English as world second language

Out of the world’s approximately 8 billion inhabitants, 1.4 billion speak English regularly. About 360 million people speak English as their first language: USA; UK; India 35M. 6.5 billion don’t speak English: they have poor access to medicines, university education, tourism. Other contact languages are French, Latin American Spanish, Arabic, Bahasa.

“71% of Dutch speak good English” or “Netherlands has English Proficiency Index of 652”. Norway (67%), Denmark (69%), Sweden (70%); don’t dub English TV or movies; Finland (65%). India 1.4 Billion English official, with Hindi; EPI 496. Pakistan English official with Urdu EPI 478; Bangla Desh 476 not official. South Africa (63%) One of 11 official languages. First language only 9%; Zulu 26%. Nigerian pidgin is understood by up to 75 million “unu dey”, more than UK English. Japan School leavers have several thousand English words, but not much conversation practice.

Contact with Chinese

China only 2% of 1.4 billion speak good English. China is the major manufacturing country but they have to use English. Mao Zedong encouraged Pinyin as the only way for China to achieve computer literacy., but this is unsympathetic to Chinese script. A few Chinese characters look like their referent – pictographic: ‘hand’ 手    ‘ear’ 耳 ‘woman’ 女 人.  

Most are ‘picto phonetic’ – combine a radical and a hint at phonetics: ‘red’    红 ‘silk + work’ ; ‘green’ 绿 is also ‘silk + green mountain in clear water’; ‘surname’ 姓is woman + born

Chinese is comparable with European in terms of linguistic diversity. Most classifications posit 7 regional groups based on phonetic developments from Middle Chinese. These branches are unintelligible to each other, and many of their subgroups are mutually unintelligible.

Pictures in text naturally favour the one in seven people on Earth (which includes Japanese) who write in Chinese characters. Will back formation from images to speech occur? “A smiley” is now widely understood by most adults who use a smartphone. The range of faces was rapidly extended in a Unicode block containing emoticons or emoji. The de facto standard had already been introduced by a Japanese phone company, as you might expect. A smiley is alt 1 Unicode U+263A is a person with hands circled over the head into an “O” and meaning “OK”. Every emoticon has a text description. Here is 🤣 Rolling on the Floor Laughing

Market pidgins. an Indian example

English memsahib she not like summertime Delhi, hot very hot, she go Shimla with train.

The speaker knows that three Hindustani words have been borrowed into English. The subject noun is unmodified from singular but is used stereotypically for plural. Summertime is used adverbially as past tense marker. Both verbs are in the root form, unconjugated but the sense is past habitual.

Irregular English verb aspects, so the temptation is to use only the present tense and one or two aspects.

Black UK English

While Indian English does not seem to have had much recent effect on Birmingham English, Drummond argues that there is a marked Multicultural Urban Black English.
pragmatic marker “you get me?” at the end of a sentence, similar to the popular innit.
Slang bare, rass, mandem; Jamaican rather than a traditional Manchester/London heritage
PRICE vowel: words such as like, might, try rhyme with /cat/
Th-stopping “thing sounds like /ting/
GOOSE vowel “food, blue, crew” like French tu.
Wanting to be black. Researcher “Is that true?”
Ryan Yeah not cos of the colour and that, like so if they hear me speaking and they’re gonna say that I think I’m black, why would I think I’m black? You get me? [laughs]
Not aware of blackness
Callum My accent’s alright. You can tell I’m a Manny head innit.
Aiden English. Just straight English.
Shannon speaks like a chav, Leah’s just hood
So UK Afro Caribbean seems to be prestigious to school-age whites, mainly boys.

Shakespeare’s neologisms

incarnadine kicky-wicky slugabed congree tanling
C. T. Onions, A Shakespeare Glossary
Nonce words: Carroll totally made up words like “brillig,” “slithy,” “toves,” and “mimsy”; the first stanza alone contains 11 of these made-up words, which are known as nonce words. Words like these aren’t just meaningless, they’re also disposable, intended to be used just once.
Shakespeare invented words, he did it by working with existing words and altering them in new ways. More specifically, he would create new words by:
Conjoining two words; Changing verbs into adjectives; Changing nouns into verbs; Adding prefixes to words;