English as a Lingua Franca for Tourism: A Pragmatic Study in the Italian Context

Parise, Ida. 2023. English as a Lingua Franca for Tourism: A Pragmatic Study in the Italian Context. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis is a pragmatic study of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) communication in the special language domain of tourism. It explores overt, covert, and translanguaging practices to define how they foster communicative functions. Furthermore, the multiculturality of the research community object of the study will provide evidence of an original human cluster defined as an intercommunicating group of speakers (IGS). Capturing their stance-taking towards English as a Lingua Franca use will contribute to clarifying its iconic social meaning (Coupland 2007).

The study adopts an ethnographic perspective to exemplify the dynamic nature of negotiation in language interaction and the power and cultural relations behind it. Furthermore, it combines the Ethnography of Communication with a microanalytic approach - Conversation Analysis. The triangulation of data deriving from an emic point of observation with an etic one detailed the speakers’ multilingual complex and expanded linguistic repertoire (Cogo 2012). It has also acknowledged their attitudes and orientations towards ELF communication, including the central aspects of stance-taking. In detail, my original data includes naturally occurring conversations among the 22 participants in the tour, comprising specialist tourist staff operators of different ages and educational backgrounds and non-expert visitors. The analysis was supported by interviews and questionnaire surveys conducted among participants (for their transcriptions and detailed analysis, see Parise 2022).

In conclusion, this investigation explores ELF communication in an Italian tourism context to support Jenkins’s (2015) multilingual view of ELF communication. Conceivably, it will provide evidence of the strategic and dynamical use of speakers’ multilingual repertoires used as pragmatic strategies (i.e., the pedagogical function, the interpersonal function, the interpreting function) to accomplish complex social and cognitive activities in the Italian Tourist Industry. Furthermore, the investigation longitudinal participant-observation perspective allowed to define the participants as an intercommunicating group of speakers (IGS) since stabler than a TIG (transient international group)1 (see Pitzl 2016a: 25) or an example of TMC (Transient Multilingual Communities)2 (see Mortensen and Hazel 2017: 256), but more transient than a CoP in Wenger’s sense (1998). Finally, their stance observation will contribute to sociolinguistic theory investigating individual speaker/group dynamics.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):



ELF, pragmatic strategies, multilingual practices, stance

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

English and Comparative Literature


30 September 2023

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Oct 2023 11:20

Last Modified:

09 Oct 2023 11:26



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