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Making Sense of "Bad English"


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Table of Contents

List of illustrations; Acknowledgements; Rationale for this book; Terminology used in this book; Introduction to Part 1: Making sense of "Bad English"; Chapter 1. English speakers in outer-circle and expanding-circle settings; Chapter 2: Where does "Good English" come from, and what does it have to do with Santa Claus?; Chapter 3. "Bad" English in inner-circle settings; Chapter 4. How "Bad English" works against us: linguistic discrimination in the USA; Chapter 5: Why does "Bad English" still exist?; Introduction to Part 2; Chapter 6: Acquisition of English as a mother tongue; Chapter 7: African American English; Chapter 8. Competing explanations for linguistic features in the outer circle; Chapter 9: English as a lingua franca; Summary of Part 2 ;Chapter 10. Conclusions; Bibliography; Index.

About the Author

Elizabeth Peterson is an Associate Professor at the University of Helsinki, Finland.


"Enormously fascinating to anyone with an interest in varieties of English (dialects, accents, styles) as they are spoken, natively and non-natively, around the world; and endlessly helpful in the fightback against the benighted ones who attempt to shame their fellow human beings for the way they speak."

Peter Trudgill, University of Fribourg, Switzerland

"Perceptions of "good" and "bad" English are a major issue for language users, but vary in different nation states. Such ideologies and their social consequences have been examined by sociolinguists in monolingual and to a lesser extent well-established bilingual English-speaking communities. However, the perspectives of millions of speakers and writers world-wide for whom English is a lingua franca have been largely ignored. Elizabeth Peterson's book is therefore timely, and particularly valuable in connecting English speakers from all types of language community with the ideologies which emerge from different histories and social contexts. It will be useful both as an undergraduate teaching tool and as a resource for researchers."

Lesley Milroy, University of Michigan, USA

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