Sociolinguistics, indexicality and “Global English”

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This paper presents a critique of the paper “Global English: From ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex’ to ‘Red Herring’” from a sociolinguistic perspective. The paper takes the position that it is undeniable that the English language’s presence on the world stage, alongside the various political, cultural and economic hegemonies that continue to support it, reverberates down to many varied local linguistic contexts of different time depths. Taking these seriously, sociolinguistically, means paying attention to the subtle indexical, sociolinguistic and linguistic anthropological groundings of contexts as a precursor to any type of ‘applied linguistic’ approach. The paper therefore argues for a dissolution of the term Global English and increased awareness of sociolinguistic and semiotic values in many and varied situations. The paper also discusses one online media example of linguistic ideologizing on the role of English and Danish in Denmark. We take the stance that inter-disciplinarity on this issue, as Anna Kristina Hultgren envisages it, is best built upon strong disciplinary foundations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of English Studies
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)179-187
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Oct 2020


  • sociolinguistics
  • Global English
  • verbal hygiene
  • linguistic ethnography
  • applied linguistics
  • indexicality

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