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Review of  Legacies of Colonial English

Reviewer: Stefan Dollinger
Book Title: Legacies of Colonial English
Book Author: Raymond Hickey
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
Subject Language(s): English
Book Announcement: 16.2191

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Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2005 12:52:04 -0700
From: Stefan Dollinger <>
Subject: Legacies of Colonial English: Studies in Transported Dialects

EDITOR: Hickey, Raymond
TITLE: Legacies of Colonial English
SUBTITLE: Studies in Transported Dialects
SERIES: Studies in English Language
PUBLISHER: Cambridge University Press
YEAR: 2004

Stefan Dollinger, University of Vienna


The present volume fulfils a much-felt need in the area of historical
English linguistics for a one-volume compendium on the developments of the
English language in colonial and postcolonial settings. While previous
contributions, e.g. the monumental Cambridge History of the English
language (CHEL), especially vol. VI: North America, V: English 1776-1997
(Algeo 2001), vol. V: English in Britain and overseas: origins and
development (Burchfield 1994), and IV: 1776-1997 (Romaine 1998), provide a
wealth of information on these varieties, the present volume unites
contributions on Englishes from six continents, incorporating recent, and
sometimes controversial lines of argument into a single volume. The
contributions follow, by and large, three aims: first, they should "bring
into focus just what input varieties were probably operative in individual
colonies", second "examine the extent to which dialect mixing and/or
language contact have been responsible for the precise structure of
overseas varieties" and third, attempt an "evaluation of the different
reasons for extraterritorial varieties having the form which they show"
(Hickey, p. 1). These aims are met by all contributions of the volume,
albeit from different theoretical perspectives.

Aimed at "scholars and students of English language and linguistics,
particularly those interested in sociolinguistics, historical linguistics
and dialectology" (cover blurb), the present volume unites recent
approaches in a way that complements the CHEL volumes. The volume is
organized into four parts, rounded off by three appendices, including a
checklist of nonstandard variables, a very useful map section, a glossary
of terms and three indices, which facilitate reference searches. The 21
contributions by in total 19 scholars bring together many of the
internationally most renowned experts in the field.

Raymond Hickey's introduction sets the tone for both a quite comprehensive
as well as inspiring volume that sets the standards for future work. While
in one way or another, all contributions focus on the "core 200-year
period" of English language emigration between the early 1600s and 1800s
(p. 1), it is stressed from the beginning that "mainly regional forms"
(ibid) of the lower social classes, with some limited input from the
educated middle classes formed the base of what were to become colonial
Englishes. The introduction serves as a theoretical backdrop, introducing
major concepts, such as the founder principle, colonial lag, the concept
of ebb and flow and the problems of false leads and folk dialectology in
the study of colonial Englishes, and concludes with a discussion of three
main types of language spread, contact (and all its subtypes), language
shift and language internally motivated changes.

Part I: Out of Britain
Part I features Hickey's "Dialects of English and their transportation",
Caroline Macaffee's "Scots and Scottish English" and Hickey's "Development
and diffusion of Irish English". Together, these three papers give a
concise and clear account of the three main source regions of transplanted
varieties of English (p. 33), presenting features that were transplanted,
those that were not, others that were lost or are recessive, overseas
mergers and the possibility of early adaptation in 'Ship English' on the
overseas passage. The reader gets a detailed introduction to these source
regions, their languages, sub areas, and varieties, such as Lowland and
Highland Scots, Gaelic influences (Mcaffee, p. 61), Central and Ulster
Scots (p. 69ff, p. 102, 108), the latter of which being of prime
importance to much of the new world. Hickey's contribution on Irish
English is not only a concise history of the development of Irish, but is
backed by his grand-scale "Survey of Irish English Usage" that
substantiates claims on earlier Irish English (p. 98f). This excellent
section, as a whole, sets the linguistic background for the volume by
documenting the emigration patterns from the British Isles and defining a
great number of those features that were soon to be heard -- and developed
further -- on shipping routes and in newly settled lands.

