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Journal of English as a Lingua Franca

Ed. by Seidlhofer, Barbara / Dewey, Martin

CiteScore 2018: 1.23

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.527
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.348

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Emerging ELF as an intercultural resource: language attitudes and ideologies

ELFi esiletõus kultuuridevahelise ressursina: keelehoiakud ja ideoloogiad

Josep Soler-Carbonell
Published Online: 2014-08-16 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jelf-2014-0016


This article discusses the possibility of English becoming a lingua franca in Estonia. It builds on Laitin's (1996) observations regarding the fact that English would become the country's language of inter-group communication among Estonian and Russian speakers. By providing ethnographically collected data and discussing it from the paradigm of language ideologies, the present article clarifies some of Laitin's original observations. While it appears that English has not become a lingua franca in Estonia, this possibility works in given circumstances, even if just sporadically, in order to help solving possible communicative obstacles. It is therefore argued that ELF is actually an extra resource, a tool that speakers can make use of if needed.


Käesolev artikkel analüüsib võimalust kasutada inglise keelt Eestis lingua franca'na. Uurimus lähtub Laitini (1996) hüpoteesist, et inglise keel muutub Eestis gruppidevaheliseks suhtluskeeleks eestlaste ja vene keelt rääkivate elanike vahel. Artikkel põhineb andmetel, mis on kogutud etnograafiliste meetodite abil ja mida analüüsitakse, lähtudes keeleideoloogiate paradigmast. Artikkel lisab niisiis varjundi Laitini esmastele tähelepanekutele. Isegi kui tundub, et inglise keel ei ole Eestis muutunud lingua franca'ks, kasutatakse seda võimalust teatud tingimustel, ehkki ajutiselt, eesmärgiga ületada võimalikud kommunikatsioonitõkked. Seetõttu võib öelda, et ELF on tegelikult varuressurss, üks tööriist teise hulgas, mida rääkijad vajadusel kasutada saavad.

Keywords: ELF; English; Estonia; inter-ethnic contact; lingua franca; language ideologies

Võtmesõnad: ELF; Eesti; inglise keel; keeleideoloogiad; lingua franca; rahvustevaheline kontakt

About the article

Josep Soler-Carbonell

Josep Soler-Carbonell, PhD in Linguistics and Communication (University of Barcelona). His main research interests are in sociolinguistics, language policy and planning, and language ethnography. In the past, he has conducted research in Tallinn and Barcelona, comparing these two contexts from the point of view of their speakers' language ideologies. In his current postdoctoral project at the University of Tartu, he is examining the Estonian higher education language ecology, looking at how Estonian, English, and other languages coexist at that level. Some of his recent publications include: “The anonymity of Catalan and the authenticity of Estonian. Two paths for the development of medium-sized languages,” International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism 16(2): 153–163, and “University language policies and language choice among PhD graduates in Estonia: The (unbalanced) interplay between English and Estonian,” Multilingua Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication 33(3/4), 413–436.

Published Online: 2014-08-16

Published in Print: 2014-09-01

Citation Information: Journal of English as a Lingua Franca, Volume 3, Issue 2, Pages 243–268, ISSN (Online) 2191-933X, ISSN (Print) 2191-9216, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jelf-2014-0016.

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