Falkland Island English

Britain, David; Sudbury, Andrea (2013). Falkland Island English. In: Kortmann, Bernd; Lunkenheimer, Kerstin (eds.) The Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English (pp. 669-676). Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

This chapter examines some of the grammatical variability and non-standardness found in the English of the Falkland Islands. The Falklands are an archipelago of over 700 islands located in the western South Atlantic Ocean, 480km off the east coast of Argentina. Although the population is small – around 3000 - the islands cover an area of over 12000km2 – slightly larger than Jamaica and half the size of Wales, making them, after Greenland, the most sparsely populated political entity in the world. In political terms, the Falklands are an Overseas Territory of the United Kingdom. In contrast to the rural isolated image that the Falklands perhaps conjure up, the community is, in demographic terms, an urban and diverse one. Over 85% of the population living in the capital Stanley. The 2006 census (Government of the Falkland Islands 2007: 6) shows that 55% of the population were not born on the Islands, with the largest migrant groups coming from the UK, St Helena (another British Overseas Territory, located in the eastern South Atlantic), Chile and Australia. It also highlighted the fact that people born in 62 different countries were resident on the islands at the time (Pascoe and Pepper 2008: 38). By way of a comparison, only Monaco and Andorra, in Europe, have a higher proportion of their populations made up of migrants. In addition to the local Falkland population, there is a large military presence on the islands at the Royal Airforce Base at Mount Pleasant, 50km south-west of Stanley. The Head of State is the monarch of the UK, who is represented on the islands by a governor. The democratically elected 11-member Legislative Assembly is responsible for day-to-day government of the islands.
The Falklands are perhaps most famous because of their 74 day occupation by Argentina in 1982. It is not appropriate here to go into detail about the dispute between the UK and Argentina about the sovereignty of the Islands. What is undisputed is that there has been a continuous Anglophone speech community on the islands since the early 1830s, making it one of the most recently developed ‘Inner Circle’ (Kachru 1985) Englishes in the world. This chapter examines the grammatical characteristics of Falkland Island English, drawn from a transcribed corpus of over 500,000 words of informal conversational speech, collected by Andrea Sudbury both in Stanley and in ‘Camp’ (the local name for the rest of the islands) (see Sudbury 2000, 2001 for more details about the methods used in the survey).

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures

UniBE Contributor:

Britain, David


800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages




De Gruyter Mouton




David Britain

Date Deposited:

06 Mar 2014 17:21

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:28



Actions (login required)

Edit item Edit item
Provide Feedback