Part II: The New World
The second part deals with varieties of English in North America and the
Caribbean in a total of nine papers.

To begin with the most northerly variety, two papers are dedicated to
Canadian English (CanE). Jack Chambers's "Canadian Dainty: the rise and
decline of Briticisms in Canada" provides not only an excellent account of
the sociolinguistically highly interesting phase of massive 19th century
British immigration to mainland Canadian, but also reveals the broader
picture of English input, via the USA and Britain (p.225-28). Anecdotal
19th century evidence is complemented by data from Chambers's Dialect
Topography of Canada, a project quite unique in its sample size, coverage
and innovative file sharing, which makes the database publicly available
for online searches (
Chambers's apparent-time data from the Ontario Golden Horseshoe, the
metropolitan area around Toronto, are taken to document the decline of
Briticisms in Ontario English over the last three-quarters of a century.
Chambers shows while CanE loses some of its most distinct features that
set it apart from American English, Dialect Topography research
continues "to turn up numerous other variants which boldly mark Canadian
and American differences" (p. 239). Canada is continuing to stand strong,
linguistically, so to speak.

Sandra Clarke's "The legacy of British and Irish English in Newfoundland"
introduces the 'other', quite distinct, dialect of CanE, which is a relic
variety. The settlement history of Newfoundland has been documented "to a
degree virtually unprecedented in the history of the New World" (p. 242),
which allows us to reconstruct input features more precisely than in many
other settings. Most striking is the case of non-focusing in Newfoundland
English, as it "continues to reflect the major dialect division grounded
in its two source dialects [Irish English and south-western British
English]" (p. 250), leading Clarke to the conclusion that "in closed or
peripheral communities [such as pre-WWII Newfoundland], dialect focusing
may be remarkably slow to take hold" (p. 258). This finding seems to
contrast with Wolfram and Schilling-Estes's conclusion (see below) that
language change can take place fairly rapidly in peripheral dialect areas
(p. 187), which is an indicator that more research is needed in this area
(Clarke p. 258f).

Moving farther south, Merja Kytö's article "The emergence of American
English: evidence from seventeenth-century records in New England"
provides an inventory of linguistic features based her substantial pilot
corpus of materials from the 1620s and 1720s, labelled the "Early American
English Corpus", which includes speech-related texts such as trial
depositions (p. 132f). While the informants mainly come from the educated
sections of society, the Early American English Corpus also includes some
texts by less-educated and "obviously untutored" writers (p. 133). The
background of the settlers, mostly Puritan, is documented both
geographically (p. 127) as well as sociodemographically. Of special
interest is the information on Wiltshire emigrants from the 1630s,
including detailed figures on the numbers and precise origins of emigrants
(p. 128f). Kytö's inventory provides a very useful variable checklist
serving as a "springboard for further work" (p. 124). By stating that the
dialect features she discovered "rul[e] out the use of even partly
normalized or modernized text editions" (p. 151), she arrives at a finding
that would suggest a reconsideration of some practices of historical
corpus compilation.

Raymond Hickey's contribution views the development of Caribbean Englishes
from a somewhat unusual point of view: while all three possible
developmental scenarios -- regional British input, early creolization and
independent development -- are acknowledged, he attempts to "put the case
for English input and so complement other views already available in the
field" (p. 326). Barbados is the prime focus in his paper called "English
dialect input to the Caribbean", which organizes Early Barbadian English
into four periods between 1627-1900 (p. 334). Highlighting early British
English immigration, including a sizeable Irish contingent (p. 336),
Hickey attempts to trace forms of Caribbean English back to regional BrE.
While discussing phonological, morphological and syntactical features, his
focus is on the latter. Hickey concludes that lines of historical
continuity do not emerge as clearly as has been stated previously (p.
351), and leaves us with a stock-taking of pros and cons of the input
scenarios for habitual does (+ be) in Irish and Barbadian English, showing
the complexity of the issue (p. 351f).

