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Applied Linguistics Review

Editor-in-Chief: Wei, Li

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A matter of reception: ELF and LaRa compared

Cornelia Hülmbauer
Published Online: 2014-04-11 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2014-0012


This article addresses the conceptual differences and commonalities between two modes of intercultural communication: English as a lingua franca (ELF) and Lingua Receptiva (LaRa). While the former is more frequent and wide- spread but disputed for reasons of monolingual dominance, the latter is lesser known und contextually restricted but praised for preserving linguistic diversity. The article takes such common presumptions as a starting point for a detailed comparative investigation of the concepts ELF and LaRa. The first section is dedicated to the overall language frameworks of the two modes. It thus points to their constellational specificities and the notions of locality and context involved in them. The second part takes a closer look at the speaker/hearer perspectives assumed in ELF and LaRa as well as at the different manifestations of linguistic variability and accommodation emerging from them. The third part is then concerned with the assumedly most prominent dividing points between lingua franca and lingua receptiva, namely issues of range, linguistic diversity and eventually the relative degree of plurilinguality exhibited in the two modes. In a final comparative summary of the points raised, the article ultimately comes to the conclusion that ELF and LaRa are not at all mutually exclusive but overlapping communicative modes. It thus argues that intercultural speakers could profit from using them in a complementary fashion.

Keywords: English as a lingua franca (ELF); Lingua Receptiva (LaRa); intercultural communication; linguistic diversity; multilingualism/plurilingualism

About the article

Cornelia Hülmbauer

Cornelia Hülmbauer is an applied linguist specialising in ELF. From 2007 to 2011 she worked as a researcher for the European FP6 project DYLAN – Language Dynamics and Management of Diversity, and she was also involved in the Toolkit for Transnational Communication project. In 2013 she received her PhD in English Applied Linguistics from the University of Vienna.

Published Online: 2014-04-11

Published in Print: 2014-04-01

Citation Information: Applied Linguistics Review, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 273–295, ISSN (Online) 1868-6311, ISSN (Print) 1868-6303, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/applirev-2014-0012.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston.Get Permission

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