Pronunciation and miscommunication in ELF interactions

An analysis of initial clusters

Authored by: Ishamina Athirah Gardiner , David Deterding

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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It is nowadays well established that not all features of pronunciation are equally important in maintaining intelligibility in ELF interactions, and Jenkins (2000) has proposed a Lingua Franca Core (LFC) of the features of English phonology that are essential for avoiding misunderstandings in international communication in English. Jenkins (2007) further notes that, for features of pronunciation that do not cause misunderstandings to occur, variation in their realisation can contribute to the distinct accent of speakers, allowing them to maintain their own identity without too much danger of affecting intelligibility. However, further research involving more data in a wide range of different environments is needed to establish with greater confidence which features of pronunciation really are important for ensuring intelligibility in ELF settings.

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