Purdue University Graduate School
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The Development of the Kachruvian paradigm: A Descriptive Study

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posted on 2019-08-14, 17:56 authored by Yiyang LiYiyang Li
This dissertation presents the development of the Kachruvian paradigm of world Englishes and sheds light on keynotions in each developmental stage of Braj Kachru’s research. It intends to answer the question: how was the Kachruvian paradigm of world Englishes formed? Thiswas not the initial aim of the project. Instead, its significance has two phases, a pre-project and post-project phase. The pre-project goal was an attempt to clarify various misunderstandings or misrepresentations of world Englishes as a field of study as well as a sociolinguistic phenomenon. However, when approaching the completion of this dissertation, the actual significance (the post-project) gradually shifted. It evolved into a working answer to the research question, that is what events and influences reveal the process of the development of what has come to be known as the Kachruvian paradigm of world Englishes. The beginning of the process can be dated back to Braj Kachru’s graduate school years, when he hesitated to affirm the linguistic and sociolinguistic existence of Indian English; his death marked the end of his development of the paradigm, but the field of world Englishes, which had reached global interest long before then, has continued to cultivate scholars of English varieties around the world. The description of the development of the paradigm undertaken in this dissertation is a close review of Kachru’s work over five decades (the 1960s to the 2000s).


The primary topics covered, which are related to the development of the paradigm, are: the origin of the Kachruvian paradigm in General Linguistics; Kachru’s analysis of the notion of the nativization of English; the socially realistic approach of Firth which provided the foundation for Kachru’s notions of Indian English; the pedagogical implications of world Englishes as a driving force for the institutionalization of world Englishes studies; and the construction of the notions world Englishes. These and related issues are presented chronologically and thematically in five stages: (1) the roots and influences of Kachru’s early work; (2) wide-spread dissemination of his ideas; (3) the period of increased advocacy for recognition of nativized varieties; (4) the critical contributions of Yamuna Kachru and Larry E. Smith; and (5) the influence of the Kachruvian paradigm in the new millennium.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • English

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Professor Margie Berns

Additional Committee Member 2

Professor Tony Silva

Additional Committee Member 3

Professor Aya Matsuda

Additional Committee Member 4

Professor Harris Bras

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