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Copy of ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE - David Crystal, 2003

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Douglas Andrew Town

on 7 July 2014

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Transcript of Copy of ENGLISH AS A GLOBAL LANGUAGE - David Crystal, 2003

2. Why English? The historical context
Cingolani - Diaz

Why is English the global language?

geographical-historical socio-cultural

The historical account traces the movement of English around the world,beginning with the pioneering voyages to the Americas, Asia,and the Antipodes

The language has penetrated deeply into the international domains of political life, business, safety, communication, entertainment, the media and education.

As soon as it arrived in England it began to spread around the British Isles. It entered parts of Wales, Cornwall, Cumbria and southern Scotland. After the Norman invasion of 1066, many nobles from England fled north to Scotland, where they were made welcome, and eventually the language (in a distinctive Scots variety) spread throughout the Scottish lowlands.

Moving out of the Isles
The first expedition from England to the new world by Walter Raleigh and it was a failure
Settlers - Natives (1590)
First permanent settlements
Jamestown - Virginia
1620 - 1640
The first groups of Puritans arrived on the Mayflower - Plymouth, Massachusetts
Early English-speaking settlement areas in America
Later population Movements
Dialects were preserved
Movements along New England, Great Lakes, Gulf Coast, Texas, Mississippi and California
17th century - new shiploads to Pennsylvania with the arrival of the Quakers
18th century - wave of immigrants from Northern Ireland

Not only England influenced the direction of the English Language
Spanish - in South West
French - along St Lawrence River
Dutch - in New York
German - in Pennsylvania
African - due to slave trade
19th century - European immigrants
The English language was a major factor in the maintenance of American unity
Movement of English to Canada
1497 - first English language contact - John Cabot
a century later - farming, fishing and the fur trading industries attracted new settlers
Constant conflict with the French, who had arrived in 1520 with John Cartier
Queen Anne's war and the French Indian wars
US independence in 1776
presence of French as a co-official language
The Caribbean
A highly distinctive kind of speech was emerging in the islands of the West Indies

black population work on sugar plantations

Rise of black slaves by the time of American Revolution (1776)

Pidgin????? first black creole speech
Standard British English was becoming a prestige variety throughout the area,
because of the emerging political influence of Britain.

Australia and New Zeland
Australia was visited by James Cook in 1770, and within twenty years Britain had established its first penal colony at Sydney, thus relieving the pressure on the overcrowded prisons in England.

In New Zealand (whose Maori name is Aotearoa), the story of English started later and moved more slowly. Captain Cook charted the islands in 1769–70, and European whalers and traders began to settle there in the 1790s.

Three strands of New Zealand’s social history in the present century have had especial linguistic consequences.

Firstly, in comparison with Australia, there has been a stronger sense of the historical relationship with Britain, and a greater sympathy for British values and institutions.

Secondly, there has been a growing sense of national identity, and in particular an emphasis on the differences between New Zealand and Australia.

Thirdly, there has been a fresh concern to take account of the rights and needs of the Maori people, who now form over 10 per cent of the population. This has resulted in an increased use of Maori words in New Zealand English.
South Africa
Dutch colonists - 1652
British involvement - 1759
1806 - the British took control
1822 - policy of settlement
1870s - European influx
English used as second language by Afrikaan speakers and in Dutch colonies (3.7million over 43.5million)
African variety of English developed in mission schools
Political divisions - linguistic implications
South Asia
The number of English speakers in the Indian subcontinent overtakes the combined total numbers of speaker in the USA and UK
Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Negal
several varieties of English as collectively referred as South Asian English
1600 - British East India Company (18th century conflicts with France)
1748 Indian Act - 1858 Indian Mutiny
1765/1947 - British sovereignty left English in administration and education (Universities of Bombay, Calcutta and Madras)
1960 - three language formula
legal system, government administration, secondary and higher education, armed forces, media, business and tourism
All these facts lead English to be perceived by the young South Asians as the language of cultural modernity
Former colonial Africa
By 1914 colonial ambitions on the part of Britain, France, Germany, Portugal,
Italy and Belgium had resulted in the whole continent (apart from Liberia and Ethiopia) being divided into colonial territories.

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, the increase in commerce and
anti-slave-trade activities had brought English to the whole West African coast.

Several modern states, each with a history of association with
Britain, gave English official status when they gained independence,
and British English has thus played a major role in the development of these states,
being widely used in government, the courts, schools, the media, and other public




Republic in 1847

American Colonization Society


French and English official languages

Pidgin or creole as a second language

KRIO as a lingua franca

English as second language

English-based creole: KRIO





German protectorate in 1884


British colony


Crown Colony in 1843


Crown Colony in 1874


Crown Colony in 1808

Sierra Leone

Pidgin English as a second language

The result was a range of mother-tongue English varieties which have more in common with what is heard in South Africa or Australia than in Nigeria or Ghana.





British colony in 1923


English official language

English official language







English official language



English is an official language
along with Chewa.


British colony in 1907


English official language



English official language
Swahili national language in 1974


British colony from 1920


English official language



British protectorate in 1924

British protection from 1885

British protection from 1869

German protectorate from 1884

British protectorate in 1890

British protectorate between 1893 and 1903

English is the sole official language, but Swahili is also widely used as a lingua franca

English was a joint official language with Swahili until1967, then lost its status as a national language;

South East Asia and South Pacific
The territories in and to the west of the South Pacific display an interesting mixture
of American and British English.
British influence began through the voyages of English sailors at the end of the
eighteenth century, notably the journeys of Captain Cook in the 1770s.
English had come to be established throughout the region as the medium of law and administration

The Straits Times




Papua New Guinea

Hong Kong



English remained the language of government and the legal system, and retained its importance in education and the media. A new local variety known as English

Tok Pisin, an English-based pidgin, as a second language

Chinese (Cantonese) is the mother-tongue

Bahasa Malaysia was adopted as the national language, English second language


Territories with English as part of their heritage, which have become independent
in recent decades, include American Samoa, Palau (Belau), Fiji, Kiribati,
Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, North Mariana Islands, Samoa,
Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

English rapidly became the language of professional advancement and the chief
literary language.

A world view
Present day world status of English
- expansion of British colonial power mainly during the 19th century
- the emergence of the USA as a leading economic power during the 20th century
Braj Kachru summarizes English complex situation
To interpret this figure, certain notes need to be taken into account:
- there is no single source of statistical information on language totals
- the assumption that in a country where the language has an official status and it is taught at schools, suggests a reasonable level of attainment
- the notion of ‘a variety of English’ includes standard, pidgin and creole varieties
- to have a ‘special place’ can mean various things, and relates entirely to historical and political factors

Populist claims about the universal spread of English, though, need to be kept in perspective. Previously, the majority were thought to be the first-language speakers, but now the majority lies on second or foreign language speakers. What is more outstanding is not the numbers, but the speed in which English has spread all over the globe.
Afrikaans came to be perceived by the black majority as the language of authority and repression.

English, then, was perceived by the Afrikaner government as the language of protest and self determination.

Many black saw English as a means of achieving and international voice and uniting themselves with other black communities

In 1993, eleven languages were made official and there are still lots of difficulties in administering them, though English is likely to continue as a lingua franca.
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