The English Umbrella: Model of a Multicultural Language System

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Fig. 5 Four umbrella pie charts (U.1—Kachru’s circles; U.2—Geography; U.3 Educational model; U.4—Allophonic representations of /  ,  /

In Fig. 5, Umbrella 1 shows a subset of varieties5 classified in terms of Kachru’s concentric circles. We have the same information that was available in the original circles, but here it is organized in a manner that is unbiased towards any one group. In addition, the “nativicity” of the variety is treated as a single facet, no more intrinsically important than any other. Umbrella 2 classifies the same subset of varieties according to continent, giving us some geographical background. Umbrella 3 shows a cultural feature of each variety—whether its educational model is British English, US English, both or neither. Finally, Umbrella 4 is a representation of one linguistic feature of the varieties—that of the set of allophones used to represent the phonemes /  , /.

 It is an easy matter to locate a single variety on each of these pie charts. For example, Fig. 6 shows the locations of Malaysian English (as spoken by “Jenny” in Yoneoka and Arimoto 2000, pp. 79-82) on the various umbrellas.

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