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This chapter traces the sequence of smaller and larger dictionaries published in Australia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, drawing attention to the particular aspects of Australian language, society, culture, and environment that they document, and their association with the major phases in the evolution of Australian English. The earlier specialised dictionaries were compiled during the exonormative phases of Australian English, when Australians still deferred to British English as their main linguistic authority. In contrast, the comprehensive national dictionary (Macquarie Dictionary, 1981) benchmarks the endonormative phase, and becomes the reference point for Australian English as it achieves its linguistic independence. Meanwhile, the compilation of the Australian National Dictionary on Historical Principles (1988), through its association with Oxford University Press, has ensured that many Australianisms are registered in the second and third editions of the Oxford English Dictionary and acknowledged as elements of world English. Australian neologisms, especially informal words ending in –ie, have probably contributed to their greater use in northern hemisphere Englishes, and perhaps to the increasing colloquialisation of English worldwide.
This chapter discusses the extra-territorial influence of American English (AmE) on Australian English (AusE), in comparison with other varieties within the spectrum of World Englishes. Its aim is to compare the different orientations to AmE in Australia that can be observed using qualitative and quantitative methods, and so to illuminate the different ways in which extra- and intra-territorial influences can impact on individual varieties.
Within the EIF Model, the range of varieties included within the World English paradigm is enlarged with those that have no Anglocolonial background (Buschfeld and Kautzsch 2017), and where English has no official or auxiliary status, and can only be typologised as ‘supplementary’ English (ESuppL), a language of convenience used for various reasons in multilingual contexts. New models of World English need to be capable of embracing ESuppL varieties alongside those in the established Inner/Outer/Expanding Circle Model (Kachru 1992). Recently identified external forces in the development of varieties – extra-territorial influences – include ‘transnational attraction’ (Schneider 2014), which operates independently of the languages in contact within any regional context. But whether the transnational attraction of AmE works in the same way for all speakers across the ENL/ESL/EFL/ESuppL spectrum should not be taken for granted. A further question to be explored is whether extra-territorial influence operates equally at all linguistic levels from phonology and orthography to lexical semantics.
Recent research on the extent to which English- and non-Englishspeaking countries are adopting AmE spellings and heteronyms over British English (BrE), is the subject of a major study by Goncalves et al. (2018). Its data consists of a corpus of more than 30 million tweets extracted from geolocated Twitter (2010–2016), and two massive corpora consisting of several billion words from Google English-language books published in the United Kingdom and the United States (1800–2010). The latter serves as a foil to the Twitter corpus in being edited works representing Standard English and showing trends and gradual changes in the norms over time. The Twitter corpus includes data from thirty countries including six where English is the native language, four where it is an official second or auxiliary language, and twenty where it has no official status but serves as a supplementary language. In all these contexts the transnational attraction of AmE in non-English-speaking countries can be seen and heard, and extra-territorial influence is evident but dispersed.
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.
The most up-to-date A-Z resource available for English grammar, this dictionary provides concise, practical definitions and explanations of hundreds of terms. Each term includes examples and cross references to related concepts. All the currently accepted terms of grammar are included, as well as older, traditional names, controversial new coinages, and items from the study of other languages. The dictionary pinpoints differences in the use of the same terminology, such as 'adjunct', 'complement', 'verb phrase', as well as alternative terms used for much the same concept, such as 'noun phrase', 'nominal group'; 'agentless passive', 'short passive'. It provides a wealth of examples, as well as notes on the relative frequencies of grammatical alternatives, such as 'will' and 'shall'. It also draws attention to some of the differences between spoken and written English grammar.