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Chapter 2 - English in the German-Speaking World: An Inevitable Presence

from I - The Status of English

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2019

Raymond Hickey
Affiliation:
Universität Duisburg–Essen
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Summary

History has seen a long succession of world languages – Chinese, Ancient Greek, Arabic and the major languages of European colonial expansion, to name but a few. The power and reach of these world languages waxed and waned, but only one of them, namely English, has risen to the position of a truly global lingua franca. This unipolar linguistic world system, with English at its centre, is a historically new phenomenon, and it is very recent, dating back no further than the middle of the twentieth century and completely undisputed only since the end of the Cold War in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when English made significant advances in China, Russia and the Soviet Union’s other successor states in Europe and Asia (Northrup 2013).

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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