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The University of Southampton
Centre for Global Englishes

CGE Seminar Prof Anna Mauranen

Published: 9 October 2014

English as a lingua franca – Broken English? Prof Anna Mauranen, University of Helsinki Wednesday 15th October 2014, Lecture Theatre C (Avenue Campus)

Abstract:

 

Although it has become generally accepted that English is the global lingua franca, debates over the desirability of this state of affairs have not died down. While some deplore falling standards of English others are alarmed by the threat posed to other languages. A fast-expanding body of research into the use of English as a lingua franca shows that this unusually complex site of language contact has its own features. Easily discernible deviations from Standard English can be seen at the level of linguistic features, and in terms of processes, both simplification and complexification are attested. Whether these changes mean loss of intelligibility can nevertheless be called into question. This talk will illustrate some of the linguistic processes occurring in ELF from the million-word corpus of spoken academic English (ELFA; www.helsinki.fi/englanti/elfa) compiled at the University of Helsinki. The question of other languages suffering from the dominance of English will also be addressed, and the sensitive issue of the language of academic publishing will be touched upon.

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