Vol 24, No 3 (2020): World Englishes in the Expanding Circle


Varieties of English and Kachru’s Expanding Circle

Proshina Z.G., Nelson C.L.


In this overview article, we present the motivations for compiling this issue of RJL and summarize the major premises of the World Englishes (WE) Paradigm. The focus is on the relations between the WE school of thought and the paradigms that branched from it, i.e. English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) and English as an International Language (EIL). The statuses of Englishes in the Kachruvian Expanding Circle that function mainly as lingua francas in international communication is one of the most controversial issues in sociolinguistics. We discuss the misconceptions regarding the Expanding Circle Englishes. Finally, we give a brief survey of the articles contributed to this issue, which develop theoretical and empirical material for the WE paradigm.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):523-550
pages 523-550 views

Englishes in the Expanding Circle: Focus on Asia

Kirkpatrick A.


In Kachru’s original classification, the countries of the Expanding Circle were those where English was learned primarily as a foreign language in schools. English did not play an institutional role within the country. As such they were “norm-dependent” countries relying on exonormative native speaker standards as models and targets for learners of English. In recent years, however, the role(s) of English in many Expanding Circle countries of Asia - these include the economic powerhouses of China, Japan and South Korea - have increased exponentially both within the countries (as English becomes increasingly important as a language of education, for example) and between the countries as a lingua franca (English has been enshrined as the sole working language of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), for example). The aim of this article is to describe how these roles of English in the Expanding Circle countries of Asia have developed. I shall focus on the role of English as a language of education in describing how the role of English has developed within countries and on the role of English as a lingua franca in describing how the role of English has developed between the Expanding Circle countries of Asia. I shall conclude by considering the implications of these developments for English language education pedagogy and policy.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):551-568
pages 551-568 views

Tracing the roots of phonetic variation in East Asian Englishes through loan phonology

Zavyalova V.L.


One key aspect of Englishes in the Kachruvian Expanding Circle concerns phonetic features as they commonly bear traits of speakers’ native languages. This article explores language contact phenomena that are likely to cause L1>L2 phonological transfer, which underlies the phonetic specificity of English in East Asia. Drawing on the general theory of loan phonology, the author treats phonographic adaptation of English loanwords in East Asian languages compared to Russian, as a reliable source of data that supports research on the nature of phonetic variation in Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Russian Englishes. The data were obtained through comparative analysis of English loanwords (200 for each language) selected from dictionary sources and speech samples from the Russian-Asian Corpus of English which was collected in earlier research. The findings confirm typological correlation of phonological transfer in loanword phonographic adaptation and in foreign language phonology. In both linguistic contexts, a crucial role is played by syllabic constraints, because being the fundamental unit of any phonological system, a syllable serves a domain of its segmental and suprasegmental features. Consequently, various resyllabification phenomena occur in English borrowings in the languages of East Asia whose phonological typology is distant from that of English; as a demonstration of this same conflict, the syllabic and, hence, rhythmic organization of East Asian Englishes tends to exhibit similar code-copying variation. The greater typological proximity of English and Russian syllable regulations leads to fewer manifestations of syllabic and rhythmic restructuring in both loanword adaptations and English spoken by native speakers of Russian.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):569-588
pages 569-588 views

Exploring the functionality of English in China: A tale of two cities

Xu Z., Zhang D.


The world of English has been witnessing shifts and turns over the last half century, and a major one is a paradigm shift from a monolithic English to pluricentric Englishes. The term “Englishes” symbolizes the “functional and formal variation in the language, and its international acculturation” (Kachru B. & Smith 1985: 210), and it is primarily concerned with the “intelligibility of form, comprehensibility of meaning, and interpretability of sense” (Proshina 2014: 4). As far as China is concerned, there are estimated 350-500 million learners and users of English, and the functions of English have expanded since the “reform and open door” policies of the 1970s (Kirkpatrick & Xu 2002). In this paper, we explore the expanding functionality of English in China, taking the major shifts and turns surrounding world Englishes as a backdrop, that is, the shift from codifying linguistic features of English varieties to focusing on users’ translanguaging practices in multilingual contexts, as well as the functional turn, the multilingual turn, and the dynamic interactive turn (Sridhar & Sridhar 2018). In particular, we adopt a qualitative approach to researching Chinese English as a translanguaging practice among Chinese English bilingual professionals in order to unpack the expanding functions of English in two major Chinese cities, Beijing and Kunming. Drawing upon semi-structured interviews of Chinese-English bilingual professionals from the two cities, we present a “tale of two cities” in relation to the expanding functionality of English in China.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):589-611
pages 589-611 views

The External-and-Internal-Forces Model applied to the Japan context

D’Angelo J., Ike S.


