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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: December 2019

25 - Norms and Standards in World Englishes

from Part IV - Current Challenges

Summary

The chapter discusses the notions of norms and standards in conceptualizing the evolutionary status of World Englishes. While “standard language” is the product of its functional and formal development in Haugen’s (1972) model, in Schneider’s (2007) model it is the status attained by a regional variety that has become endonormative. From the sociolinguistic perspective, the standard may be seen by its users either inclusively, as a uniting medium for the speech community, or exclusively, as an elevated reference style of English associated with correctness and an ideology of the standard. The norms of a variety can be induced from corpus data, showing how it has differentiated itself from the source variety. Two case studies illustrate the interplay between standards and norms. In both, there is grammatical evidence of the norms shifting away from their exonormative standards yet discomfort expressed in some quarters about the popular regional forms (Singlish, Taglish). Corpus evidence suggests that metalinguistic awareness of tension between Singlish and “good English” is stronger in Singapore than the equivalents in the Philippines, correlating with their evolutionary status.

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