Rajend Mesthrie examines the rise of a new variety of English among Indian migrant workers indentured on the plantations of Natal in South Africa. Considering the historical background to, and linguistic consequences of, language shift in an immigrant context, he draws significant parallels between second language acquisition and the processes of pidginization and creolization. South African Indian English is compared with other dialects in South Africa, with English in India, and with Englishes generally.
• This is an academic historical and sociolinguistic study of South African Indian English (SAIE), and considers its rise as a new variety of English among Indian migrant workers, indentured on the plantations of Natal • Rajend Mesthrie draws important parallels between second language acquisition and the processes of pidginization and creolization • He compares SAIE with other South African dialects, Indian English and Englishes throughout the world. He focuses on its distinctive syntax, with respect to word order and clause structures
Preface; Acknowledgements; 1. Historical background: the shaping of a New English; 2. Variation in SAIE: a first glimpse; 3. Syntactic variation: the relative clause; 4. Word-order principles; 5. Non-syntactic variation; 6. Perspectives from second-language acquisition; 7. Perspectives from pidgin and creole studies; Appendices; Notes; Sources and references; Index.
'A fascinating and very well-documented account of the evolution and development of South African Indian English since the Indian indentured labourers were brought into South Africa, beginning in the 1860s.' Gillian Sankoff, University of Pennsylvania
'A most impressive piece of work.' J. M. Coetzee