Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.



Published on

English in the European Union. Teti Musmeci, Marina Foti

  • Be the first to comment


  1. 1. English is the most widely-spoken language in the world. It is currently spoken either as a L1 or as an official L2 in approximately 75* territories (1/3 of tot. pop.). It therefore follows that it has many different versions and standards. *Jenkins, Jennifer (2009) World Englishes: a resource book for students, 2nd edition, London, UK, Routledge, p. 3
  2. 2.  Kachru’s “Three circle model of World Englishes” (1985/1988)
  3. 3.  Phase One: Foundation and Consolidation (c.1340-1600). Arrival of the printing press and spread of organized education.  Phase Two: the Adventurers (c. 1600-1800). English-speaking natives of the British Isles explore, settle in or are deported to remote parts of the world, where they establish colonies.  Phase Three: The Indipendent Colonies (c.1780-1914).  Phase Four: The Colonial Subjects (c.1900-1950). English is deliberately taught to colonial peoples through English-medium education systems in Africa, South Asia, East Asia, the Pacific and elsewhere, adding millions of people who use English as a ‘second’ language. What is standard English? , Peter Strevens, SEAMEO Regional Language Centre, Singapore, 1982 English Today / Volume 1 / Issue 02 / April 1985, pp 8-8
  4. 4.  Cultural Indipendence (c.1950). Econocultural spread of English for practical necessity. Large-scale learning as a foreign language all around the world. (cf. e.g. Görlach 1995b:15). Speaker migration and imperial domination are not the driving force any longer. English only became a serious choice as foreign language in Continental European schools towards the end of the 19th century. Until the Second World War, it remained little taught. Truchot 2002:7  Language driven by market forces
  5. 5.  English is widely used as a lingua franca (or second language) in Scandinavia and the Netherlands, while in southern and eastern Europe it is still mainly a foreign language.  But as it gains ground all over Europe, it becomes adapted (‘nativised’) in very different ways. This adaption depends on the functions it has to perform in various contexts.  These trends will continue, especially as schools tend to introduce foreign-language teaching earlier on. The English Language in Europe R. R. K. Hartman, p.2
  6. 6. 2005
  7. 7.
  8. 8. The European Economic Community founded in 1957 consisted of 6 Member States with a combined total of 4 official languages. By 2004 this organization had evolved into a European Union of 25 Member States with more than 20 official languages among them. This increase has presented numerous challenges to the EU’s internal linguistic regime, where formal policy has, with some notable exceptions, been to treat all of these languages equally. Some of these languages – English in particular – have been more equal than others. The European Court of Justice has developed a jurisprudence in cases involving such infringements in which concern for the free movement of goods and workers has failed to allow for an appropriate regard for the humanistic principles that also, and to a growing extent, form part of Europe’s legal culture.
  9. 9. Multilingualism management
  10. 10.  English as a tool for empowerment Europe has become a single multilingual area, rather like India, where languages are hierarchically related in status. As in India, there may be many who are monolingual in a regional language, but those who speak one of the ‘big’ languages will have better access to material success. Graddol (1997:14)
  11. 11. 95% of Commission drafters write mainly in English, although only 13% of them is of English mother tongue. 54% of them, that is more than half of the entire Commission population drafting documents, rarely or never have their documents checked by a native speaker
  12. 12. Struan Stevenson, British MEP: "Because it is deemed a fundamental right to be able to communicate with your electors in [your] own tongue, the parliament now has to work in 20* different languages. This exercise currently consumes tens of thousands of tons of paper a year, as every word spoken has to be typed up and filed in mountainous archives."
  13. 13. The various solutions to Europe’s Babel all have their drawbacks. Reducing the number of official EU languages to three or so is a political non- starter. The spread of English as an informal official language is convenient, but annoys (formerly privileged) Francophones, and not only them.
  14. 14.  Fight the Fog campaign, 1998  exclusive focus on English  Clear Writing campaign, 2010 set to encompass 23 of the Commission’s working languages (prov.: was it mainly a political move, since the majority of the text of the Commission is written in English before being translated?)
