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Extended uses of the progressive form in L1 and L2 Englishes

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This paper examines extended stative and habitual uses of the progressive form (PF), features of vernacular syntax that are shared by numerous contact-induced Englishes. Three of these are investigated here: Welsh English (WelE), a high-contact L1/L2 shift variety, Indian English, an indigenised L2 variety, and the traditional dialects of England, representing vernacular L1 English and a potential historical superstrate. Despite cross-varietal similarities, the PF proves to be quite distinctive in the corpora in terms of its structural, functional, and lexical properties. The patterns of variation are considered in relation to the primary substrate languages, Welsh and Hindi, the English English superstrate, and general developments in the use of the PF in English. The results indicate that the contact-induced varieties are typologically similar to the substrates in divergent ways and that the superstrate is clearly influential in WelE. Propositions of “angloversality” therefore need to be considered in light of regional linguistic ecologies and the structural and functional characteristics of (vernacular) English itself.
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Keywords: Celtic Englishes; Indian English; Postcolonial Englishes; Welsh English; angloversals; dialect syntax; language contact; progressive form; vernacular

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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