27th August 1999




The global spread of English as a world language will be discussed at a major conference at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside next month.


The second MAVEN (Major Varieties of English) conference on 9th - 11th September  will allow English language experts from all over the globe to examine the development of the world’s favourite language.


Among the subjects up for discussion will be:


·     ‘slanguistics’ (the use of slang in modern English)

·     the Hong Kong version of English

·     English in the New World Order

·     differences among English speakers in the UK, the US and Australia.


“There are now around 350 million speakers of English as a first language, and yet non-native speakers of English outnumber natives speakers across the world,” said conference co-organiser Dr Bhaskaran Nayer, senior lecturer in language communication at the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside.


“There are now several indigenous varieties of English developing across the globe, and the whole idea of a native speaker of English is becoming very fuzzy. This conference is all about how English is a worldwide language and how there are many more varieties of English than simply British, American and Australian.”


In 1996 the British Council estimated that the English language was worth about

£5 billion a year to the UK in teaching, publishing and translating.


Dr Nayer said that the conference would assess the spread of English in its different forms across the globe. “Many people claim the existence of all sorts of forms of English with a distinct national identity,” he said. “One of the aims of this conference is to find out exactly how many different forms of English actually exist as distinct, identifiable varieties.”


Places on the conference are still available - call 01522 886209 to make your reservation.


For more information contact Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincolnshire & Humberside (tel: 01522 886042)