Goh, Gwang-Yoon. 2016. Using Function Keywords to Characterize the Language of Three Northeast Asian English Newspapers. English Language and Linguistics 22.3, 1-30. Although both the unity and diversity of English varieties are important for understanding the cross-cultural and international contextualization of the English language, the research into regional and national varieties of English has mostly focused on the analysis of variety-specific features. As a consequence, despite the richness of the findings about the Asian Englishes used in China, Japan, and Korea, not much is known about their shared characteristic linguistic features. This paper aims to rectify this lack by examining the overlapping function keywords from a corpus of Northeast Asian English newspaper editorials in order to identify the distinctive lexico-grammatical features they share and explain the factors behind them. The results indicate that along with a number of variety-specific features, these three English varieties have developed an interesting set of common lexico-grammatical features. The nonnativeness of these features can best be explained on the basis of certain linguistic and sociocultural characteristics that the three Northeast Asian languages share that have been transferred into these regional varieties of English.
Key words: Northeast Asian English, Chinese/Japanese/Korean English, World Englishes, function keywords, English newspaper