The frequency of the present perfect in varieties of English around the world

Robert Fuchs*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the frequency of the present perfect (PP) in 20 national varieties of English with data from the 1.9 billion word Corpus of Global Web-based English (GloWbE). Linear regression models were used to determine which factors can account for differences in PP frequency across varieties. The results revealed that a major factor is geographic proximity: Varieties spoken in the same region tend to be similar in PP frequency. Other factors such as degree of formality or the classification in Kachru's Circle Model and Schneider's Dynamic Model of Postcolonial English appear to be relatively unimportant. The paper also discusses other factors that might be influential, such as substrate influence, the heterogeneous superstrate, national identities, and the degree of cultural contact between varieties. Finally, the discussion explores implications for teaching English as a local and as an international language, arguing that norms of English language teaching should depend on the learners' communicative needs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-assessing the Present Perfect
Subtitle of host publicationCorpus Studies and Beyond
PublisherWalter de Gruyter GmbH
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9783110443530
ISBN (Print)9783110443110
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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