Language use in Nunavut: a view from the World Englishes paradigm

Jennifer A. J. Hinnell


This project is an initial examination of language use in Nunavut with respect to the World Englishes theoretical framework. It explores the characteristics of the Three Concentric Circles as defined by Kachru (1990) to explain English language spread and use, and aims to place indigenous languages in the Inner Circle in this characterization. In particular language use in Canada’s newest northern territory, Nunavut, is profiled and the following issues examined: do the Inuit in Nunavut share more with speech communities in the Outer Circle than with the current characterization of language use in the Inner Circle?. Consequently, does the World Englishes framework need to be re-examined to take into account the realities of language use and users in indigenous communities of the Inner Circle? Furthermore, are there current approaches to minority/regional languages in Outer Circle countries (Africa is used as a case study here) that can inform discussion around language maintenance and shift for indigenous speech communities in Canada?

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Working Papers of the Linguistics Circle

EISSN: 1920-440X
ISSN: 1200-3344

University of Victoria