Saying it again: enhancing clarity in English as a lingua franca (ELF) talk through self-repetition

Ph.D. Jagdish Kaur, 1
  • 1 Lancaster University


Recent research into the use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) in international settings reveals that its multilingual, multicultural participants rely on various interactional practices to negotiate meaning and arrive at shared understanding. In this regard, repetition, which has been identified as a widely used multifunctional procedure that facilitates the production, comprehension, and interaction processes in communication, has been shown to play a crucial role both in pre-empting and resolving understanding problems. This paper reports on a study conducted to investigate further how same-speaker repetition in an ongoing turn may be used to manage the lingua-cultural diversity inherent in the ELF situation and promote effective communication. Fifteen hours of audio-recorded naturally occurring ELF conversations in an academic setting were analyzed using conversation-analytic procedures. Fine-grained analyses of the data show that speakers repeat their speech in ways that can enhance the clarity of expression, which may contribute to increased recipient understanding. Specifically, the speakers employ parallel phrasing, key word repetition, combined repetition and repaired repetition that result not only in redundancy but more importantly in added prominence or the foregrounding of segments of talk that are oriented to as crucial in the meaning-making process.

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Text & Talk (founded as TEXT in 1981) is an internationally recognized forum for interdisciplinary research in language, discourse, and communication studies, focusing, among other things, on the situational and historical nature of text/talk production; the cognitive and sociocultural processes of language practice/action; and participant-based structures of meaning negotiation and multimodal alignment.