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On the Conceptual History of the Term Lingua Franca

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This paper aims to give an outline of the development of the term “Lingua Franca”. Initially the proper name of an extinct pidgin, to “Lingua Franca”, the term has become a common noun, used with regard to language contact phenomena in general – at first specifically for pidgins and trade languages, but now for all vehicular languages. This broader usage is especially prominent in the field of research known as “English as a lingua franca” (ELF). Using ELF as an example, it is shown that the modern usage is partly inconsistent and can be misleading, as it connects a positive feature of the original Lingua Franca, viz linguistic equality, with a language with native speakers like English, which implies a totally different distribution of power in communicative situations and economic resources in language learning. Against the background of the etymological meaning of “lingua franca” and the competing, less ambiguous term “vehicular language”, a new classification system for interlingual contact is proposed. Within it it is argued that “lingua franca communication” should be confined to contexts where no native speakers of the vehicular language being used are involved – whenever the presence or absence can be stated.

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... 13 11 list 24 specialized Esperanto organizations and 37 disciplines with specialist publications. 12 On the problems of the definition of the term "lingua franca", see Brosch (2015a). For the sake of convenience, we use the term lingua franca here in its traditional fuzzy meaning, although English would be better called a "vehicular language" in Brosch's framework, as there is a considerable body of native speakers. ...
... 37 This section addresses Esperanto's neutrality as an L2, i.e. as a language that has to be learned by everyone. It is based on the supposition that a language cannot be a genuine lingua franca if it is a native tongue for a subset of its speakers as these gain unilateral advantages over non-native speakers Brosch 2015a). 38 We shall examine whether sceptics of Esperanto are correct when they argue that the existence of, and in case of worldwide dissemination of Esperanto, the growth in the number of native Esperanto speakers, the so-called denaskuloj, 39 weakens its claims of relative neutrality. ...
... The expression 'lingua franca' comes from Latin; its precise etymology is unclear (Brosch 2015), but it is generally interpreted as a synonym of 'free language'. It was proposed originally by Hugo Schuchardt, the German linguist pioneer in the studies of contact languages such as pidgins (Schuchardt 1909), creoles (Schuchardt 1979), and International Auxiliary Languages (IALs) such as Volapük (Schuchardt 1888). ...
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Epistemic diversity is the ability or possibility of producing diverse and rich epis- temic apparati to make sense of the world around us. In this paper we discuss whether, and to what extent, different conceptions of knowledge – notably as ‘justified true belief’ and as ‘distributed and embodied cognition’ – hinder or foster epistemic diversity. We then link this discussion to the widespread move in science and philosophy towards monolingual disciplinary environments. We ar- gue that English, despite all appearance, is no Lingua Franca, and we give rea- sons why epistemic diversity is also deeply hindered is monolingual contexts. Finally, we sketch a proposal for multilingual academia where epistemic diver- sity is thereby fostered.
... Within the trade-off model between mobility and inclusion, intercomprehension has great a priori potential as an oral mediation strategy in mobile contexts, especially when compared with the more conventional mediation choices, which are (1) foreign language speaking (FLS), i.e. interaction between a native and a non-native speaker of a particular language, (2) use of a common lingua franca (LF), i.e. a language which is the L1 of none of the speakers (Brosch, 2015), and (3) interpreting and translation (IT), i.e. a form of mediated or indirect communication between several speakers each using their own language. ...
Chapter
Intercomprehension is a common and well-known mediation choice in established contexts of multilingualism such as bilingual families or neighbouring languages. However, in the context of mobility experiences this multilingual communication strategy is relatively rarely used and almost unstudied. The aim of this chapter is to verify if and how oral intercomprehension is used in non-established multilingual contexts. The study covers the very specific case of two Italian adoptive families whose parents are involved in a short-term mobility experience to the child’s home country (Chile) before going back to Italy together as a family. The conversational analysis of the families’ interactions in Chile reveal that both families spontaneously resort to intercomprehension as one of their main mediation strategies, especially in the family where mutual intelligibility between Italian and Spanish had been reinforced by previous language learning. In addition, our findings show that the use of intercomprehension favours the children’s participation in family interactions over the use of other mediation choices. Since the use of intercomprehension spontaneously decreases over time in favour of the child’s use of the parents’ language, this mediation choice can be considered as a transitional and propaedeutic communication strategy whose cooperative character creates strong cohesion between speech participants.
