Rajend Mesthrie examines the rise of a new variety of English among Indian migrant workers indentured on the plantations of Natal in South Africa. Considering the historical background to, and linguistic consequences of, language shift in an immigrant context, he draws significant parallels between second language acquisition and the processes of pidginization and creolization. In particular, he analyses universals of second language acquisition and the role of transfer from the Indic and Dravidian substrate languages. English in Language Shift observes the acquisition of language in its social setting, often outside the classroom. Its linguistic focus is on the distinctive syntax of South African Indian English, with respect to word order and clause structures; and it contains descriptions of lexis, phonetics and morphology, in terms of social variation. South African Indian English is compared with other dialects within South Africa, with English in India, and with Englishes generally.