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Speaking American: A History of English in the United States

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Language, Literacy, and Technology

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Academic Paper


Title: It's kuloo tu: recent developments in Kenya's Englishes
Author: Christiane Meierkord
Institution: Universit├Ąt Erfurt
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: In most areas where English is spoken today, it is part of a multilingual context. English is one component of the sociolinguistic profile of many nations. In nations where English is a mother tongue or first language for the majority of the population, other speech communities contribute further languages to the linguistic environment. And in contexts where the majority speak a language other than English, it may serve as a language of administration or as a medium of instruction in the educational domain. Over the past few decades, speech communities have also increasingly been influenced by languages usually spoken outside the community. A particular case is the spread of English via music and films through the radio, television, and the internet. As a result, English is part of the linguistic repertoire of many nations and the individuals living in them. These multilingual contexts have in common the fact that individuals can draw on the various languages to meet their diverse communicative needs and to construct their identities. This article describes how this may result in changes to the English language and even in the emergence of new linguistic forms, with particular reference to the post-colonial nation of Kenya.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN English Today Vol. 25, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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