... It goes without saying that the reader easily understands that the label is coined (En. (Siegel, 1985), 'Lingua Franca/lingua franca' (Brosch, 2015), etc. ...
Article
Glossonymics (<Gr. glossa ‘language’ + onyma ‘name’) is a linguistic discipline studying language names, their origin and development, their formation, meaning, uses, taxonomies and classifications, etc. Despite its salient theoretical and practical relevance, the aformentioned realm is still in its earlier stage of development, this being highlighted by the fact that the term for language names (and for a respective discipline) has not been unified. The hitherto identified glossonymic taxons are relevant, however, insufficient. Some occasionally occurring terms and notions can in no way represent a systemic picture of existing relations. A more intensive inclusion of issues of glossonymics in academic circulation will allow us to solve problems associated with their taxonomies and classifications. Glossonymics is also concerned with problems of relationships of language names with respective ethnonyms, choronyms, toponyms, and/or politonyms. As a rule, the majority of glossonyms have been derived from them; however, there are some reverse cases, and they should receive due attention. As for descriptions of glossonyms for individual languages and language families and/or groups, they should be dealt with both within a historical framework and based on contemporary references (for instance, ISO 639; Glottolog). Adequate application skills of these resources are a necessary part of a would-be linguist’s professional competence. Various problems pertaining to glossonymics can be discussed both within a course of an individual language or a language family and within a framework of a specialized course; the former normally occurs in materials of virtually every such course and the latter still awaits its implementation. It is such a specialized course that will provide for the teaching of glossonymics in its completeness and consistency.
... As the nature of their job did not require the use of English, therefore, none of them could speak English fluently; while only two were able to speak very few basic English phrases/sentences, e.g., thank you, please sit, please take tea, my name is et cetera, but they did understand the English language. The Punjabi language was like a lingua franca (also known as bridge/link language) for them as it is not their mother tongue or native language (Brosch, 2015). They all belonged to diverse linguistic and geographical backgrounds working as sanitary workers at FJWU, Rawalpindi. ...
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Purpose: The present study attempts to analyze literacy practices of adults with low academic qualifications in their work domain to prove that the traditional definition of literacy as merely an ability to read and write may not prove an effective yardstick in the postmodern digitalized global world. Methods: The research is contextualized in nature and takes place in real-life settings of Pakistani society. The researchers collected the data through semi/non-structured interviews based on a questionnaire consisted of 53 questions, excluding demographic-related details. The duration of the fieldwork was almost one month. During the data collection process, the researcher kept on tailoring the questions to have insights into the LNL practices of adults concerning the aim of the study and the progression of the interviews/conversation. Main Findings: The study finds multiliteracies in the work domains of sanitary workers in the shape of LNL and technology integration. Sanitary workers seem to utilize less English language vocabulary, specifically naming (nouns), i.e., washroom, cleaners/acids, vacuum cleaner, biometrics, blower, floor machine, or mobile phones. Workers also use diverse literacy practices in their communications, i.e., multilingual lexicon, numeracy, or digital literacies. Application of the Study: The findings suggest that this workplace multilingualism and multiliteracy practices would help the organizations (public/private) to instruct their employees/staff for purposeful communication(s). Moreover, this study would facilitate the process of training need analysis (TNA) during the trainings as the model of the present research can be adapted by the trainers to assess the literacy level(s) of the trainees for better classifications to provide proper training according to their prior knowledge. The Originality of the Study: According to the researchers' best knowledge, this type of study appeared not conducted in a specific field in the selected geographical area. Moreover, the research offers a new theoretical framework to conduct a multiliteracy study in sanitary works.
