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ERIC Number: ED512776
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 43
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 104
The Long Agony of English as a World Language
D'Acierno, Maria Rosaria
Online Submission, Paper presented at the International Conference on Global English (Verona, Italy, Feb 14-16, 2008)
This paper wants to examine the present communicative situation in our global world, and consequently the position occupied by the English language as the main means of interaction. I do not intend to make any realistic prediction, but my purpose is only to evaluate the spread of this language and the emergence of other languages according to both the people's attitude towards foreign languages in general and their reaction to the market inputs. At the moment, it seems to me that a favourable tendency towards the spread of English as well as many other languages is enhanced not only by globalization, but above all by the huge migratory flow, viewed as the main process affecting this century. People move from one country to another for many different reasons, but, while moving, they want to keep as many realities belonging to their country as possible. Among these realities their mother tongue certainly occupies the central theme. Strictly attached to it, is the notion of "culture" and that of "identity." Following these two issues, linguists and scholars in general try to solve the central dilemma involving the link between language, culture and identity. In this essay, in order to explain the reasons that contribute to accept the active use of varieties derived from Standard English, without offending one's own linguistic and cultural roots, I embrace Stuart Hall's vision of "culture." In other words "culture" acquires a certain flexibility; it is no longer a strict and reductive notion, since it is influenced by the contacts and the relations established among peoples. English will certainly dominate the linguistic sphere of the next years, but it will change its grammatical and semantic structure as well as its phonetic and phonological system, turning into several varieties each time suggested by the environment in which it is used. Furthermore, English will be sustained for socio-political and economic reasons (Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Russian) or by the people's attitude towards their roots. Publicity, may be, can help us to find an answer, since the language of advertisements seems to sense in advance the changing habits of people influenced by both global market and global behaviour. (Contains 3 footnotes.)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Italy