  15. 15. The English used within the European institutions? A difficult register? i.e. subsidiarity A shared though variable means of communication? A set of intelligible neologisms/semantic shifts? Wrong English? Euro-Englishes? A new language?
  16. 16. Pidginized Language Jargon Something … Nothing! New Variety Improper English
  17. 17. “…a novel variety of ‘Euro- English’ –a term which has been used for over a decade with reference to the distinctive vocabulary of the Union […], but which must now be extended to include the various hybrid accents, grammatical constructions and discourse patterns encountered there” Crystal D., 1999 The Future of Englishes, in English Today, 15/2
  18. 18.  Görlach (1999, 2002)  No endonormative standard evolving: dominance of the native standard and not sufficient use of English between Europeans to arrive at a negotiated common variety (≠ Jenkins)  Ferguson (1982:x)  English in Europe: emerging continental norm  Preisler (1995:356)  Euro-English: learner language, pidginized English  Modiano 2001a:13  It would be naive to assume that legitimization, codification, and standardization processes will not take place  Barbara Seidlhofer We are at the beginning of a process heading towards formation and acceptance of a new concept of English as a lingua franca in its own right, with its own description and codification. We are witnessing the emergence of an endonormative model of lingua franca English which will increasingly derive its norms of correctness and appropriacy from its own usage rather that that of the UK or the US, or any other ‘native speaker country’.
  19. 19.  Décsy’s predictions (1974)  ‘Eurish’, by the year 2000: Europeans’ common New English  Mutually intelligible with British and American English  Different in a large number of features (i.e. pronunciation and grammar)  Carstensen (1986:832) First use of the term ‘Euro-English’ The English these people use is also a kind of “Euro-English”, and it is obvious that it will be rather different from the real present day English usage that was the original model  McArthur (2003:57) The term ‘Euro-English’ has often been used to mean ‘bad English perpetrated in Brussels’ (the Eurospeak)
  20. 20. ‘The major EU enlargement was a fantastic achievement for democracy and for Europe, but it brought two problems for drafting in the Commission: the continued rise of bad English as the Commission’s lingua franca, and the massive influx of new staff who naturally adopted the prevailing in-house style, rather than trying to reform it.’ Emma Wagner, Director-General for Translation (DGT)
  21. 21.  2013: EU’s Court of Auditors developed a style guide to correct the many misused English words that have developed out of interference from other European languages. i.e. using “control” for “monitor” and being perfectly understood (contrôler in French and kontrollieren in German) Complete list available at: u_publications_en.pdf
  22. 22.  Defining the speech community, difficult job.  Do Europeans regard themselves to be part of a European community?  Berns (1995°:26) De-anglicized and de-Americanized English aimed at maintaining Europeans’ supra-national cultural and linguistic identity to  Express identity to one another  Express identity to the world
  23. 23. “Two foreign girls - nannies? tourists? - one German, one Belgian (?), talking in English beside me on the next table, unconcerned by my drinking and my proximity. […] These girls are the new internationalists, roving the world, speaking good but accented English to each other, a kind of flawless Euro-English: "I am very bad with separation," the German girl says as she stands up to leave. No true English speaker would express the idea in this way, but it is perfectly comprehensible.” William Boyd, "Notebook No. 9." The Guardian, July 17, 2004
  24. 24.  Based on Mollin’s (2006) catalogue of criteria (expansion of function, nativization of form, and institutionalization of norms) the present study tried to detect whether Continental Europe is developing its own endonormative variety of English and what role Erasmus students might play in that process.  EU statistical data show that the English spoken in Europe is characterized by a widespread distribution of domains, and is spoken by more than half of the European population. This naturally suggests that an endogenous European variety of English might be developing; many of the features suggested to be characteristic of Euro-English, however, could be identified as learners’ mistakes, in correlation with the varying competences of the speakers. Although there do seem to be some contingent nativization tendencies, the questioned Erasmus students seemed to adhere to standardized norms – at least in cases where they were paying conscious attention to their language use.  