... From then on, the share of English publications in the scientific world rose at an uneven pace: by 1930 it had risen to about 50%, then seemed to maintain a plateau, after which it gained speed up to the point that in 1997 John Swales named it a "Tyrannosaurus rex", behaving like "a powerful carnivore gobbling up the other denizens of the academic linguistic grazing grounds" [2] (374). The term was soon picked up and debated in research on the use of languages for scientific purposes [3,4], English becoming the "lingua franca" of modern times [1, 5,6]. In the early 20th century, from 1910 to the mid-1920s, German had a greater share of scientific publications than English. ...
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In modern times, English has become the lingua franca of science, dominating journal publishing ecologies. Multilingual journals keep up the flag, many researchers arguing that, especially in the case of social sciences and humanities, diversity of languages is an asset. In Romania, in the absence of national databases or repositories, the first task to understand linguistic preferences for scientific communication is to map the ground. The study extracted information on Romanian communication sciences journals from four major databases. Out of the 22 identified journals, only eight are dedicated solely to communication sciences, grouped in two poles of communication sciences schools, where doctoral studies in the field have been established. While English dominates the publication world, multilinguistic journals also appear, prevailing in traditional multicultural regions such as Transylvania–Banat. The future of multilingual journals depends on, among other factors, the capacity of the European Union to promote linguistic diversity for scientific purposes. Meanwhile, Romanian journals in communication sciences work towards increasing their impact. Research findings have practical and policy implications, the core idea being that Romanian editors need to strive for better standards in publication and showcase the journals better on the journal’s webpage.
... np. : Brosch 2015). W średniowieczu wykształcił się jednak alternatywny model komunikacji między ludźmi władającymi różnymi językami, któremu nie poświęca się tyle uwagi. ...
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The aim of the paper is to present the latest proposals within the framework of studies on receptive multilingualism. It contains a more detailed discussion of the concept of lingua receptiva, i.e. multilingual receptive communication based on (related) native languages of its participants, both in a representational aspect-in relation to actual multilingual practices, and in a configurational aspect in relation to other categories in the conceptual grid of the research discipline. The conclusion points out that the co-occurrence of lingua receptiva and lingua franca in international communication in Europe seems to be an existing yet insufficiently recognised linguistic reality. Sytuacja językowa na kontynencie europejskim kształtuje się obecnie w dużej mierze pod wpływem takich procesów, jak globalizacja, migracje ludności z różnych zakątków świata oraz wzmożona mobilność samych Eu-ropejczyków, które sprzyjają uczestnictwu w ponadnarodowej wspólnocie komunikacyjnej. Nie bez znaczenia w tym kontekście jest także powszechny dostęp do nowoczesnych technologii znoszących całkowicie przestrzenne bariery w komunikowaniu międzyludzkim. Krajobraz lingwistyczny Starego Kontynentu zmienia się nie tylko ze względu na ogólne tendencje społeczno-ekonomiczne; istotnie oddziałują * Artykuł powstał w ramach realizacji projektu badawczego "Lingua receptiva czy lingua franca? Praktyki językowe na pograniczu polsko-czeskim w obliczu dominacji angielszczyzny (ujęcie ekolingwistyczne)", finansowanego przez Narodowe Centrum Nauki (nr rej. 2017/26/E/HS2/00039).
... np. : Brosch 2015). W średniowieczu wykształcił się jednak alternatywny model komunikacji między ludźmi władającymi różnymi językami, któremu nie poświęca się tyle uwagi. ...
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... Within the trade-off model between mobility and inclusion, intercomprehension has great a priori potential as an oral mediation strategy in mobile contexts, especially when compared with the more conventional mediation choices, which are (1) foreign language speaking (FLS), i.e. interaction between a native and a non-native speaker of a particular language, (2) use of a common lingua franca (LF), i.e. a language which is the L1 of none of the speakers (Brosch, 2015), and (3) interpreting and translation (IT), i.e. a form of mediated or indirect communication between several speakers each using their own language. ...
