This is the first ever volume to compile sociolinguistic and historical information on lesser-known, and relatively ignored, native varieties of English around the world. Exploring areas as diverse as the Pacific, South America, the South Atlantic and West Africa, it shows how these varieties are as much part of the big picture as major varieties and that their analysis is essential for addressing some truly important issues in linguistic theory, such as dialect obsolescence and death, language birth, dialect typology and genetic classification, patterns of diffusion and transplantation and contact-induced language change. It also shows how close interwoven fields such as social history, contact linguistics and variationist sociolinguistics are in accounting for their formation and maintenance, providing a thorough description of the lesser-known varieties of English and their relevance for language spread and change.

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