There is a “substantial intergenerational shift in the use of English” and thus the hypothesis that a younger generation acts as an ‘engine’ in the potential emergence of Euro-English. Even though the Erasmus students appreciate the value of English as a universal lingua franca – half of them agree with the statement that “English doesn’t belong to the native speakers any more, but to anybody who uses it” – a third however perceive it as a threat to other languages. This may be the reason why 18.6 percent of the respondents reject the notion that everyone in Europe should learn English in order to facilitate communication. Moreover, 74.6 percent of the respondents regard their respective native languages as more important than English. For this reason one can agree with Mollin (2006: 177–178) that English in Europe is only a “lingua franca that complements the language repertoire, but it is not perceived by Continental Europeans as a substitute for their own languages.” English does not seem be a language these young Europeans identify with, but rather one that they use for pragmatic reasons only” Christian R. Forche: On the emergence of Euro-English as a potential European variety of English – attitudes and interpretations file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/Jezikoslovlje_13_447_Forche%20(8).pdf
  25. 25. Study on a group of Erasmus Students
  26. 26. Euro-English shaped by two forces • ‘Top-down force’ Rules and regulations of the EU • ‘Bottom-up force’ Ordinary Europeans who have to use English to each other every day accomodation*. *Theory of communication developed by Howard Giles. It argues that “when people interact they adjust their speech, their vocal patterns and their gestures, to accommodate to others.” Turner, Lynn H.; West, Richard (2010). "Communication Accommodation Theory". Introducing Communication Theory: Analysis and Application (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
  27. 27.  February 2004: Eurojargon a 350-page dictionary published by The European Information Association: a dictionary of abbreviations, acronyms, sobriquets and terminology used in the European Union’s agencies, institutions, schemes, projects and programmes. There are more than 5,200 entries. Ex. Erasmus, Leonardo, Socrates
  28. 28.  Actor/s – According to the list, EU publications use this word to mean ‘people or organisations used in doing something’. This word is rarely used in this sense in the UK/ Ireland, where it is mostly only used to mean actual actors (e.g. in a play or a film). The situation of general violence in Mogadishu was sufficiently intense to enable the ECtHR to conclude that any returnee would be at a real risk of ill-treatment contrary to Article 3 solely on account of his or her presence in the country, unless it could be demonstrated that he or she was sufficiently well connected to powerful actors in the city to enable him or her to obtain protection. Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration, (2013) p.6  Mission – According to EU usage, being on “mission” is when an employee is working away from their place of residence for the purpose of an assignment. This word in UK/ Irish usage means either a secret mission (think Mission Impossible, secret agents) or a trip which a missionary takes to spread the message of the Bible. Missions, as used in the sentence below, indicates that these interns are sent to spy or gather information from another institution: In exceptional cases only, justified by the requirements of the internship project, the Director may grant authorisation for the intern to be sent on mission, on the condition that the mission is of a technical nature and not of a representative one. (CEPOL – Decision of the Director on Internships).
  29. 29. In order to find evidence of the formal independence of Euro- English Mollin (2006: 88–157) compiled a 400,000-word EE- CORPUS which comprises 240,000 words transcribed from spoken language and 160,000 from written text. However the spoken language is taken from public discussions and briefings in official EU contexts (from the European Commission’s online audio archive, press conferences and briefings). These sources can hardly be regarded as prototypical for the general European citizen, as EU officials are likely to speak more formally, avoiding language which others may find non- standard. Euro-English: Assessing Variety Status, Sandra Mollin file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/Jezikoslovlje_13_447_Forche%20(6).pdf
  30. 30. “Terms which are peculiar to the European experience and which are not generally understood by users of English living in other parts of the world” (Modiano 2001:13-14)  Euro, Euro zone, Euro area  Member States (instead of state, country, nation), internal market (instead of domestic market)  Berlaymont (referring to bureaucratisation and red tape) (Modiano 2001:13-14)
