Lade Veranstaltungen

Diese Veranstaltung hat bereits stattgefunden.

Looking forward to meet you: Creative constructions in World Englishes

| | |
Veranstaltungskategorie Vortrag

Traditional grammar, educational authorities and many linguistic schools assume that language is strictly rule-governed, and individual structures are either „correct“ / „grammatical“ or „incorrect“ / „ungrammatical“. However, as Edward Sapir, an early leading structuralist, observed 100 years ago, „All languages leak“: rules can be bent and allow for exceptions, and linguistic usage can be creative. The question, then, is how this creativity of language processing, attributed recently primarily to the emergence of varieties and „World Englishes“, can be accounted for. I briefly survey leading linguistic theories and their views on this issue, and I argue in favor of viewing language as a complex-dynamic system and the usage-based paradigm, which suggests that all utterances produced generate associations in individual entrenchment and community conventionalization – and these associations ultimately constitute grammatical knowledge. The point is illustrated amply by discussing four „creative“ sample structures in World Englishes, namely I'm lovin' it, popularized by McDonalds; X is called as Y, a construction spreading in South Asian Englishes; All Things New, the name of a Singaporean music festival, and Looking forward to meet you, observed increasingly across Asian Englishes. I consider the social settings of these constructions, including some corpus evidence, and the associations which they trigger. All patterns somehow epitomize the tension between prescriptive and descriptive language attitudes., and I take them as points of departure to reflect on linguistic creativity and the nature of linguistic processing.


Prof. Dr. Edgar Schneider


Marta Degani (marta [dot] degani [at] aau [dot] at)