The politics of world Englishes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


‘Language is political from top to bottom’ (Joseph, 2006, p. 17), the way we use it, and the way we talk about it. In the field of World Englishes the political character of language and language practice is particularly evident. Originating from 1960s and 1970s debates on the necessity (or not) of recognizing the validity of varieties other than British and American English, the egalitarian stance in the World Englishes paradigm is inherently political. Analogously, the positions of those who express different views with respect to the forms and functions of English in the world are political, too. This chapter provides an overview of the intrinsically political nature of World Englishes in relation to the history and geography of the spread of English, the study of varieties of English, the different roles that this language plays for different people around the world.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCambridge Handbook of World Englishes
EditorsDaniel Schreier, Marianne Hundt, Edgar W. Schneider
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-108-34940-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-108-42595-7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020

Publication series

NameCambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics
PublisherCambridge University Press


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