Norms and standards in world Englishes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The chapter discusses the notions of norms and standards in conceptualizing the evolutionary status of World Englishes. While “standard language” is the product of its functional and formal development in Haugen’s (1972) model, in Schneider’s (2007) model it is the status attained by a regional variety that has become endonormative. From the sociolinguistic perspective, the standard may be seen by its users either inclusively, as a uniting medium for the speech community, or exclusively, as an elevated reference style of English associated with correctness and an ideology of the standard. The norms of a variety can be induced from corpus data, showing how it has differentiated itself from the source variety. Two case studies illustrate the interplay between standards and norms. In both, there is grammatical evidence of the norms shifting away from their exonormative standards yet discomfort expressed in some quarters about the popular regional forms (Singlish, Taglish). Corpus evidence suggests that metalinguistic awareness of tension between Singlish and “good English” is stronger in Singapore than the equivalents in the Philippines, correlating with their evolutionary status.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCambridge handbook of world Englishes
EditorsDaniel Schreier, Marianne Hundt, Edgar W. Schneider
Place of PublicationCambridge UK
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)9781108349406
ISBN (Print)9781108425957
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameCambridge handbooks in language and linguistics
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • standard language
  • language ideology
  • varietal norms
  • corpus evidence
  • Singapore English
  • Phillipine English
  • exonormative
  • metalinguistic awareness

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    Peters, P. (2020). Norms and standards in world Englishes. In D. Schreier, M. Hundt, & E. W. Schneider (Eds.), Cambridge handbook of world Englishes (pp. 587-608). (Cambridge handbooks in language and linguistics). Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press.