Gender-oriented Commonalities among Canadian and Iranian Englishes: An Analysis of Yes/No Question Variants

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Department of English, Falavarjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan, Iran

2 Department of English, Sheikhbahaee University


This study investigatesvariability in English yes/no questions as well as the commonalities among yes/no question variants produced by members of two different varieties of English: Canadian English native speakers and Iranian EFL learners.Further, it probes the role of gender in theEnglish yes/no question variants produced by Canadian English native speakers and those produced by Iranian EFL learners. A modified version of the Edinburgh Map Task was used in data collection. 60 Canadians and Iranians performed the task and made English yes/no question variants considering the informal context. Based on the results, the same types of yes/no question variants were produced by both groups. However, with respect to quantity, Canadians made more variants while the context of use was similar. Another difference noticed was the most frequent variant: Iranians’ frequent variant coincided with the informal context, yet the Canadians’ frequent variant did not. Regarding gender, Iranians did not produce any gender-based variant; while Canadians showed that their production of yes/no question variants was gender-oriented. These findings revealed that both Canadians and Iranians from two different varieties of English syntactically behaved similarly, but their sociolinguistic behavior was not the same.


Ashby, W.(1977). Interrogative forms in Parisian French. Semasia, 4, 35-52.

Bamgbose, A., Banjo, A. and Thomas, A. (Eds.). (1995). New Englishes: A West African   Perspective. Mosuro: The British Council.

Bhatt, R. M. (2001). World Englishes. Annual Review of Anthropology, 30 (1), 527-550.

Bolton, K. (2004). World Englishes. In A. Davis, & C.Elder (Eds.), The Handbook of Applied Linguistics (pp. 367-396). Oxford: Blackwell.

Cameron, D.(2007). Applied linguistics and the perils of popularity.International   Journal of        Applied Linguistics, 17(3), 392-395.

Chambers, J. K. (1995). Sociolinguistic Theory. Oxford: Blackwell.

Chomsky, N. (1965).Aspects of the Theory of Syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Connell, B.(2002). Aspects of the phonetics of CAMBAP.Studies in African Linguistics,   31        (1/2), 179-210.

Croft, W. (1995).Autonomy and functionalism in linguistics.Language,71 (3), 490-532.

Crystal, D. (2003). English as a global language (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge            University Press.

Ferguson, C. (1982). Simplified registers and linguistic theory.In L.Obler, & L.Menn         (Eds.) Exceptional Language and Linguistics (pp. 49-66). New York: Academic.

Halliday, M. A. K. (2006). Written language, standard language, global language. In B.B.Kachru,            Y.Kachru, & C. L.Nelson (Eds.), The Handbook of World Englishes (pp.     349-366). Oxford: Blackwell.

Halliday, M., A. K. and Greaves, W., S. (2008). Intonation in the Grammar of English.     London: Equinox Publishing Ltd.

Hoffmann, Ch. (2000). The spread of English and the growth of multilingualism with English      in Europe. In J.Cenoz, &U.Jessner, (Eds.), English in Europe: The Acquisition of a      Third Language (pp. 1-21). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Jenkins, J. (2006). Current perspectives on teaching world Englishes and English as a lingua          franca.TESOL Quarterly, 40 (1), 157-181.

Jenkins, J. (2003). World Englishes: A Resource Book for Students. New York, NY: Routledge.

Kachru, B. B. (1996a) The paradigms of marginality. World Englishes,15, 241-55.

Kachru, B. B. (1996b) World Englishes: agony and ecstasy. Journal of Aesthetic Education,          30, 135-55.

Kachru, B. B. (1992).The Other Tongue: English across Cultures. Chicago: University of  Illinois Press.

Kachru, B. B. (1990). World Englishes and applied linguistics. World Englishes, 9 (1), 3-20.

Kachru, B. B. (1986).TheAlchemy of English: The Spread, Functions, and Models of Non  nativeEnglishes. Chicago: University of Illinois Press.

Kachru, B. B. (1983). The lndianization of English: the English Language in India. New    Delhi: Oxford University Press.

