Edited By Karlfried Knapp and Christiane Meierkord
'Language stripped bare' or 'Iinguistic masala'? Culture in lingua franca conversation (Christiane Meierkord)
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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