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The role of Euro-English as a new potential variety in the multilingual European institutions: a social and linguistic study

This thesis wants to provide an analysis of some linguistic and social aspects of the Euro-English phenomenon, which has been concerning the European continent for several years.
Euro-English is an expression used to denote an independent potential variety of English, which is supposed to be developing in Continental Europe and has emerged in a number of articles and publications dealing with English in Europe, English as a lingua franca (ELF), as well as with varieties of English (the so-called World Englishes) in these recent years.
Yet, whereas this term has gained popularity (especially in the field of ELF studies), it still shows blurring borders, as very few research has so far been undertaken and their outcomes are still uncertain and differing.
The aim of this research is thus to study the role of the English language in the European Institutions and to verify whether in this environment "Euro-English" can be given any legitimacy as an independent variety. In particular, the EU institutions have been chosen and defined as a privileged observatory because of their multicultural and multilinguistic nature, which inevitably makes them a real laboratory where this potential variety of English can develop.

Mostra/Nascondi contenuto.
4 Chapter One English as a global language In everyday thinking English is regarded to be the world‘s most important language of our days, since it is supposed to be the main means of communication among people of different mother tongues in the world. However, in spite of its undeniable central role in international communication (at both the global and European level), the figures of its speakers show that English is not the major language of the world, nor even of the European Union. On the contrary, its leading role and its great significance is represented by the high number of non-native speakers in the world. As a matter of fact, according to Ethnologue statistics 1 , English is the third language of the world, ranking after Chinese and Spanish. In his The English Language 2 , Crystal estimates around 320-380 million native speakers, and 420 million second-language speakers and 750 million foreign-language speakers; the CIA World Factbook 3 counts around 340 million English native speakers all over the world. Gauging the number of the countries where English is considered official is a challenging task, because of the disagreement around the definition of some categories, such as official or co-official, national or state language. According to Crystal 4 , English holds a ―special place‖ in more than 75 territories: it is the official or joint official language of a country (as in the case of Ireland or Canada), or is the only dominant language, due to historical and political reasons (see the USA or the UK). Eventually there are countries where English, in spite of having lost its former official status, still plays a leading role in them (such as in Tanzania or Kenya). 1 Retrieved 27 Nov. 2010. <> 2 David Crystal, 2003:109. 3 Retrieved 27 Nov. 2010. <> 4 David Crystal, 2003:109.

Laurea liv.II (specialistica)

Facoltà: Lingue straniere per la comunicazione internazionale

Autore: Veronica Simeone Contatta »

Composta da 171 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 542 click dal 04/10/2011.


Consultata integralmente 6 volte.

Disponibile in PDF, la consultazione è esclusivamente in formato digitale.