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Lingua Franca Communication

Karlfried Knapp and Christiane Meierkord

Lingua francas are languages used for communication between individuals for whom they are not the first language. Based on empirical work throughout, the individual contributions to this volume address lingua franca communication from sociolinguistic as well as from conversation analytic perspectives, or place this form of communication within the wider context of foreign language teaching. The volume as a whole attempts to broaden the traditional view of lingua francas as languages employed by non-native speakers to serve specific, restricted communicative purposes only. Instead, it is demonstrated that lingua francas have gained a number of varied functions, and that they are employed by a heterogeneous group of speakers for whom they do not always have the same status of a second or foreign language. The papers reveal intriguing similarities in form across different lingua francas, but also point at significant differences. As a result, it is proposed that approaches to teach lingua francas as such need to be developed on the basis of empirical evidence.

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'Language stripped bare' or 'Iinguistic masala'? Culture in lingua franca conversation (Christiane Meierkord)

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Introduction 'Language stripped bare' or 'Iinguistic masala'? Culture in lingua franca conversation. Christiane Meierkord Yes, I do tick the 'Black British' box when asked questions about my origins, but if you ask me if I call myself British, that is another question for which I do not have an answer. ... I am just Rafiel Sunmonu, the individual. Sunmonu (2000: 430 f) Discussions about the nature of lingua franca communication broadly cluster around two opposite poles. A large number of authors have described lingua francas as generally simplified varieties of the languages they are based on with regard to phonology, grammar and vocabulary (cf. Hall 1966 for pidgins and creoles used as lingua francas). At the same time, lingua francas are often characterized as being used for restricted purposes only, based on the observa- tion that they traditionally served the needs of traders, businessmen and politi- cians. This view is still pervasive e.g. in Zima (1977: 142) who finds that there are only "few emotional ties of the speakers to such a language" (a pidgin used as lingua franca in this case). Mühlhäusler (1986: 61) lists a number of similar statements that have been made in the past regarding the form of pidgins. He states that pidgin lingua francas have been claimed to be necessarily "culture- neutral" since they are used for communication "between members of different cultures" , and that it has also been argued that "pidgins are very young languages, that is, they have not been exposed to...

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