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Morphosyntactic Variation in Spoken English as a Lingua Franca (ELF): Revisiting linguistic variety
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

It is now well-known that in ELF settings, we have complex language contact situations with high linguistic heterogeneity. The linguistic diversity present in ELF settings naturally manifests itself in several areas, including variation in morphosyntactic use. While the conventional wisdom has been that non-standardness is associated with a speaker’s L1, ELF research has shown repeatedly that this variation is not (solely) due to speakers’ L1 backgrounds (e.g. author, 2013a and 2013b; Ranta, 2013), and that there are too many non-standard forms shared by a wide spectrum of L1s that may be considered commonalities. ELF research has revealed several processes of syntactic variation in ELF usage, such as reducing redundancy (e.g. ‘not marking the plural on the noun’, author 2013a), and creating extra explicitness (e.g. ‘unraised negation’ in author 2013a; see Schneider, 2012 for an overview of the processes of variation). When it comes to morphology, similar trends have been observed (author, 2013a), namely non-standard word forms with semantic transparency (e.g. discriminization, levelize), analytic comparatives (e.g. more narrow), and non-standard plurals (e.g. how many energy). The present paper focuses on morphosyntactic variation in 15 hours of naturally-occurring speech from a Swedish higher education setting and reports research conducted by the author (2013a, b and in preparation) where s/he approaches variation in ELF with reference to the World Englishes (WE) paradigm, Second Language Acquisition (SLA) and creole studies. Included in the discussion are other ELF studies on grammatical variation (e.g. Ranta, 2013). Following major studies that problematize variation and variability in ELF usage (e.g. Ferguson, 2009; Schneider, 2012; Seidlhofer, 2009), the present paper aims to offer new perspectives on the theoretical construct of ‘variety’. The paper also argues that WE and ELF paradigms have much to gain from each other (see Seidlhofer, 2009) while addressing the sociolinguistic realities of the world today.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
linguistic, morphosyntactic variation, ELF
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Languages and Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-126625OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-126625DiVA: diva2:901818
Conference
The 21st International Association of World Englishes: Bridging Cultures and Contexts, Istanbul, Turkey, October 8 - 10, 2015
Available from: 2016-02-09 Created: 2016-02-09 Last updated: 2016-11-29Bibliographically approved

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