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Euro-English in the European Commission: Language Use and Attitudes
Tina Balič, 2016, doktorsko delo/naloga

Opis: This dissertation deals with a sociolinguistic analysis of attitudes towards Euro-English (E-E), denoting a specific variety of the English language as is primarily used within the multicultural and multilingual professional contexts of the European Union (EU) institutions. Particularly within the European Commission (EC) English has acquired the role of the primary working language. This is apparent from the most recent figures provided by its translation service, according to which as many as 81.3% of source documents were written in English in 2014 (as compared to 77.6% in 2012 and 62% in 2004), followed by French with only 5%. Consequently, 285 EC representatives from different EU member states were surveyed on their attitudes towards E-E, primarily focusing on those respondents whose mother tongues are not English. Crucially, they were asked to evaluate several sentences that deviated from Standard English according to their perceptions of what is acceptable English usage and what is not. Beforehand, a corpus-based analysis was conducted in order to determine which potentially E-E features to integrate within the acceptability test. Importantly, the authors of the examined EU material are deemed congruent as much as possible with the participants of the attitudinal analysis, as they all work for one of the main EU institutions. The main findings reveal that the high acceptability rates of the proposed deviant sentences among the surveyed non-native English-speaking EC representatives were primarily related to their lower proficiency in the English language and/or mother tongue interference, whereas we argue that the surveyed native speakers accepted most of them because they failed to apply a known language system accurately. Accordingly, we found out that the participants as a whole generally adhere to native models of English, i.e. British English, and thus do not personally endorse a European variety of English as a standard of linguistic correctness in their minds. Although specific usage that differs from the standard use of English has to an extent been developed within the EU institutions, the identified features must be regarded as EU jargon; which may be more or less obvious; rather than a particular E-E variety already expressing common EU culture and identity. We conclude that an independent variety of English, comparable to the Inner or Outer Circle Englishes, neither exists to date nor is in its earliest stage of development within the EU institutions.
Ključne besede: sociolinguistics; attitudes towards language; Euro-English; lingua franca; European Commission; working language; corpus linguistics; linguistic features; competence in English.
Objavljeno: 13.06.2016; Ogledov: 549; Prenosov: 84
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