LINGUISTIC VARIATION AMONG SOUTH ASIAN ENGLISHES: A CORPUS-BASED MULTIDIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS

Sadia Ali, Wasima Shehzad

Abstract

Pakistani English is considered to be a distinct variety of English on the basis of its comparison with British English and American English. However, this claim is partial as its distinction from other varieties of English particularly used in South Asia has not yet been established. Thus, there is a need to investigate the similarities and differences between Pakistani and South Asian Englishes, and to analyse how far Pakistani English is distinct from other South Asian Englishes. Therefore, the present study aims at analyzing the linguistic features of Pakistani English as a separate variety from other varieties of English used in India and Bangladesh. For this purpose, a corpus of Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi English newspaper reportage was developed and analyzed using Biber’s (1988) multivariate/ multidimensional approach. The findings indicated that Pakistani press reportage is different from Indian and Bangladeshi press reportage on all the five dimensions, especially on Dimension 2, in which Pakistani press reportage is narrative, while Bangladeshi press reportage is non-narrative in nature. On Dimension 3, the press reportage of Pakistan is highly explicit as compared to Indian and Bangladeshi press reportage. Further, the sub-categories of Pakistani press reportage also exhibit variation when compared to the sub-categories of Indian and Bangladeshi press reportage. The possible causes of linguistic variation among these countries are their culture and geographical origin. It is further suggested that South Asian Englishes are evolving rapidly and linguistic variation among them certainly be a worth researchable area.

 

Keywords: Multidimensional analysis, Pakistani English, press reportage, South Asian Englishes, world Englishes.

 

Cite as: Ali, S. & Shehzad, W. (2019). Linguistic variation among South Asian Englishes: A corpus-based multidimensional analysis. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 4(1), 69-92. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol4iss1pp69-92

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