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Global Interactions in English as a Lingua Franca

How written communication is changing under the influence of electronic media and new contexts of use

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Franca Poppi

This volume investigates the changes undergone by written communication in our globalized world as English as a Lingua Franca (ELF). The latter usually functions as a language for communication purposes, but also becomes a language for identification purposes. The study takes into account different web-genres: from the replication of existing genres in other media to cybergenres, whose key evolutionary force is the progressive exploitation of the new functionalities afforded by the new medium. The variety of the contexts of use has made it possible to consider different ELF-using communities of practice, whose members adopt ELF and adapt it to express individual, national and professional identities in international interactions. The analysis focuses on lexicogrammatical innovations, which inevitably change in accordance with the different contexts of use, as well as on the communicative strategies underpinning these changes.

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WINNIE CHENG Preface ............................................................................................ 11 Acknowledgements ........................................................................13 I. Introduction: The Use of English for International Communication.............................................15 1. Communicating in a Globalized world ...............................17 1.1 The ten forces that flattened the world ........................17 1.2 The World Wide Web...................................................19 1.3 The role of languages ..................................................21 1.4 The need for a lingua franca ........................................23 1.4.1 The reasons behind the success of English ...........................................................25 1.4.2 Other perspectives..............................................26 1.5 The spread of English around the world .....................27 2. Core concepts ......................................................................32 3. The chapters ........................................................................33 Part One: Communicating in ELF II. EFL Learners or ELF Users? ...................................................39 1. The rationale of the study ...................................................39 1.1 Pragmatic features .......................................................41 1.2 Lexico-grammatical features .......................................43 2. Analysis of the data .............................................................44 2.1 The use of gambits and back-channels ........................44 62.2 The use of laughter ......................................................51 2.3 Mutual orientation .......................................................53 2.4 Uncooperative interaction ...........................................54 2.5 Misunderstandings .......................................................56 2.6 Focus on lexico-grammatical features .........................58 2.6.1 Use of articles ....................................................59 2.6.2 Overuse of certain structures .............................60 3. Conclusion ...........................................................................61 III. News Discourse and ELF Membership: The Case of The Hindustan Times ...........................................65 1. The status of innovations in the nativization process .........66 1.1 External factors ............................................................67 1.2 Internal factors .............................................................68 2. The rationale of the study ...................................................69 2.1 The spread of the English language in India ...............71 2.2 The history of English in India ....................................72 2.2.1 The pre-Macaulay period (1600-1835) ............ 72 2.2.2 Macaulay’s Minute and the pre-independence period (1835-1947) ..............73 2.2.3 Post-independence period ..................................74 3. The analysis .........................................................................75 3.1 Local words with international currency .....................77 3.2 Local words with national currency ............................78...

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