FOR MUTUAL INTELLIGIBILITY, MUST ENGLISH AS A LINGUA FRANCA BE STANDARDIZED?

Christopher Leyland
2011 ARECLS   unpublished
This work will apply a Micro-analysis informed by Conversation Analysis (CA) to an interaction in which interlocutors use English as a lingua franca ('ELF'). Numbers of people using ELF are high: in 2007, the British Council estimated that around 375 million people use English as a second language while 750 million use it as a foreign language 1. This analysis will cast doubts on claims that to "guarantee the mutual intelligibility of their accents", ELF users must standardize their usage by
more » ... ering to "lingua franca core" rules (Jenkins, 2003: 126) and that a description to ELF's salient features is feasible. The findings in this work suggest that ELF users, despite not adhering to standardized rules, achieve mutual intelligibility through negotiating their own variety of ELF depending on each others' "proficiency level, use of code-mixing, degree of pidginization, etc" (Gramkow Anderson, 1993: 108) as well as various discourse strategies. This work suggests the form of ELF interactions is entirely variable and cannot be standardized.
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