But to limit that to one perspective might be too narrowing -- there are plenty of people who have come up with different ways of looking at variation. (Ferris/Truscott? Williams?) So what if I compare readers' reactions/rejections of certain chunks of language to a number of things:
- attested/proven/proposed features of a particular local variety of E? (We have to assume there's some kind of assumed standard English in mind that the local usage is being compared to -- and of course that's tricky, too, but we can at least gather, from WEs theory, that 'unenlightened' respondents are judging their local English against 'standard English')
- proposed features of ELF (this is a lot more important than i thought it would be, actually. The more I think about ELF the more sense it makes, and it would be interesting to compare what I find to ELF ideas.)
- traditional "common errors made by ESL writers" (Cf Hinkel, Silva)
- slightly less codified but also commonly cited "common errors made by Chinese L1 speakers" (cf. the thing from Chang that I wrote about a while back)
- this '"cross-language relations" thing which I'm kind of afraid of
In the end this study would be less about the bottom-up understanding of CE and more about how we deal with variation in academic writing. Can I actually look at all of these though?