Article published in:Linguistic Innovations: Rethinking linguistic creativity in non-native Englishes
Edited by Sandra C. Deshors, Sandra Götz and Samantha Laporte
[International Journal of Learner Corpus Research 2:2] 2016
► pp. 323–350
“It’s always different when you look something from the inside”
Linguistic innovation in a corpus of ELF Skype conversations
The article discusses linguistic creativity in informal Skype conversations between university students from eight different European countries. The basis for the study is the Corpus of Academic Spoken English (CASE), a corpus of Skype conversations in an English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) context. With the help of qualitative examples, the article examines innovative language use and proposes a taxonomy for functionally accepted innovations, distinguishing instances of L1 influence, approximations and ad hoc innovation. Our findings point towards an assertive and creative perspective on language use, which seems to have a positive influence on the communicative setting, e.g. illustrated by code-switching in combination with laughter. CASE participants use non-standard forms and innovations freely, accommodating to each others’ language use. They also establish their own ephemeral communication strategies and showcase and emphasize their respective language and cultural backgrounds.
Keywords: spoken corpus, Skype, English as a Lingua Franca (ELF), linguistic innovation
Published online: 20 October 2016
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