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date: 22 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The transportation of English overseas in the colonial period, between approximately 1600 and 1900, from different parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland led to the rise of diverse varieties of English depending on the source area from which most of the founder generation originated from as well as on the mixture of dialects at the overseas locations and the ecologies of these sites. This study is concerned with the extent to which features of English input to new overseas varieties were retained and what factors were instrumental in this process (e.g., whether the areas are relic or diaspora locations). Further issues in this complex are considered, for example, focusing, reanalysis of variation, internal dialect patterning, and the refunctionalization and reallocation of features. Innovation, as the reverse process of retention, is then considered, specifically the internal and external motivation for this. In addition, shared innovations across the Anglophone world are looked at. Finally, the various models for accounting for the genesis of new varieties of English are examined.

Keywords: innovation, retention, colonial period, refunctionalization, dialect patterning, internal and external motivation, ecology, focusing, reanalysis of variation

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