Kachru, B. B. (Ed.) (1982). The Other Tongue: English across Cultures. Urbana, IL:         University of Illinois Press.

Kachru, B. B. (1965). The Indianness in Indian English.Word 21, 391-410.

Kachru, B. B., and Nelson, C. L. (1996). World Englishes. In S. L. McKay, & N.H.Hornberger(Eds.), Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching (pp. 71-102), Cambridge:          Cambridge University Press.

Kachru, B. B. and Quirk, R. (1981).Introduction. InL. E.Smith (Ed.), English for Cross-cultural Communication. London: Macmillan.

Kaur, J. (2010). Achieving mutual understanding in world Englishes. World Englishes, 29 (2), 192-208.

Labov, W. (1989).The child as linguistic historian.Language Variation and Change, 1,       85-97.

Labov, W. (1994).Principles of Linguistic Change, Volume 1: Internal Factors. Oxford:    Blackwell.

Labov, W. (2001).Principles of Linguistic Change, Volume 2: Social Factors. Oxford:Blackwell.

Lakoff, R.(1975). Women's language.Women's Language and Style.139-58.

Lee, L. (2008). Focus-on-form through collaborative scaffolding in expert-to-novice online       interaction.Language Learning and Technology, 12 (3), 53-72.

Long, M., H. (1980). Native speaker/non-native speaker conversation and the negotiation of       comprehensibleinput. Applied Linguistics, 4 (2), 126-141.

Mair, C. (2006).Twentieth Century English. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

McArthur, T. (1998).The English Languages. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

McArthur, T. (1993).The English language or the English languages? In W.F. Bolton, & D.           Crystal(Eds.) The English Language (pp. 323-41), London: Penguin.

McArthur, T. (1987).The English languages?English Today, 3(3), 9-11.

Mesthrie, R., & Bhatt. R. M. (2008). World Englishes: The Study of New Varieties.            Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Pica, T. (1987).Second-language acquisition, social interaction, and the classroom.Applied Linguistics, 8 (1), 3-21.

Pishghadam, R., &Sabouri, F. (2011). A quantitative survey on Iranian English learners’    attitudes toward varieties of English: World English or world Englishes?,English    Language and Literature Studies, 1 (1), 86-95.

Pishghadam, R., andNavari, S. (2009). Cultural literacy in language learning: Enrichment or        derichment?Apaper presented at UITM of Malaysia.

Pishghadam, R., andKamyabi, A. (2008).On the Relationship between Cultural Attachment and       AccentMimicry.Unpublished manuscript, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad.

Schneider, E. (2003). The dynamics of New Englishes: From identity construction to dialect         birth. Language,79 (2), 233-81.

Schneider, E. (2007).Post-colonial Englishes. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Schneider, E. (2008).Accommodation versus identity?A response to Trudgill.Language in            Society,37, 262-7.

Schneider, E. (2000).Feature diffusion vs. contact effects in the evolution of New Englishes:        A typological case study of negation patterns. English World-Wide, 21, 201-30.

Smith, L. E. (1987). Discourse across Cultures: Strategies in World Englishes. London:     Prentice-Hall International.

Strevens, P. (1992). English as an international language: directions in the 1990s. In B.B.Kachru(Ed.), The Other Tongue: English across Cultures (2nd ed.) (pp.27-47).     Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Timmis, I. (2007). The attitudes of language learners towards target varieties of the language.       In B. Tomlinson (Ed.), Language Acquisition and Development  (pp. 122-139).

Trudgill, P.(1974). The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich. Cambridge:    Cambridge      University Press.

Trudgill, P. (2004).Dialect Contact and New-dialect Formation: The Inevitability of            Colonial Englishes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Trudgill, P. (2008). Colonial dialect contact in the history of European languages: On the  irrelevance of identity to new-dialect formation. Language in Society,37, 241-54.

Trudgill, P. and Hannah, J. (1994).International English (3rd ed.). London: Edward Arnold.

Van Rooy,B. (2010). Social and linguistic perspectives on variability in world Englishes,   World Englishes, 29 (1), 3-20.

Widdowson, H. D. (2003). Defining Issues in English Language Teaching. Oxford: Oxford          University Press.