English in Myanmar: Usage of English Adjective Phrases by Burmese and Rohingya Bloggers
Myanmar is unique in that it was a country colonised by Britain, but its current post-colonial linguistic situation suggests that it is in Kachru’s Expanding Circle rather than the Outer Circle. The lack of stable use of English, however, does not mean there is neither an underlying system nor a set of discernible characteristics to describe the variety. This paper is an attempt to describe a structural aspect of the English used by Myanmarese speakers. It presents an investigation of English adjective phrases used by the Burmese and the Rohingya, two ethnic groups in Myanmar whose mother tongues belong to different language families. Adjective phrases from forty blog articles were analysed in order to identify their forms and functions, as well as similarities and differences between the two groups. Findings indicate that adjective phrases with adverb modifiers were the most frequently used form by both Burmese and Rohingya speakers. There is evidence to show that the forms and functions of the adjective phrases were influenced by the speakers’ first languages. Other factors such as educational background and register may have also played a role.
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