Laura Wright continues is some respect the input question to Caribbean
English in her investigation of court depositions from people sentenced to
early seventeenth century Virginia and Bermuda. Her paper, entitled "The
language of transported Londoners: third-person-singular present-tense
markers in depositions from Virginia and the Bermudas, 1607-1624",
provides insights from the perspective of children and adolescents on the
lower end of the social stratum. Wright uses manuscript data, telling the
tales of "young vagrants, picked up on the streets of London to be
deported" (p. 160). Unfortunately, these Court Minute Books do not
directly document the speech of the children who were actually sentenced
to overseas, but include the pleads and testimonies of witnesses from the
same milieu. While these narratives are mostly in reported speech and very
formal in style (p. 162), they may nevertheless allow some fascinating
glimpses on approximations of early 17th century lower class varieties of
English. Wright shows that the 3rd p. sg. present tense was marked by -s, -
th, as well as zero, stressing the hitherto relatively neglected
importance of the latter. Distinguishing between indicative and
subjunctive uses and their subfunctions, she shows that these markers were
overlapping (p. 168).

Michael Montgomery's paper "Solving Kurath's puzzle: establishing the
antecedents of the American Midland region" draws attention to an hitherto
empirically unresolved issue in American regional dialectology (Pedersen
2001: 270). The debate over the legitimacy of an American Midland variety
is brought one step further towards a solution. The area was first
proposed by Hans Kurath more or less by default as a result of the area's
settlement history, while lacking substantial linguistic evidence, thus
Kurath's 'puzzle' (p. 313f). Montgomery stresses the importance of early
Ulster-Scotch/Scotch-Irish migration for the formation of a Midland
region. Its linguistic features, however, do not become apparent in the
areas of phonology or vocabulary, which have been traditionally used in
linguistic atlas surveys, but only in morphology and syntax (p. 316-20).
While his evidence is taken from reference books of regional English that
would need to be further substantiated by empirical corpus studies, this
article demonstrates nicely that the choice of linguistic levels may
seriously influence one's search for linguistic connections.

Walt Wolfram and Natalie Schilling-Estes focus on relatively isolated
coastal communities in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina in their
paper entitled "Remnant dialects in the coastal United States". They
describe the "development and maintenance of transported dialects in
relative isolation" in seven mid-Atlantic speech communities (p. 172)
which are defined by geographic remoteness, economic autonomy, dense,
multiplex social networks and the existence of a historical core group of
resident families (p. 174-77). Their condensed, highly stimulating
discussion of their quest for potential BrE donor varieties in combination
with the independent development of three phonological variables points to
the problem of verification of the founder effect. They argue that
empirical verification would necessitate complete dialect lineages of all
varieties involved, which may be elusive in many cases (p. 182). Their
analysis shows that even very conservative communities "are indeed dynamic
and cannot be described simply by appealing to dialect conservatism" (p.
197). The final statements apply to all studies of transported
dialects: "the possibility of multiple causality ought to caution us to be
wary of unwarranted assumptions about how remnant dialects were formed and
how they have been moulded and remoulded over time" (p. 197).

Edgar W. Schneider's article "The English dialect heritage of the southern
United States" provides the broader picture of development in the American
South (SAmE). Starting with popular notions of colonial lag in the
American South, Schneider surveys linguistic features by matching them
with possible donor areas in Britain. The phonological evidence reconfirms
that the Southern source regions in "southern England, with the south-
western component being by far the strongest of all" (p. 281). While the
lexical survey is less conclusive, the study of grammatical features
indicates that morphological and syntactical features of SAmE "represent
more than a simple continuation of English structures" (p. 291), allowing
some kind of drift, as well as independent developments. Based on these
findings, Schneider introduces a distinction between two different types
of Southern English, "Traditional Southern", associated with the
antebellum South and "New Southern", which is "largely a product of the
twentieth century" (p. 301).

