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English as a Lingua Franca in Cross-cultural Immigration Domains

Guido, Maria Grazia

English as a Lingua Franca in Cross-cultural Immigration Domains

Series: Linguistic Insights - Volume 84

Year of Publication: 2008

Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 285 pp.
ISBN 978-3-03911-689-8 pb.  (Softcover)

Weight: 0.420 kg, 0.926 lbs

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Book synopsis

This book explores the cognitive and communicative processes involved in the use of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) within cross-cultural specialized contexts where non-native speakers of English – i.e. Western experts and non-Western migrants – interact. The book argues that the main communicative difficulties in such contexts are due precisely to the use of ELF, since it develops from the non-native speakers’ transfer of their native language structures and socio-cultural schemata into the English they speak. Transfer, in fact, allows non-native speakers to appropriate, or authenticate, those English semantic, syntactic, pragmatic and specialized-discourse structures that are linguistically and conceptually unavailable to them. It follows that there are as many ELF varieties as there are communities of non-native speakers authenticating English.
The research questions justifying the ethnographic case studies detailed in this book are: What kind of cognitive frames and communicative strategies do Western experts activate in order to convey their culturally-marked knowledge of specialized discourse – by using their ELF varieties – to non-Westerners with different linguistic and socio-cultural backgrounds? What kind of power asymmetries can be identified when non-Westerners try to communicate their own knowledge by using their respective ELF varieties? Is it possible to ultimately develop a mode of ELF specialized communication that can be shared by both Western experts and non-Western migrants?


Contents: English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) – A Cognitive Model of L1-Transfer as ELF Authentication – Ergativity in Journey Reports by West-African Immigrants – Inferring Material Actions from Mental Processes in Cross-cultural Welfare Interviews – An Ethnopoetic Approach to Forensic Entextualization – Narrative Representations in Transcultural Psychiatry – Schema Conflicts in ELF-mediated Legal Interactions – Cross-cultural Pragmatic Markedness in Legal and Medical Encounters – ELF Modality in Community-marked Production of Specialized Discourse – Problem-oriented Tagging for Intercultural Corpus Analysis – Reformulation Processes in Community-biased Popular Translations – Developing Accessibility and Cooperation Parameters in the ELF Drafting of EU Immigration Laws.

About the author(s)/editor(s)

The Author: Maria Grazia Guido is Professor of English Linguistics and Translation at the University of Salento, Italy, where she is also Director of the Master’s Course in ‘Cross-cultural Language Mediation in Immigration and Asylum Contexts’. She holds a Ph.D. in English Applied Linguistics from the University of London, Institute of Education. Her research interests are in cognitive-functional linguistics applied to intercultural communication and specialized discourse analysis. Her monographs include The Acting Reader (1999), The Imaging Reader (2005), Mediating Cultures (2004) and Register and Dialect in an Integrated Model of European English (1999).


Linguistic Insights. Studies in Language and Communication. Vol. 84
Edited by Maurizio Gotti