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Discuss in Detail Ways in Which Variations in the English Language Reflect the Society They Are Situated in Essay

Discuss in detail ways in which variations in the English language reflect the society they are situated in. According to Walt Wolfram, “Language sows its own seeds of change. Social context gives it the fertile ground to grow and spread.” The global spread of English has inevitably led to the formation of new varieties such as Singlish and Hinglish, which are different in their own ways. The differences among these variations, in terms of lexical choice, structure and even pronunciation, are due to the different context and needs of the societies. These include the economical incentive of English in the society, social groups and their cultural make up. The economic incentive of learning English in the society plays a big role in the type of variation that distinguishes the new Englishes from other varieties. With the affluent and powerful recognizing the importance of English to connect, be a part of the global platform and even acquire well paying jobs, the aspiring middle class, who makes up the majority in any societies, would find it very lucrative to learn English, so as to be associated with them.

However, in most societies where English is considered a foreign language, learning it in language school is very expensive and usually is an option for the wealthy. As a result, they would pick up bits and pieces of lexical items from the English language, and use it in their speech, maintaining the structure of their native language. An example would be Hinglish, where “my head is eating circles,” is a direct translation of ” mera sir chakkar kha raha hai.’, effectively keeping the structure of Hindi. In India, majority of good Standard English speakers are from the upper class due to the exorbitant fees of the language schools. As such, the variation of English in this case reflects the economical incentives and the income gap in the society, where there is a negative association of the variety due to speakers not being able to afford the education of Standard English. In Text B(i), lexical chain pertaining to negativity is adopted to be referred to code mixed languages. They include, “gutter- speak”, “bad” and “consequence” However, as the use of the variation used by the lower and middle class increase due to the population distribution, it might lead to the acceptance of the dialect in the whole society, then coming up with a more organized and uniform variety that most members of society would understand. This uniformity of the variety reflects the social acceptance of the variation. In Text B(i), semantic field of uniqueness is adopted to

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