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Beyond the World Englishes Paradigm: Agency, Performativity and Malaysian English: Individual language user agency in the Malaysian context indicates the limits of the World Englishes paradigm.

  • Jeffrey Brown

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As a global language, English is taken up and used in local contexts in ways that cannot be accounted for by limited World Englishes (WE) paradigm. This can be illustrated through an analysis of the performative agency of individuals’ language usage in specific contact contexts. After a brief overview of the WE paradigm, this article offers a consideration of the Malaysian linguistic context and Malaysian English from a ‘post-WE’ perspective. The conclusion is that, rather than think of the respective WE and post-WE approaches as opposed to one another, it is more useful to characterize them as distinctive theoretical prisms that illuminate divergent issues.

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