“A Relaxing Cup of Lingua Franca Core”: Local Attitudes Towards Locally-Accented English
Towards the end of the twentieth century, a view emerged suggesting that English had become a lingua franca for communication and, consequently, was no longer the property of its native speakers. Today, the emphasis is on the heterogeneity of the English-speaking world, thus calling into question the legitimacy of the inner circle Englishes. In this vein, it is suggested that non-native accents of English should be granted a legitimate status, provided that mutual intelligibility is preserved. In this paper we compare Lingua Franca Core (LFC) features of pronunciation with the speech to the 2015 International Olympic Committee given by the then Mayor of Madrid, Ana Botella. We use auditory analysis and speech analysis software when necessary in order to: (a) systematically describe her use of non-native features which could be labelled as Spanish English; (b) assess these in terms of their potential to impair intelligibility as described in Jennifer Jenkins’s LFC. The data obtained enable us to provide an analysis that sheds light on how the English as a Lingua Franca debate may be influenced by local attitudes towards correctness in speech. This, in turn, has implications for a sociolinguistically-informed approach to the teaching of pronunciation.
Keywords: English as Lingua Franca (ELF); Lingua Franca Core (LFC); non-native accents of English; linguistic attitudes; political speech
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