Schneider's dynamic model

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Edgar Schneider's dynamic model of postcolonial Englishes adopts an evolutionary perspective emphasizing language ecologies. It shows how language evolves as a process of 'competition-and-selection', and how certain linguistic features emerge. The Dynamic Model illustrates how the histories and ecologies will determine language structures in the different varieties of English, and how linguistic and social identities are maintained.[1]

Underlying principles[edit]

Five underlying principles underscore the Dynamic Model: [2]

  1. The closer the contact, or higher the degree of bilingualism or multilingualism in a community, the stronger the effects of contact.
  2. The structural effects of language contact depends on social conditions. Therefore, history will play an important part.
  3. Contact-induced changes can be achieved by a variety of mechanisms, from code-switching to code alternation to acquisition strategies.
  4. Language evolution, and the emergence of contact-induced varieties, can be regarded as speakers making selections from a pool of linguistic variants made available to them.
  5. Which features will be ultimately adopted depends on the complete “ecology” of the contact situation, including factors such as demography, social relationships, and surface similarities between languages etc.

The Dynamic Model outlines five major stages of the evolution of world Englishes. These stages will take into account the perspectives from the two major parties of agents – settlers (STL) and indigenous residents (IDG). Each phase is defined by four parameters:[2]

  1. Extralinguistic factors (e.g. historical events)
  2. Characteristic identity constructions for both parties
  3. Sociolinguistic determinants of contact setting
  4. Structural effects that emerge


Phase 1: Foundation Phase 2: Exonormative stabilization Phase 3: Nativization Phase 4: Endonormative stabilization Phase 5: Differentiation
Sociopolitical background
  • English brought in by STL
  • Used in a non-English-speaking country
  • STL communities stabilize
  • English regularly spoken and formally established as language of administration, education and legislation
  • IDG now seek to expand contact with STL to secure status
  • STL's ties with 'land of origin' weaken
  • Colonized land strives towards independence
  • Stage of cultural self-reliance
  • Established nation
  • State of stability, free from external threat
  • Room for internal differentiation
Identity constructions
  • Both STL and IDG see themselves as distinct from each other
  • STL feel that they are still part of their home country, and their stay is temporary
  • IDG regard themselves as rightful owners
  • Gap between STL and IDG reduced
  • Both groups view themselves as belonging to the territory
  • Citizens no longer feel the need to define themselves as a single entity
  • Define themselves as members of smaller groups (e.g. ethnic, gender, city etc.)
Sociolinguistic conditions
  • Contact between STL and IDG serve utilitarian purposes
  • Each group continues to communicate within their confines
  • Marginal bilingualism develops
  • Pressure on IDG to acquire STL's English
  • Some of the STL accommodate special features of the IDG language
  • Complaints of 'corrupted' form emerge
  • Existence of new language form recognized
  • New local norm
  • Literary creativity
  • Group-internal linguistic markers
Linguistic effects


See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kirkpatrick, Andy (2007). World Englishes: implications for international communication and English language teaching. Cambridge UP. Chapter 3.
  2. ^ a b Schneider, Edgar (2007). Postcolonial English: Varieties around the world. Cambridge UP. Chapter 3.