Conceptualising ELF

Authored by: Anna Mauranen

The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138855328
eBook ISBN: 9781315717173
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315717173.ch1

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Abstract

The two remarkable things about English today are that it has spread around the globe like no other language before, and that it is spoken by people for whom it is a second or additional language more than by those for whom it is a first language. Under either of those conditions, let alone both together, one would expect a language to become unusually heterogeneous and variable. This is exactly what we find with English. It is therefore not surprising that we have long been talking about ‘Englishes’ in the plural in English studies (I alone have four books called World Englishes in my bookshelf – not to speak of volumes on ‘global’ or ‘international’ Englishes). At the same time, the latest wave of globalisation has meant an enormous growth in the volume and kinds of mobility – and thereby in language contact.

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