Another interesting study is Shana Poplack and Sali Taglimonte's
paper "Back to the present: verbal -s in the (African American) English
diaspora" (AAE), which discusses the much-disputed origin of the role of
verbal -s in AAE. Their study is based on their own Samana material as
well as Elisabeth Godrey's rural Devon English data (p. 203). While Samana
English (Dominican Republic) goes back to the early 19th century, it has
been "in minimal if any" contact with other English varieties (p. 209).
Their findings produce convincing evidence that "verbal -s variability was
already inherent in the language transported" to the New World (p. 220).
Their results show that not only the variables' forms, but also their
distribution and, by implication, the underlying constraints, match
surprisingly closely in both varieties (e.g. p. 213). This strong evidence
allows the conclusion that verbal -s variability must have been present in
a common British ancestor variety prior to departure (p. 219).

Part III: The southern hemisphere
Six contributions discuss the development southern hemisphere
Englishes: "South African English", by Roger Lass, "English input to
Australia", by Scott F. Kiesling and "English input to New Zealand", by
Elizabeth Gordon and Peter Trudgill, discuss the three major varieties.
Two highly interesting case studies on "English on the Falklands" by
Andrea Sudbury and "English transported to the South Atlantic Ocean:
Tristan da Cunha" by Daniel Schreier, provide the developmental picture of
two, quite distinct, less widely used varieties of long standing. The
picture is rounded off by Suzanne Romaine's paper on pidgin and creole
languages, entitled "English input to the English-lexicon pidgins and
creoles of the Pacific".

Elizabeth Gordon and Peter Trudgill's contribution is in many ways blessed
with a superior database of tape recordings from the 1940s, featuring the
speech of elderly New Zealanders. As shown in other recent publications,
they are in the position to compare actual speech in an apparent time
perspective and draw important theoretical conclusion in their
paper "English input to New Zealand" (e.g. Trudgill 2004). Focussing on
Pakeha (as opposed to Maori) English, i.e. the English of the descendents
of European settlers, one of the most important conclusions of their
studies may be the increase of importance of exact demographics and what
may be called a more mechanistic approach to language change, by merging
the principles of majority input, markedness and founder effect into a
coherent theory. They, therefore, ascribe "the similarities between
Australian and New Zealand English to the fact that they were formed from
similar mixtures consisting of similar British Isles dialects in similar
proportions", which also accounts for the internal homogeneity of New
Zealand English (p. 453). This bring a certain element of linguistic
determinism into the formation of new varieties that seems to have, in its
very careful application, great potential to vastly improving our
knowledge of the processes involved (cf. Trudgill 2004: 113-28).

Roger Lass's article "South African English" takes a somewhat different
approach to the genesis of his variety than the one expressed by Gordon
and Trudgill, and thus provides much food for thought. After outlining the
settlement history of South Africa and the southern trichotomy, i.e. the
southern hemisphere's three English sociolects, and its application to
South African English (SAE) (Conservative SAE, Respectable SAE and Extreme
SAE (p. 373)), the phonological features of SAE are detailed. The
morphosyntax of the variety seems to show "nothing that can be treated
systematically" (p. 380) and therefore does not take up much space, while
only some examples of the rich stock of loanwords in SAE are illustrated.
In the light of yet uncollected material from the 1820-70s (p. 383), which
as such calls for some scholarly attention, Lass concludes with a
necessarily speculative ontogeny of SAE, which needs to be empirically
verified once the data is made available.

Most striking in the context of the present volume, however, is Lass's
thesis that "All ETE's [extra-territorial Englishes]" were "swamped by
southern [English English], though relics may remain" (p. 368). This south
[eastern] English "swamping", which is claimed to have supplanted most
features of earlier non-southern English English migrations, first
outlined in Lass (1990), does not comply with Trudgill's process of new-
dialect formation (2004) and both ideas constitute a prime dispute in the
field. It remains to be seen which view, or what kind of a combination of
both, may prevail.