This article considers the Buschfeld-Kautzsch ‘EIF’ (External and Internal Forces) model from the perspective of the Japan context. The model was developed as an enhancement to Schneider’s Dynamic Model of Postcolonial Englishes, which is itself an enhancement of the Kachruvian World Englishes paradigm. The EIF is a flexible model that attempts to incorporate the linguistic, social, and historico-political development of English(es) in both postcolonial and non-postcolonial settings: thus addressing the main problem that variety development has heretofore not been systematically analyzed in Expanding Circle contexts. Hence our aim is to see if the EIF model can account for this development in Japan. We incorporate material and data from an eclectic range of historical and current sources. In the process, we consider the historical development of English in Japan from the Meiji Era to the present day, introduce the EIF model in some detail, and assess the usefulness of the model to help explain how English is growing and developing in Japan. The major findings of the article indicate that the EIF model is useful somewhat problematic, and only partly accounts for variety development of Japanese English. We conclude with some recommendations for improving the model through further testing, so it may become a more useful construct for identifying the process of ongoing variety development in non-postcolonial settings.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):612-632
pages 612-632 views

English as a Lingua Franca from an applied linguistics perspective: In the context of Japan

Hino N.


For the past two decades, the concept of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) has been a topic of much debate among researchers in the global use of English, including those involved in English language teaching (ELT). While in many respects ELF may be viewed just as a new name for its predecessors, such as World Englishes (WE) and English as an International Language (EIL), in other ways it also provides some fresh perspectives for the function of global Englishes. In particular, having grown chiefly out of Europe, where English has traditionally been studied as a foreign language rather than a second language, the ELF paradigm is often suited for the needs of learners of English in the Expanding Circle. With Japan as a primary example, the present paper discusses the significance of the concept of ELF and of the studies within its framework for ELT in the Expanding Circle. An important argument of this article is that studies in the early days of ELF, seeking for elements to facilitate international intelligibility, are still highly useful for ELT in the Expanding Circle. They cater especially to ELT in the Asian Expanding Circle, where pedagogical models are of crucial importance, no less than current ELF studies focusing on the fluid and translingual nature of ELF do. This paper points to the need for ELT teachers to be eclectic and integrative, learning from multiple paradigms, including ELF, WE, and EIL, while even going beyond the newness and oldness of pedagogical approaches, in order to best serve their students.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):633-648
pages 633-648 views

Russian English and what it is not

Rivlina A.A.


The arguments against the Expanding Circle (EC) Englishes being varieties in their own right are often provoked by terminological inaccuracies both in professional and folk-linguistic debate. The aim of the article is to particularize the concept of Russian English by highlighting the differences between Russian English as an EC variety per se and a number of English-related forms and practices in Russian-based intranational communication, which also might be referred to as Russian English or Rus(s)lish/Runglish. The article discusses the notion of Ruslish in detail, drawing on the recent surveys of “hybrid Englishes,” or “X-lishes” in World Englishes theory. The study provides a qualitative analysis of a corpus of examples illustrating different conceptualizations of Ruslish and some of its major tokens. As a result, Ruslish in the narrow sense of the term, as the basilectal sub-variety of Russian English, is distinguished from Ruslish as a broader language-contact concept embracing various cases of English-Russian interaction, primarily the Englishization of Russian, which is closer to its folk metalinguistic interpretation. A special emphasis is placed on the cases of “mock Russian English/Ruslish,” a form of bilingual language play, a linguistic parody, when distinctive features of Russian English or Ruslish are exaggerated and ironically quoted in “styling the Other.” The article also follows the translanguaging approach to hybrid Englishes investigation and some emergent practices of translanguaging in written English-Russian interaction, specifically some cases of Roman-Cyrillic “trans-scripting,” or “tranßcripting”, are tentatively defined as “new Ruslish.”

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):649-668
pages 649-668 views

English in the Russian-based recruitment discourse

Gritsenko E.S., Alikina A.V.


