Divergent patterns of variant tag questions in Pakistani English: A corpus-based comparative study
Keywords:Inter-variety comparisons, Pakistani English, variant tag questions, World Englishes
The research explores the divergent patterns in the native and non-native Englishes in terms of variant tag questions (VTQs). It explores the forms and functions of variant TQs in two native (British and New Zealand) and two non-native (Indian and Singaporean) varieties with a major focus on Pakistani English. The components of the International Corpus of English, henceforth ICE (Greenbaum & Nelson, 1996) of the said varieties, have been used in the research. Each ICE component consists of a one million-word corpus of the regional variety of English. Importantly, each ICE team follows a common corpus design and a common annotation scheme, in order to ensure maximum comparability between the components (Nelson 1996). Each ICE component samples the English of adults (age 18 or over) who have been educated through the medium of English to at least the end of secondary schooling. For the data collection, random sampling technique has been used. Data sets were then analysed through AntConc 3.5.9, a corpus analysisng toolkit. All the possible tags were extracted through the said software and the collocation were then studied. The results revealed that VTQs are under-used in non-native Englishes while least used in Pakistani English. As for the forms of VTQs, unlike Singaporean and Indian speakers, Pakistani speakers follow the native speakers and observe the rules in the formation of tag questions. The do operator is equally prominent in the VTQs of all varieties.
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