  31. 31.  To hop over ‘refrain from doing sth.’ < schwed. hoppa over (Modiano 2001: 14)  To be blue eyed ‘to be naïve and easily fooled’ < schwed. Blåögd (Modiano 2003: 39)  To salt ‘overcharge’ <schwed. at salta (Modiano 2003: 39)  Cucumber time meaning off-season <Ger. Sauregurkenzeit
  32. 32.  The word «actual» meaning «current» (Ferguson 1992: xvii, Berns 1995: 6) i.e. Dutch actueel, French actuel, Portuguese actual, Italian attuale  The word «eventual» in the sense of «possible»; (Mollin 2006: 110–114) i.e. Italian eventuale, French éventuelle, German eventuell, Danish eventuel  Conflation between possibility and opportunity (Mollin 2006: 110–114)  The word transmit in the sense of «to pass on, to forward» ie. French transmettre  The word foresee in the sense of provide i.e. French prévoir (Seymour 2003:22-30)
  33. 33. Fixed phrases i.e. I’m coming from Sweden (instead of «I come from»), we were five people present (instead of «there were»), on the other side instead of on the other hand (Modiano 2001:14) (Mollin 2006:120) Abbreviations and blendings i.e. EURATOM, EIB, EMU, eurocrat (Symigné 2003:62)
  34. 34.  Plural marker-s with non-countable nouns (Crystal 2003: 155) i.e. informations, advices, datas, evidences, equipments  Increase of redundancy by adding prepositions i.e. We have to study about… and We can discuss about…?  Increase of explicitness i.e. black colour vs. black; how long time? vs. how long?  Omission of definite or indefinite articles before nouns i.e. Our countries have signed agreement about this  One identical form for all present tense verbs i.e. the loss of the third person mark –s  i.e. She lookØ very sad (Seidlhofer 2001: 16) Morphosyntax
  35. 35.  The interchangeability of the relative pronouns who and which i.e. the picture who, a person which  Use of «isn’t it?» as universal question tag i.e. You’re very busy today, isn’t it?  Use of infintive form instead of gerund i.e. I look forward to see you tomorrow (Seidlhofer 2001:16)  Use of simplified sentence constructions i.e. Parataxis vs. hypotaxis (Crystal 1999:15)  Overuse of high semantic generality verbs i.e. do, have, make, put, take  Use of that-clauses instead of infinitive constructions i.e. I want that we discuss about my dissertation Morphosyntax, cont.
  36. 36. Given that ‘Euro-English’ is in its infancy, it is not yet possible to describe its accents with confidence. Nevertheless, there are certain indications as to the direction in which ‘Euro-English’ accents are evolving. (Jenkins 2001:16)
  37. 37. When English is spoken among its L2 speakers, mutual intelligibility is the primary factor in determining pronunciation Influence of the first language can be Segmental:  Substitution of the phonemes /θ/ or /ð/ phoneme either by /d/ and /t/ or /s/ and /z/  Loss of vowel length contrasts i.e. ‘live’ pronounced as ‘leave’ and vice versa (Jenkins 2001: 17–18)
  38. 38. Suprasegmental  E.g. intonation, stress  Slower rate of speech  Avoidance of features of connected speech such as assimilation (Crystal 1999:15)
  39. 39.  Lexical gaps in the vocabulary of the speaker, lack of paraphrasing strategy  ‘Unilateral idiomaticity’: this occurs when one speaker uses a native speaker idiomatic expression such as an idiom, phrasal verb or metaphor, that the interlocutor does not know (e.g. ‘this drink is on the house’ instead of ‘this drink is a present from us’) ‘Particularization procedures’ (in direction of the speakers’ L1 or native English)
  40. 40. "I don't think Euro-English exists yet, as a variety comparable to American English Indian English or Singlish. But the seeds are there. It will take time. The new Europe is still an infant, linguistically.” (David Crystal, By Hook or by Crook: A Journey in Search of English. Overlook, 2008)
  41. 41. Thank you! Any questions?
  42. 42.  Euro-English: Assessing Variety Status Sandra Mollin  Euro- English Jennifer Jenkins, Marko modiano and barbara seidhofer perspectives on an emerging variety on the mainland of Europe, from commentators in Sweden, Austria and England   Michele Gazzola, Managing Multilingualism in the European Union: Language policy evaluation for the European Parliament    Europes-second-language.html  ents/issue_01_en.pdf   logy_eu_publications_en.pdf  
  43. 43.   f  Turner, Lynn H.; West, Richard (2010). "Communication Accommodation Theory". Introducing Communication Theory: Analysis and Application (4th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.  ileOId=1330381  80164  file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/EUROSPEAK%20and%20ELF.pdf   factbook/fields/print_2098.html  ml