that is electronic) revolution. It exercises a greater influence on the way English is developing worldwide that does any other regional variety -- often of course, to the discomfiture (uneasiness) of people in the UK< Australia, NZ, Canada, and South Africa. 28
  29. 29. New Englishes No one can now claim sole ownership of English. There is now way in which any kind of regional social movement, such as the purist societies, can influence the global outcome. The number of L1 speakers in the inner circle countries is about the same with L2 speakers in the outer circle countries. There are probably already more L2 speakers than L1 speakers. There is an inevitable consequence that the language will become open to the winds of linguistic change in totally unpredictable ways. 29
  30. 30.  ‘It was partly a matter of honour ‘as an independent nation…to have a system of our own, in language as well as government’ (Webster, in Crystal, 2003:142). Many distinctive forms also identify the Englishes of the other countries in the inner circle: Australian English, NZ English, Can. English, SA English, Caribbean English, and within Britain, Irish, Scots, and Welsh English. There is an English variety called South Asian English (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) There is a type of English of former British colonies in West Africa, in East Africa, in the Caribbean, and in parts of south-east Asia, such as Singapore. These new Englishes are somewhat dialects on an international scale applying to whole countries or regions. 30
  31. 31.  Dialects emerge because they give identity to the groups which own them. The drive for identity was particularly dominant in the second half of the 20th century when many countries became independent and joined the UN. English can become an alternative if there are so many competing languages to become the national language, e.g. in Nigeria (500 languages). With new institutions, came new ways of talking and writing; indigenous words became privileged. A locally distinctive mode of expressions emerged, and in some cases began to be recorded, in the form of regional dictionary projects. Most adaptation (word-formations, word-meanings, collocations and idiomatic phrases) in a New English relates to vocabulary (lexical creation). 31
  32. 32. The linguistic character of New EnglishesSeveral of the ‘New Englishes’ of the past have been well studied--notably AmE and AusE--but the way the language has evolved in settings where most people are native speakers is likely to be very different from the way it will evolve in settings where most are non-native speakers. 32
  33. 33. The linguistic character of New EnglishesGrammarVocabularyCode switchingOther domains (Pragmatic and discoursal domain) 33
  34. 34. The future of English as a world language Language is an immensely democratizing institution. To have learned a language is immediately to have rights in it. You may add to it, modify it, play with it, cre ate in it, ignore bits of it, as you will. E.g. Some Maori words and (the occasional Maori grammatical feature, such as the dropping of the definite article before the people name Maori itself) have been used in NZ English. The local words begin to be used at the prestigious levels of society -- by politicians, religious leaders, socialites, pop musicians, and others. Using local words is no longer seen as slovenly (careless) or ignorant, within a country; it is respectable; it may even be ‘cool’. The next step is to move from national to international levels. 34
  35. 35. An English family of languages English is likely to be multidialectism or could become multilingualism? Is it going to fragment into mutually unintelligible varieties? The need for identity VS the need to be intelligible? What if a community wishes its way of speaking to be considered a ‘language’? Do they have the political power to support? 35
  36. 36. To have a variety: 1st, to have a community with a single mind about the matter; 2nd, to have a community which has enough political- economic ‘clout’ (informal influence/power) to make its decision respected by outsiders with whom it is in regular contact (e.g. Tok Pisin in Papua New Guinea, Gullah--the Gullah are a distinctive group of Black Americans from South Carolina and Georgia in the southeastern United States). Ebonics--a blend of Ebony + phonics -- proposed for the variety of English spoken by African Americans (Black Vernacular English or African-American Vernacular English was denounced by people from across the political and ethnic spectrum despite its noble intentions behind the the proposal (pp.179-180) 36
  37. 37. A unique event? There has never been a language so widely spread or spoken by so many people as English. The balance between intelligibility and identity is especially fragile, and can easily be affected by social change, such as swing in immigrant policy, new political alliances, or a change in a country’s population trends. 37
  38. 38. A unique event? Because there are no precedents for languages achieving this level of use, we do not know what happens to them in such circumstances. What happens to a language when it is spoken by many times more people as a second language or foreign language than as a mother tongue? If English does one day go the same way as Latin and French, and have less of a global role, the next languages to rise (the potential of Spanish, Chinese, Arabic and Hindi/Urdu) is highlighted by Graddol (1998: 59, cited in Crystal, 2003: 10). 38
  39. 39. A unique event?Speculation to be made: It may well be the case that the English language has already grown to be independent of any form of social control. There may be a critical number or critical spread of speakers beyond which it proves impossible for any single group or alliance to stop its growth, or even influences its future. As we have seen, even the current chief player, the USA, will have decreasing influence as the years go by, because of the way world population is growing. 39
  40. 40. A unique event? In 500 years’ time, will it be the case that everyone will automatically be introduced to English as soon as they are born or conceived? If this is part of a rich multilingual experience for our future newborn, this can only be a good thing. If it is by then the only language left to be learned, it will have been the greatest intellectual disaster that the planet has ever known. 40
  41. 41. A unique event?If there is a critical mass, does thismean that the emergence of a globallanguage is a unique event, inevolutionary terms? It may be thatEnglish, in some shape or form, will finditself in the service of the worldcommunity for ever. 41
  42. 42. Thank you. 42