Chapter
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English has become the dominant means of international communication. Its non-native speakers now far outnumber the conventional native speakers in the UK, the USA, Canada etc. Against this background, a number of authors have recently stressed the functions for which foreign languages are learned. They make a distinction between a 'language of communication' and a 'language of identification'. The terms, which were coined by the German applied linguist Werner Hüllen (1992), have recently been popularised in the context of English as a lingua franca. English, it is said, can be used as a language of communication without necessarily being a language of identification. As it is used for practical communicative purposes, correctness and particular stylistic features associated with the speech community from which it originates are of lesser importance. Recent developments in European language policy seem to be focused in the same direction with the proposal that the EU should advocate the idea of a "personal adoptive language". This language should be freely chosen by every European and it should be "different from his or her language of identity, and also different from his or her language of international communication" (Maalouf 2008). The paper examines the use of the terms 'language of communication' and 'language of identification' in the literature and challenges the existence of the dichotomy with regard to the English language as it is used today. Focusing on phraseology (i.e. idiomatic phrases and pre-fabricated speech), the article shows a number of language practices that are used by non-native speakers of English to display identity.
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This paper compares trends in Sweden's language planning and language policies, and particularly the rationale underlying recent government legislation, to actual language use at the grass roots' of society, in order to investigate the extent to which academic and official rationales are confirmed by observed language practices. The passing of the Swedish Language Act of 2009 followed debates in academia and the media which not infrequently characterised English as a major threat to the survival of Swedish. However, despite the strong belief in the utility of English widely held in Sweden, the Swedish language is the preferred language of Swedes as well as immigrants in most domains. These results reveal a contradiction between the arguments put forward by a number of academics, educators and journalists concerning the threat' of English, and the language practices of ordinary folk in their daily lives.
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This article explores the question of whether there is anything peculiar-linguistically, discursively, and interactionally-about English as a lingua franca. Is there, in other words, a "lingua franca" factor at play? If as some have speculated, this is indeed the case, in uncovering unique features of English as a lingua franca, we can hope to produce detailed descriptions and pedagogical materials that will further bolster the status of English as a lingua franca within Applied Linguistics, that will enhance our understanding of matters relating to multilingualism, multicompetence, additional language learning, intercultural communication, and spoken interaction. The article contends that there is a "lingua franca factor," but argues that it resides not in the language or discourse forms produced, but in two other spheres, one being entailment, the other in metatheory. "Entailment" concerns the inherent interactional and linguistic variability that lingua franca interactions entail. "Metatheory" refers to theoretical underpinnings and dispositions brought about by adopting a lingua franca outlook on language.
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Of all the imprecise terms used in sociolinguistics, “koine” may win the prize for the widest variety of interpretations. As several of the articles in this issue point out, the term comes from the Greek word koinē meaning ‘common’, referring to the variety of Greek that became the lingua franca, or common language, of the eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic period (Thomson 1960: 34). The Greek koine was based mainly on the Attic dialect but had linguistic features of other regional dialects such as Ionic. However, it was less complex in certain areas of phonology and morphology than any contributing dialect. The koine was spoken mainly as a second language or dialect, but in some areas it did have communities of native speakers. It was eventually standardized and used for writing and became the official language of the Macedonian empire (Thomson 1960: 35).
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This article summarizes the results of 32 interviews conducted in nine companies of varying type and size. The purpose was to help identify the foreign language needs of U.S.-based corporations. These needs seem to depend in part on a company's type of product or service, its corporate culture, its geographical areas of involvement, and its size. Different types of positions will require different types and levels of foreign language skills. In general, while cross-cultural understanding was frequently viewed as important for doing business in a global economy, foreign language skills rarely were considered an essential part of this. Language problems were largely viewed as mechanical and manageable problems that could be solved individually—primarily by hiring foreign nationals or interpreters or translators. Smaller companies trying to enter the global market often seemed more sensitive to the value of foreign languages than larger companies did. They do not have access to the same resources as their larger counterparts, and they are dealing in a worldwide community of smaller companies, where English is less likely to be the lingua franca.
