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Global English and World Englishes From an Evolutionary Perspective: A Rejoinder to Anna Kristina Hultgren

Author:

Salikoko S. Mufwene

The University of Chicago, US
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Abstract

The terms Global English and World Englishes reflect two opposite imperial perspectives. The first highlights the success of the British Empire in spreading the language of England to various corners of the world, whereas the second subverts the race-based hierarchy that the European imperial history has added to the speciation that ensued from the geographical spread of English. Kachru (1982, 2017) captured the prestige-laden stratification that has become associated with this differential evolution of English with the opposition “Inner Circle” vs. “Outer Circle” vs “Expanding Circle”, with the latter two apparently merging into one powerless Circle, while speakers of the Inner Circle claim their varieties to be "native" and the only authentic ones. In this commentary, I capitalize on this historical background to explain why Anna Kristina Hultgren is correct in using the term “Red Herring” to characterize the misidentification of English as the cause of social injustice relative to those who do not use it as a mother tongue.
How to Cite: Mufwene, S.S., 2020. Global English and World Englishes From an Evolutionary Perspective: A Rejoinder to Anna Kristina Hultgren. Nordic Journal of English Studies, 19(3), pp.130–136.
Published on 07 Oct 2020.
Peer Reviewed

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