Grammar in ELF

Authored by: Elina Ranta

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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Many ELF-related sources cite grammar as one of the “most studied” aspects of ELF. In actual fact, however, serious investigations into the syntax or structure of ELF are still rare, and ELF grammar easily loses out in popularity to descriptions of other linguistic levels, such as lexis or pragmatics in ELF. The impression of a vast number of grammatical studies may be due to numerous publications listing “frequently occurring” grammatical features of ELF – without analysing them further or sometimes even without providing their occurrence rates. This kind of listing could rather be termed “feature spotting” (see Seidlhofer 2009), which, without more in-depth investigation does not really help in describing ELF grammatically or in illuminating how (or whether!) ELF differs from other kinds of Englishes in terms of grammar.

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