Enhancing Explicitness in BELF Interactions: Self-Initiated Communication Strategies in the Workplace

Valeria Franceschi


Differences in the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of participants to ELF communication, as well as in their linguistic abilities, may pose obstacles to the accomplishment of communicative goals in international encounters (Kaur 2011, Mauranen 2006). Achieving mutual understanding requires therefore the adoption of co-operative behavior by participants to ensure the success of the interaction. In the professional context, where communicative events may be heavily task-oriented, clarity emerged as an essential feature of communicative success (Louhiala-Salminen and Kankaanranta 2011, 255). Participants therefore make use of a number of Communication Strategies (Cogo 2009; Kaur 2009, 2011; Björkman 2011, 2014) to pre-empt and/or solve instances of misunderstanding and communication breakdown, including appeals and requests as well as other self-initiated strategies with the purpose of enhancing explicitness and therefore anticipating potential problems (Mauranen 2006, Kaur 2011). This paper will focus on a set of Communication Strategies aimed at increasing explicitness that have been attested in ELF communication, in order to identify which types occur in BELF interactions and their role in ensuring communicative success in such contexts. To this purpose, naturally-occurring BELF data drawn from business conversations and meetings in the Professional Business and Professional Organizational subsections in the VOICE corpus will be analyzed from a qualitative perspective. The outcome is expected to be in line with previous findings in different ELF context, with speakers displaying strategic competence and making use of Communication Strategies in order to get their points across while ensuring that intelligibility is maintained.


BELF; corpus linguistics; linguistics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.13136/2281-4582/2019.i13.567


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