London, Mar 7 (UNI) Indian English could become a popular dialect as traditional English is set to fragment into a multitude of dialects as it spreads around the world, a language expert claimed.
Professor David Crystal, one of the world's foremost experts on English, said people will effectively have to learn two varieties of the language, one spoken in their home country, and a new kind of Standard English, which can be internationally understood.
He said the English spoken in countries with rapidly-booming economies, such as India and China, would increasingly influence this global standard.
Prof Crystal was speaking in advance of a lecture at the University of Winchester, on the growth and evolution of the English language.
In future, users of global Standard English might replace the British English. ''I think it's going to rain,'' with the Indian English, Prof Crystal argued. This could spell the end of the dominance of American English as the prevailing language of international affairs.
Prof Crystal said, ''In language, numbers count. There are more people speaking English in India than in the rest of the native English-speaking world.'' ''Even now, if you ring a call centre, often it's an Indian voice you hear at the end of the phone. As the Indian economy grows, so might the influence of Indian English,'' he added.
''There, people tend to use the present continuous where we would use the present simple. For example, where we would say, 'I think, I feel, I see' a speaker of Indian English might say, 'I am thinking, I am feeling, I am seeing.' This way of speaking could easily become sexy and part of global Standard English,'' Prof Crystal informed.
The professor predicted English would become a family of languages, just as Latin did a thousand years ago.
''In much the same way as regional dialects developed, as English grows around the world it is immediately adapted to suit the local circumstances,'' he said.
''There are older varieties of English such as American, South African, Australian, and emerging varieties like Nigerian, Ghanaian and Singaporean,'' he added.
''However, some of the new dialects are so individual that speakers of British English would be at a loss to understand them,'' he concluded.
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