Wednesday, September 16, 2009

World Englishes vs Contrastive Rhetoric

Obvs, CR has moved beyond "Chinese people think in a circular way, whereas whiteys think in a logical way" (I mean, they call it intercultural rhetoric now), but the point, or a big point, I think, is this:

Written* "China English," whatever it is, does not exist only because of the Chinese language or even the "Chinese way of thinking" (once a common answer from Kaplan et al, now common answer from Chinese students/teachers/etc) -- it also exists because of language attitudes and ideology, educational policies, educational cultures, expressions of identity, the internet, internationalization of English, increased acceptance of language mixing in China, standardized tests, and idiosyncratic choices made by writers (professional or not). And probably a lot of other things.

(*I want to qualify these because I am not really looking at spoken CE, currently -- it is certainly a reality and in some ways a lot easier to identify in terms of pronunciation, intelligibility, unique phonology, etc)