Laughing at English
The lingua franca at the interface between local-interactional resistance and cultural-societal pressure
This contribution explores the stances of speakers of Romance languages towards the use of English as a lingua franca in a business context. Grounding on an audio-visual corpus collected in a wine fair in France, the analysis focuses on three extracts where participants comment in a playful way (i.e. through laughing, joking and humorous enactments) upon the fact that they are not speaking English. Through a sequential and multimodal analysis, the study will highlight the participants’ ambivalent stance: on the one hand, through these playful practices they display a local resistance towards the mainstream language choice; on the other hand, these same practices reveal their vulnerability to the social pressure concerning the speaking of English.
- 2.Background on English as a Lingua Franca (ELF): Practices and stances
- 2.2Stance, laughter, and playfulness
- 3.Data and analysis
- 4.Final remarks