Different ‘colo(u)rs’ of the English language

by Therese Larsson

Institution: Linnæus University
Year: 2015
Keywords: American and British English; corpora; English as a foreign language; lexical variation; linguistics; non-finite complementation; spelling; Humanities; Languages and Literature; General Language Studies and Linguistics; Humaniora; Språk och litteratur; Jämförande språkvetenskap och lingvistik; Language, Culture and Communication Programme, 180 credits; Språk, kultur och kommunikation, 180 hp; English; Engelska
Record ID: 1372947
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-40781


The aim of this study is to discover if Swedish writers use American or British spelling, vocabulary and grammar when writing a text in English. The focus is on differences in spelling categories, lexical variation between the two varieties as well as differences in the usage of non-finite complementation. This is a quantitative study based on material from the Swedish in English Newspapers Corpus (SWENC), the Blogs in English by Swedes Corpus (BESC), and the Corpus of English Tweets by Swedes (CETS). The results show that Swedish writers of English prefer to use British English spelling, American English vocabulary and that they tend to imitate American English grammar usage when it comes to non-finite complementation. The conclusions are that the English of Swedish writers is affected by the standards of the English used in at least two of the countries in the Inner Circle, i.e. American and British English, and that it seems to be influenced both by what is taught in school and what the writers see and hear in the media.