Scott F. Kiesling's "English input in Australia" provides settlement
information and aims to explain the homogeneity of Australian English.
Listing salient features of Australian English at different points in
time, he discusses English English, Irish English and Scottish English
influences. It is unfortunate in this context that no advantage was taken
from some work on early Australian English, e.g. sections in Leitner
(1984), Fritz' (1998). On the whole, this contribution is heavily focussed
on social criteria and concepts, some of which lend themselves well to
circular explanations. It may be doubted that children in early
Australia "would have noticed that the prestige variety in the colony was
that of south-eastern English" and that "For the children of the Irish the
consequence would have been a choice in favour of the socially preferred
[south-eastern English] variety" (p. 428). Rather, it seems that children
growing up in early Australia would adopt to the dialect of the majority
of their peers (cf. Chambers 1995: 167f). Kiesling includes a section on
Aboriginal English, which is most welcome in its effort to provide a
comprehensive picture of Australian English.

Andrea Sudbury and Daniel Schreier both deal with less-widely used
varieties of colonial English, albeit very different ones. Sudbury's
article on Falkland English investigates the question why Falkland Island
English (FIE) has not yet focused to the extent witnessed in other
colonial varieties. Making the best of an unfortunately poorly documented
settlement history (p. 403), she documents features of Falkland Island
English, providing a detailed checklist for cross-comparisons, concluding
that while the formation of this variety has differed from other colonial
varieties, "a number of features in modern-day FIE may well be relic
features, retained from the founding dialects" (p. 415).

Schreier's paper on Tristan da Cunha may, in contrast, draw from the very
well documented extralinguistic history of this South Atlantic island.
Settled in 1815 by the English (p. 389), with a current population of
around 300, this location is "most unusual" (p. 387) in many respects.
Most importantly for the historical linguist, truly unusual, yet exciting
information is provided in three tables (p. 394, 395) listing the origins
of all 16 settlers on the island in the 19th century and all five
nonanglophone settlers. For eleven years, only one woman lived on the
island, before six women from St. Helena (p. 397), potential pidgin
speakers, arrived. After outlining the settlement history and the island's
almost complete isolation till the mid-1900s, Schreier details some
characteristics of Tristan da Cunha English, and concludes that at the
present stage of analysis, "even though [Tristan da Cunha English]
demonstrates restructuring and mixture, it never creolised as a pidgin"
(p. 399).

The role of pidgins and creoles is focussed on in Suzanne Romaine's
article, which covers the vast Pacific area. Romaine introduces the
terminology by providing a fascinating look at various pidgin and creole
varieties. She concentrates on Melanesia and Polynesia and the three main
varieties in their main settings: Melanesian Pidgin English -- Tok Pisin,
Bislama and Solomon Island Pidgin, as well as Hawai'i Creole English and
Pitcairn-Norfolk (p. 457), the latter of which the legacy of the famous
HMS Bounty mutineers. The origin issue and the role of Pacific Jargon
English, a possible 18th century source, is discussed and illustrated. The
discussion lends support to the theory that the emergence of stable
pidgins seems to be rare in situations were only two languages are
involved (p. 467), which may explain why the role of pidgins in Australia,
New Zealand, but possibly also early America and Canada is often below our
radar. While Romaine points out that in the data "no clear boundaries
emerge between grammar/syntax and the lexicon" (p. 469), a host of
linguistic features of pidgins and creoles is nevertheless discussed along
standard linguistic levels. When establishing historic links to pidgins
and creoles, Romaine points out that much depends on the perspective of
the researcher or the nature of the data, which largely comes from
European observers and it thus prone to skew our perspective (p. 469). The
list of lexical and grammatical/syntactical phenomena is quite extensive
and serves as a reminder of the complex interplay of lexical features on
their way along grammaticalization paths.

