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Zoya Proshina The abc and Controversies of World Englishes ббк 81

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Zoya Proshina

The ABC and Controversies of World Englishes

ББК 81
Рецензенты: Ларри Э. Смит, исполнительный директор Международной ассоциации вариантов мирового английского языка, со-редактор журнала “World Englishes” (США);

О.Н. Сычева, к.ф.н., доцент, Амурский государственный университет (Благовещенск),

И.В. Крыкова, к.ф.н., старший преподаватель кафедры перевода и лексикографии, Московский государственный университет им. М.В.Ломоносова;

Е.Б.Конева, старший преподаватель кафедры теории и практики перевода, Дальневосточный государственный университет

Прошина З.Г.

Основные положения и спорные проблемы теории вариантности английского языка. Учеб. пособие. – Хабаровск, 2007. – 172 с.

В учебном пособии рассматриваются основные проблемы лингвоконтактологии, известной за рубежом как теория World Englishes. Обсуждаются различные взгляды лингвистов на роль английского языка в современном мире, прогнозы, делаемые в отношении дальнейшего развития английского языка, дискутируются проблемы нормы, языкового стандарта, региональной вариантности английского языка, последствий его контактов с другими языками и культурами, описываются девиации, характерные для тех региональных вариантов, с которыми нашим студентам, возможно, придется иметь дело, ставится вопрос об опосредованном переводе. Книга написана в полемической манере, обрисовывая проблемы и давая студентам сформировать свое собственное мнение на дискутируемые вопросы. Предлагаемые к обсуждению вопросы и задания дадут возможность использовать книгу на семинарах и практических занятиях, посвященных судьбе и роли английского языка в современном мире.

Предназначена для студентов гуманитарных специальностей, аспирантов, научных работников.


Introduction 10

1.Triumph vs Scepticism 14

2.Monocentrism vs. Pluricentrism 27

3.Endonorms vs Exonorms 36

4.WE vs EIL 43

5.Native Speaker vs Non-Native Speaker 50

6.Fossilized Interlanguage vs Dynamic Lectal Cline 58

7.Innovations/Deviations vs Errors 62

8.Language Identity vs. Intercultural Pragmatics 69

9.Varieties and Their Acceptance 75

South Asian Englishes 75

South East Asian Englishes 84

East Asian Englishes 93

European Englishes 108

Russian English 115

10.Direct vs. Intermediary Translation 126

Conclusion 132

References 135


This book by Professor Zoya Proshina is a milestone in the development and understanding of World Englishes (WE). She is not only familiar with the literature in this field but has also made a significant contribution to it. In this very significant book she writes of the fundamentals (the ABCs) of the WE paradigm and in an objective manner discusses the controversies involved with it.

There is no claim here that EVERYONE in the world speaks English for that is clearly NOT the case. It is clear however that English is the language most frequently used when people communicate across national/cultural borders. To be more accurate, it is recognized that there are multiple Englishes being used to communicate across these boundaries. That being the case, it is also acknowledged that information about these varieties as well as exposure to them is needed if we are to enhance our chances of success when attempting to communicate across cultures in English.

When tracing the roots of WE, most go back to two international, scholarly conferences which took place in 1978; one at the East-West Center, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA (1-15 April), and the other at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA (30 June-2 July). These two conferences resulted in two publications: English for Cross-cultural Communication (Macmillan, London, 1981) edited by Larry E. Smith and The Other Tongue: English Across Cultures (University of Illinois Press 1982) edited by Braj B. Kachru.

These conferences and the two volumes marked a genuinely new phase in the study of English in the international context. In part, they raised issues which had earlier perhaps been glossed-over if not entirely ignored. In part, the reorientation in international and intranational terms provided new insights. Not least, problems previously suppressed were brought into the open through the growing confidence of the rapidly increasing numbers of non mother-tongue users of English. These conferences provided the impetus for a more realistic approach and a new framework for looking at English in the global context, and for relating concepts such as appropriateness, acceptability, and intelligibility to the pragmatic factors which determine the users of English as an international and intranational language. That these conferences had a dynamic effect is evident from the many activities that have resulted during the last 30 years all over the world.

These conferences were milestones at the beginning of World Englishes. This book is a similar milestone in the development of the understanding of World Englishes in Russia. I predict similar effects.

World Englishes (WE) represents a new international perspective for what has been traditionally called ‘English Studies.’ This new perspective entails questioning the reverent dichotomies and reevaluating the ‘sacred cows’ in literature, language, and language teaching methodology. One might, for example ask how meaningful is the use of the term ‘English’ literature? Would it not be more appropriate to accept the notion of ‘literatures in English’ as a means of providing an identity for the Asian and African writers whose principal medium of creativity is English?

World Englishes is integrative in another sense too. Mother-tongue and non mother-tongue users of English are equal partners in deliberations on uses of English and its teaching internationally. English is thus a vehicle which may be used to share the vast Western and non-Western expertise and experience for the benefit of all users of English. This mutual sharing of ideas research and resources is reflected in the acronym WE. There is never meant to be an US vs. THEM.

This book by Prof. Proshina explains all of this clearly to everyone, but especially to Russian scholars and students for whom she has the utmost respect. There is nothing here to diminish the great Russian language and culture or to imply that they are somehow deficient. In fact, it is because of their immense value and importance that all means must be used to tell the world about them. It is obvious that by using the medium of English(es) information about Russia and Russians’ perspectives on world issues can be provided to internationals around the world. We will all benefit from such information.

Prof. Zoya Proshina deserves our admiration for the way she has presented these important issues about world Englishes. She deserves our gratitude for this volume which will stimulate the thinking of linguists, specialists in literature, English language teaching, curriculum planners and futurists.

Larry E. Smith, Executive Director

International Association for World Englishes

Honolulu, Hawaii November, 2007

For developing this book I owe my gratitude to the linguists who made the World Englishes paradigm a topical issue of our days – Braj and Yamuna Kachru, the meeting with whom made an unforgettable impression on myself; Larry Smith whose encouragement and invaluable advice is so stimulating; Cecil Nelson, Anne Pakir, Edwin Thumboo, Nobuyuki Honna, James D’Angelo, Rakesh Bhatt, Song Li, and Anna Eddy talking with whom crystallized clearer the ideas expressed in this book. This book was begun in inspiration drawn from my colleague Galina Lovtsevich with whom we discussed many issues of the World Englishes theory and its application to teaching in Russia. My heartfelt thanks go to Stephen Ryan who has been a terrific friend and generous supporter so many times. I am greatly thankful to the reviewers of this book – L. Smith, E.B. Koneva, O.N. Sychova - for their meticulous and critical reading and valuable suggestions. And I would like to express my deep gratitude to T.I. Lapteva who suggested publishing this book.

We are entering a phase of global English which is less glamorous, less news-worthy, and further from the leading edge of exciting ideas. It is the ‘implementation stage’, which will shape future identities, economies and cultures. The way this stage is managed could determine the futures of several generations.

(David Graddol)

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