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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: November 2019

Chapter 2 - South Africa in the Linguistic Modeling of World Englishes

from I - A Framework for English in South Africa

Summary

This paper summarizes scholarly approaches to varieties of South African English, mainly from the perspective of World Englishes theorizing. South Africa's complex ethnic composition has produced a range of distinctive varieties of English and has defied simplistic notions of dialect evolution. Neither Kachru's “Three Circles” model nor Schneider's “Dynamic Model” allow coherent accounts of South African English as a whole in their respective frameworks. In contrast, many South African scholars, often extrapolating from the “Dynamic Model”, have highlighted the need to focus on internal sub-varieties rather than favouring a national, overall perspective. The questions of how uniform or diverse South African English is and how these relationships can be modelled are widely addressed in scholarship, including ongoing changes, as for example the recent emergence of a pan-ethnic middle class compromise variety described primarily by Rajend Mesthrie.

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