English in the Marshall Islands

The project aims to put an entirely undescribed variety of World English on the dialectological map: The English spoken in the Marshall Islands, an archipelago in the Southern Pacific. Some Pacific Islands Englishes have received much scientific attention (Hawaiian Pidgin English, Bislama, Solomons Pijin) and research on others (Kiribati, Kosrae, Palau and Guam) is under way. The varieties that resulted from contact between English and Marshallese, on the other hand, are as of yet dialectologically unchartered. Lesser-known varieties, such as those in the Southern Pacific, can provide some of the "most interesting and diachronically revealing varieties of the language in existence", primarily because they tend to be relatively unaffected by the process of standardization (Watts and Trudgill 2002:27). The overall objective of this collaboration is to conduct exploratory research on Marshallese English in order to on chart the linguistic history and current sociolinguistic situation of this variety.