The paper addresses the use of English in the Russian-based recruitment discourse. Language is viewed through the prism of the sociolinguistics of globalization and understood as a set of mobile trans-locally operative resources used to achieve specific goals of communication. The corpus for analysis includes job ads and résumés posted on the recruitment platforms HeadHunter and Super.Job, videotaped conversations of job seekers with recruiters and employers, and ethnographic interviews with recruitment professionals. We used discourse analysis, ethnographic methods, and quantitative measuring to analyze the data. The study consists of two stages. During the first stage, we found out that English can be used as the main language of recruitment or in the form of “insertions” in the Russian-based texts to demonstrate professionalism, position the company, and “filter” the candidates. The second stage revealed that the all-English segment of the Russian recruitment discourse has narrowed, while the use of English in “truncated” forms has increased. This dynamic is caused by the expansion of the digital segment of the Russian job market (social media, Internet channels), where English-mediated technologies are the main instrument of interaction with clients. It results in further hybridization and boosts translingualism in work-related settings. English, with its tendency to informal personified communication patterns, also affects the communicative conventions of the Russian-based recruitment discourse. The study demonstrates the growing role of English as an agent of global professional discourses and an intermediary between people and technologies.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):669-686
pages 669-686 views

English in Germany: Evidence from domains of use and attitudes

Davydova J.G.


This paper discusses the changing role of English in Germany drawing on evidence from domains of English use and speakers’ attitudes. In so doing, it reports two case studies carried out at the University of Mannheim, Germany. The quantitative data and its methods of evaluation are discussed in the sections reporting case studies. The first study documents the use of English across formal and informal settings as well as in spontaneous interactions. In so doing, it reports the results of a survey collected from 172 students. The second study discusses the results of a survey tapping into German speakers’ attitudes towards two native (British, American) and two non-native (Indian, German) Englishes, thereby eliciting respondents’ attitudinal orientations towards English varieties including their own. This case study is based on data stemming from 94 students. The first case study shows that English in Germany has been continuously expanding its social domains of use and there is a small but stable minority of German speakers using English in spontaneous daily interactions. The second case study highlights the importance of the native-speaker model for the attitudinal mindset of the German learners; they see no value in speaking German English and clearly do not identify with this linguistic variety, a finding which reveals their exonormative orientation. Against this backdrop, I conclude that whereas English spoken in Germany shows clear signs of evolving into an ESL variety, it is still, by and large, an EFL English, at least in terms of attitudinal orientations professed by educated young adults.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):687-702
pages 687-702 views

World Englishes and learner lexicography: View from the Expanding Circle

Lovtsevich G.N., Sokolov A.A.


This article analyzes a World Englishes paradigm shift in four monolingual English-language learner’s dictionaries designed to meet the reference needs of people learning English as a non-native language in the Expanding Circle. The study investigates the question of how modern learner’s dictionaries reflect the current global status of English. The dictionary focus on educational learner needs exclusively seems to ignore the today’s range and depth of the socio-cultural functions of global English. The authors examine the dictionaries’ coverage of non-Inner Circle varieties of English and, in particular, analyze culture-loaded borrowings from Northeast Asian countries (China, Japan, Korea, and Russia) where English is widely used for intercultural communication. The particular interest is in the way the dictionaries define such entries and represent non-English cultures and identities of their speakers from the Expanding Circle through borrowings. Analysis of the wordlists of learner’s dictionaries reveals an ethnocentric approach in compiling the dictionaries. This is manifested both in the patchy coverage of non-Inner Circle varieties of English in the dictionaries and in the inexplicable selections of borrowings to be included. Words associated with the Northeast Asian countries tend to be selected arbitrarily and according to Western rather than regional culture priorities. Anglocentricity is also evident in the definitions of the headwords related to Northeast Asia. The majority of the borrowings are defined in British or American terms without any perspective of the culture from which the words arise. The authors conclude that the representation of non-English cultures in learner’s dictionaries is ideological and ethnocentric and therefore cannot meet the challenges of the globalized world.

Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):703-721
pages 703-721 views


Review of Zoya G. Proshina and Anna A. Eddy (eds.). 2018. Russian English:History, Functions, and Features. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 309 p. + xvii p.

Marinina E.V.



Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):722-729
pages 722-729 views

Review of Nelson, Cecil L., Zoya G. Proshina & Daniel R. Davis. 2020. The Handbook of World Englishes. 2nd edn. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley - Blackwell. 816 p. + xxx p.

Lebedeva E.S.



Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2020;24(3):730-734
pages 730-734 views

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