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English has spread so widely around the world that its native speakers are now outnumbered by its non-native speakers. Recent publications have shown that the dominance of English has led to severe disadvantages for non-Anglophones. Several options of language policy have been presented to find fair and democratic approaches to international communication. Their scope includes different variants of multilingualism, the limitation of the number of languages used in international communication, restriction to receptive skills, the introduction of a system of compensation, initiatives to revive an ancient language (e.g. Latin), and the use of an artificial language. The model English as a Lingua Franca, the idea that the English spoken by non-native speakers is a variety in its own right whose norms are established by its users instead of native speakers, is among these proposals. The paper discusses the extent to which this approach seems to be feasible. Despite its appeal among learners and speakers of English as a foreign language, a number of factors seem to hamper its chances of realization. These factors involve a complexity of issues, such as traditions in foreign language learning and teaching, the heterogeneity of lingua franca communication and psychological reservations.
Article
The term “koine” has been applied to a variety of languages, only some of which are analagous in form and function to the original Greek koinē. The term “koineization” has more recently been applied to the process of levelling which may result in a koine. This article examines various definitions and usages of these terms in the literature and proposes a more precise utilization in the context of contact and resultant mixing between linguistic subsystems. (Languages in contact, language mixing, pidgin and creole studies, social psychology)
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Kachru [World Englishes, 9, 3–20 (1990)] observes that studies in English as a non-native language are dominated by either ‘deficit’ or ‘deviational’ approaches. What is lacking, he notes, is an interactional approach, i.e. one which considers how language is used interactively to accomplish social goals. This paper attempts to develop the theme of an ‘interactional approach’ and discusses its theoretical underpinnings. The proposed method entails the adoption of ethnomethodological perspectives on social knowledge, combined with conversation analytic interests in detailing the locally managed character of spoken interaction. The setting of international (trading) negotiations, conducted in ‘lingua franca’ English, provides the focal point for discussion. The term ‘lingua franca’ English is introduced to describe the language used exclusively by and among non-native speakers. A distinction is made between: (1) intranational lingua franca, and (2) international lingua franca. Finally, the notion of ‘internationalization’ of negotiating behaviour and language use is discussed.
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Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Texas at Austin, 1957. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [519]-520).
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1. Introduction 2. Idiomatic fluency 3. Mainstream and ELF-oriented approaches to spoken language 4. Analysis of conversational data 5. Corpus methodology 6. Concordance analysis in L1 and L2 spoken corpora 7. Small words in the case of L1 users 8. Small words in the case of L2 users 9. Minimal idiomatic units in an L1 corpus 10. Literal, metaphorical and pragmatic use in the SUE corpus 11. Creative idiomaticity 12. Conclusion - implications.
Englisch als Lingua Franca im Kontext der europäischen Mehrsprachigkeit
  • H C Böhringer
  • Hülmbauer
Böhringer, H. & C. Hülmbauer. 2010. Englisch als Lingua Franca im Kontext der europäischen Mehrsprachigkeit. In C. Hülmbauer, E. Vetter & H. Böhringer (eds.), Mehrsprachigkeit aus der Perspektive zweier EU-Projekte: DYLAN meets LINEE. Frankfurt/Main: Lang, 171-189.
La lingua franca barbaresca (Lingue
  • G Cifoletti
Cifoletti, G. 2004. La lingua franca barbaresca (Lingue, culture e testi 7). Roma: Il Calamo.
Lingua franca: Histoire d'une langue métisse en Méditerranée
  • J Dakhlia
Dakhlia, J. 2008. Lingua franca: Histoire d'une langue métisse en Méditerranée. Arles: Actes Sud.