Title

Split infinitives across world Englishes: A corpus-based investigation

College

Br. Andrew Gonzalez FSC College of Education

Department/Unit

Dept of English and Applied Linguistics

Document Type

Article

Source Title

Asian Englishes

Volume

20

Issue

3

First Page

242

Last Page

267

Publication Date

9-2-2018

Abstract

This article investigates split infinitives in 12 World Englishes using Kachru’s concentric circles framework. Beginning with a brief description of split infinitives, the article explores two significant aspects of splitting: the most common ‘breakers’, and split infinitive use across different genres and domains. Sourcing from the International Corpus of English, findings reveal that split infinitive use in Inner Circle and Outer Circle Englishes both exhibit similarities and differences. The seemingly contradicting data indicate that the split between Inner and Outer Circle Englishes is not as defined as Kachru initially hypothesized, but overlapping. While the similarities can partially be attributed to the prevailing first language (L1) prescriptive norms in the Outer Circle, the perceptible divergences in split infinitive use are mainly argued to involve subconscious substratum transfer and identity-formation processes; the deviations from L1 norms can be viewed as a sign of nativization and, perhaps, differentiation from their ex-colonizers or settlers’ English(es). © 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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Digitial Object Identifier (DOI)

10.1080/13488678.2017.1349858

Disciplines

English Language and Literature | Language and Literacy Education

Keywords

English language—Word order; English language—Variation

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