Part IV: English in Asia
This final section deals with non-settler derived Englishes in Asia, with
some consideration of respective African varieties. Raymond Hickey pens
all three contributions on these varieties, which are largely the result
of English in the educational systems of various countries. As such, this
section reinforces the most welcome link to the field of World Englishes
(New Englishes), and extends into English as a lingua franca (cf.
Burchfield 1994 for an earlier example). Besides terminological
considerations and a general characterization of Asian Englishes, a focus
is provided on South Asian English (singular), focusing on India, Pakistan
and Sri Lanka in one paper and on South-East Asian Englishes (plural) in
Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines and Hong Kong in another
paper. The singular and plural uses of English reflect different
sociolinguistic backgrounds in these two regions: while English has been
geographically contiguous in Southern Asia, this has not been the case in
South-East Asia (p. 559).

This section is largely comprised of external history and a description of
distinct variables on various linguistic levels, including brief sections
on pragmatics and stylistics in some South-East Asian varieties (e.g. p.
565, 579)

Checklist of nonstandard features and map section
Appendix 1 is a checklist that identifies nonstandard features of English,
which prove to be crucial in the formation of colonial Englishes.

The map section, appendix 3, is most useful and makes the volume stand out
in user-friendliness in comparison to the CHEL volumes, especially CHEL IV
and VI. For some reason, however, a map of the British counties, a map
showing the Bermudas and a complete map of Canada are missing in an
otherwise excellent map section.


Founder principle, New-dialect formation vs. Swamping

As indicated above, there seems to be an imminent dispute between
Trudgill, Gordon et al.'s new-dialect formation theory, arguing largely
from numbers, and Lass' notion of swamping, stating that "southern dialect
types [...] win out over (or 'swamp': Lass 1990[]) more 'provincial'
northern or western or far southern ones", resorting non-southern English
linguistic behaviour to relic status (Lass, p. 367f). Moreover, swamping
has been claimed to have taken place in all colonial Englishes "regardless
of what other types are represented in the settlement history." (Lass
1990: 267). The incompatibility of these two approaches is directly
addressed in Trudgill (2004: 115) and a discussion is pending.

Moreover, perhaps an even more basic discussion centers around the notions
of founder principle vs. swamping. The founder principle (Mufwene 1996:
122f) states that contact situations are determined to a large extent by
the first settlers occupying the land, while swamping resorts this effect
to merely residue status. Not only in the light of neo-Darwinian studies
of language change (cf. Ritt 2004), Mufwene's point of view seems to have
great potential (1996, 2001). If I tried to pigeonhole the contributions
in this volume -- for merely illustrative purposes, without any strong
claims concerning the individual scholars' theoretical stances -- the
following contributions seem to support, at least implicitly, the notion
of the founder principle in one way or another: Gordon and Trudgill (p.
443), explicitly in Chambers (p. 227f), to some extent Kytö (p. 125, 133),
Wright (p. 163, 168), Wolfram and Schilling-Estes (p. 182), implicitly by
Poplack and Tagliamonte (p. 210), Clarke (p. 244), to some extent by
Hickey (p. 333f) -- the notion does seem to come up in Romaine's article
on pidgins and creoles. On the other hand, notions of swamping, in one way
or another, seem to be propagated, apart from Lass, by Kiesling and
Sudbury; Schneider's (p. 301, 271) and Montgomery's (p. 317) contributions
are perhaps reflecting a somewhat intermediate position between the two
theories. It therefore seems clear that the founder principle has become
the view of a majority in the discipline and it remains to be shown over
the next years if, and to what extent, the present 'minority view' may
revive or influence the prevailing opinion. A most fascinating race seems
to have been called on.

