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Acculturation in World Englishes

  1. Kamal K. Sridhar

Published Online: 5 NOV 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781405198431.wbeal0005

The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics

How to Cite

Sridhar, K. K. 2012. Acculturation in World Englishes. The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 5 NOV 2012


Linguistically and culturally, all varieties of World Englishes are an interesting and a dynamic phenomenon: interesting, because after years of contact of the native languages with English, distinctive varieties are emerging all around the world; and dynamic, because the English language is constantly evolving and changing in many cultures around the world, as the expressive resources of the English language are constantly being used to express nuances of local cultures and sensibilities. Language acculturation consists of a variety of processes of language change by which a language, not one's own, is modified to serve as an effective vehicle for the expression of one's own sociocultural and cognitive experiences. Acculturation, therefore, signifies one, some, or all of the following processes: introduction of loanwords, idioms, and derivational processes from substratum languages; use of calques, or loan translations of phrases, idioms, constructions; intrasentential mixing of units of different levels of complexity from various languages (code mixing); code switching; introduction of language-specific conventions of speech acts and discourse types; and even poetic conventions from other languages. These processes are often at work in the transformation of a foreign language into a second language.


  • bilingualism;
  • second language acquisition;
  • sociolinguistics