Linguistic innovations or errors? What do other speakers of English say about written Chinese English?

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers

Abstract

English has been transformed from a single-cultured linguistic system to a multi-cultured language encompassing various local linguistic features and cultural norms. The English used by Chinese speakers is being developed into a new variety as a result of language and cultural contact, manifesting Chinese-specific linguistic features and cultural conceptualisations to varying degrees. One key issue pertinent to the future development of Chinese English is the differentiation of linguistic innovations from errors. A questionnaire was designed to investigate various English speakers’ understanding and acceptance of recurrent deviant lexical features in Chinese advanced English speakers’ academic writing. Acceptance means accepting these lexical features with no correction being provided. Participants, 131 in total, were differentiated in three ways: (1) status (being a teacher, postgraduate or undergraduate), (2) circle (being an inner, out or expanding circle speaker), and (3) gender (being a male or female). The results show that the participants in general have demonstrated a fairly good understanding of these deviant features, but their willingness to accept these features is significantly lower. Furthermore, both ‘status’ and ‘circle’ have a significant effect on their acceptance whereas ‘gender’ does not. Discussions are conducted in relation to the on-going codification of Chinese English. Copyright © 2012 University of Helsinki. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2013

Citation

Ma, Q. (2013, June). Linguistic innovations or errors? What do other speakers of English say about written Chinese English? Paper presented at Changing English: Contacts & Variation 2013 Conference, Helsinki, Finland.

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