Demographics and sociolinguistic concepts

It may be that Occam's Razor, the principle that gives priority to simpler
concepts where more than one may explain a phenomenon, might prove useful
in sociohistorical linguistics. In the light of Trudgill's theoretical
reasoning (1986, 2004), a possible solution seems close at hand:
demographics. While Gordon and Trudgill's contribution include social
factors in their contribution from the start, they seem to have taken a
new approach: instead of starting with social factors in their
explanations, they start with detailed demographic information on the
immigrants and their input varieties. For levelling processes this would
mean that "the loss of demographically (i.e. sociolinguistically marked)
variants" (p. 451) is the result of a given variant being used by a
minority. Only in a later stage of analysis, key sociolinguistic concepts
like prestige, change from above and below come into play. This procedure,
outlined in detail in Trudgill (2004: 148-65) is more prone to avoid
circular lines of argumentation and is, I find, some kind of Occam's
Razor -- keeping complex sociolinguistic concepts out of the game until
one cannot move further without them.

Homogeneity of colonial Englishes

This approach would also answer the question of origin of the internal
homogeneity in many colonial varieties, such as Australian, New Zealand,
mainland Canadian or some American English varieties. Gordon and Trudgill
explain the comparative regional uniformity of New Zealand English"
as "formed by similar mixtures [...] in similar proportions"(p. 453),
which would have to be tested on other colonial varieties. While Trudgill
et al.'s broader theory may have the potential to unite much of the
existing research under one empirical framework, one caveat remains that
its adaptation to pidgin and creole languages is pending.

Variables and correspondences

The case studies in this excellent volume have repeatedly pointed out a
number of crucial issues: it is often not enough to identify merely formal
correspondences between potentially related varieties, but also their
distribution, and, maybe more importantly, their functions or 'constraint
hierarchies' (Poplack and Tagliamonte, p. 219) need to be considered. That
the choice of linguistic levels and variables is crucial for the endeavour
is shown by Montgomery's evidence: what was not detected in phonology or
lexis, was found in grammar, which confirms the necessity of morphological
and syntactical studies in the colonial context.

Overall assessment

The volume comes very close to the "comprehensive treatment of colonial
English" (Hickey, xx) that it aspires to be; an achievement which may be a
little marred by the lack of a contribution on African Englishes outside
of South Africa. While the respective literature is quoted (Hickey, 6f)
and the African second-language background is briefly explored (Hickey, p.
527-30), it would have been nice to include paper dedicated to the
varieties of an otherwise often neglected continent, perhaps focusing on
the long-standing varieties of Sierra Leone or Liberia. On the other hand,
Hickey's forays into Englishes in Asia (part IV) represent an accessible
starting point for future research, an endeavour that is admirable in the
light of the "unavailability" of other scholars (Hickey, xx).

The amount and quality of information that is packed into the compact
format of the present volume, complementing volumes IV, V, and VI of the
Cambridge History in important ways, is truly remarkable. It is beyond
doubt that Hickey's compilation is bound to become a standard reference
work for anyone working on (post)colonial Englishes for many years to come.


Algeo, John. (ed.) 2001. The Cambridge history of the English language.
Vol. VI: English in North America. Cambridge: CUP.

Burchfield, Robert. (ed.) 1994. The Cambridge history of the English
language. Vol. V: English in Britain and overseas. Cambridge: CUP.

Chambers, J. K. 1995. Sociolinguistic theory. Oxford: Blackwell.

Fritz, Clemens. 1998. "Letters from Early Australia -- Linguistic
Variation and Change", Dialectologia et Geolinguistica 6: 25-42.

Lass, Roger. 1990. "Where do extraterritorial Englishes come from? Dialect
input and recodification in transported Englishes" -- in: Adamson, Sylvia
et al. (eds.) Papers from the 5th International Conference on English
Historical Linguistics. Amsterdam: Benjamins, 245-80.

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Stefan Dollinger's research interests include the history of English, with
a focus on Late Modern English, sociohistorical linguistics and
computational linguistics. He is currently completing his PhD dissertation
on early Ontario English, entitled "The development of Canadian English,
Ontario 1776-1850. A diachronic study of the modal auxiliaries, with a
chapter on standard Canadian English variables from a sociohistorical
perspective" at the University of Vienna, Austria.

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