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Thai English as a variety

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This study is about Thai English (ThaiE), a variety of World Englishes that is presently spoken in Thailand, as the result of the spread of English and the recent Thai

This study is about Thai English (ThaiE), a variety of World Englishes that is presently spoken in Thailand, as the result of the spread of English and the recent Thai government policies towards English communication in Thailand. In the study, I examined the linguistic data of spoken ThaiE, collected from multiple sources both in the U.S.A. and Thailand. The study made use of a qualitative approach in examining the data, which were from (i) English interviews and questionnaires with 12 highly educated Thai speakers of English during my fieldwork in the Southwestern U.S.A., Central Thailand, and Northeastern Thailand, (ii) English speech samples from the media in Thailand, i.e. television programs, a news report, and a talk radio program, and (iii) the research articles on English used by Thai speakers of English. This study describes the typology of ThaiE in terms of its morpho-syntax, phonology, and sociolinguistics, with the main focus being placed on the structural characteristics of ThaiE. Based on the data, the results show that some of the ThaiE features are similar to the World Englishes features, but some are unique to ThaiE. Therefore, I argue that ThaiE is structurally considered a new variety of World Englishes at the present time. The findings also showed an interesting result, regarding the notion of ThaiE by the fieldwork interview participants. The majority of these participants (n=6) denied the existence of ThaiE, while the minority of the participants (n=5) believed ThaiE existed, and one participant was reluctant to give the answer. The study suggested that the participants' academic backgrounds, the unfamiliar notion of ThaiE, and the level of the participants' social interaction with everyday persons may have influenced their answers to the main research question.

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Date Created
  • 2013

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English: the grammar of the Danelaw

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Scholars have long debated whether Old and Middle English (ME) are different diachronic stages of one language, or whether they are two closely related languages that have different historical roots.

Scholars have long debated whether Old and Middle English (ME) are different diachronic stages of one language, or whether they are two closely related languages that have different historical roots. A general assumption is that Middle and Modern English descend from Old English (OE), similar to the way Middle and Modern German descend from Old High German. Traditional scholarship places English into the West-Germanic language subgroup (which includes Old English, and continental Germanic languages) Historically, criteria used by linguists to establish genealogy of languages involve sound change from parent to daughter languages and the sharing of core vocabulary. Until recently, consideration of the influence of contact-induced change, except in the lexical domain, has been minimized, favoring generative language-internal factors. While it is generally accepted that internal motivation shapes the outcome of language change, contact may provide the catalyst for the change. The syntax of ME emerged with linguistic variation that distanced it from its Germanic relatives. In order to understand how the grammar of ME evolved and differs from its West-Germanic cousins, the syntax and morphosyntactic properties of ME, evident in The Orrmulum, an early ME work written in the Danelaw region of England, are analyzed in comparison to Old English (OE), Old Norse (ON), and Celtic, and in relation to formal grammaticalization theory, social factors and historical events. An analysis of the grammar in The Orrmulum supports current research regarding Scandinavian influence on the syntax of OE and ME, because there is extensive historic evidence regarding effects of language tangency of the relevant cultures; the properties of a grammatical lexicon influence retention of syntactic patterns, despite additions/changes in lexical categories; and The Orrmulum is a revealing source of the transition of OE to ME regional dialect variations.

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Date Created
  • 2017