The pragmatics of ELF

Authored by: Alessia Cogo , Juliane House

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:


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This chapter offers an overview of research into the pragmatics of English as a lingua franca. We begin with an exploration of the initial work on the pragmatics of ELF, which focused on empirical studies of talk among non-native students of English, in controlled environments. We then explore current work, which focuses on accommodation processes and pragmatic strategies, including multilingual aspects. This more recent work delves into the intercultural nature of lingua franca communication, where more attention is dedicated to working towards pragmatic understanding, focusing on how speakers construct and negotiate understanding and how they solve miscommunication problems. An overview of this work includes the areas of negotiation of meaning, the use of interactional elements, discourse markers, idiomatic expressions and multilingual resources. We also explore pragmatic strategies in two specific domains, namely business and higher education, while addressing the relation between pragmatic aspects and issues of culture and identity.

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