Dimensioni fonopragmatiche della comunicazione interculturale in ELF in contesti migratori specialistici


Abstract – This chapter introduces the ‘phonopragmatic’ approach (Sperti 2014) to the analysis of institutional legal interactions through ELF in intercultural immigration domains characterized by ‘gatekeeping’ asymmetries between the participants, where achieving successful communication through mutual accommodation strategies appears challenging, if not sometimes problematic (Guido 2008). The research hypothesis is that ELF users involved in intercultural encounters differently appropriate the English language not only according to their own different native linguacultural ‘schemata’, but also to specific pragmalinguistic goals and processes. The phonopragmatic approach, therefore, aims to explore the possible prosodic and auditory processes involved in such cross-cultural dynamics, with particular attention to the speakers’ illocutionary and pragmatic intentions and the performing of speech acts (Searle 1969, 1983). The approach is applied to a corpus of recorded cross-cultural interactions between asylum-seekers, refugees, language mediators and legal advisors, taking place at a centre for legal counseling and assistance to refugees, involving ELF and Italian Lingua-Franca. PRAAT software (Boersma e Weenik 2014) is here used with the purpose of investigating the use of prosodic strategies by ELF speakers from different L1 backgrounds, with the ultimate aim of describing: (i) how existing L1 prosodic and acoustic variations (in terms of e.g. stress, intonation, speech rate, and disfluency) are redefined in the use of an ELF variation; (ii) to what extent the resulting L1 phonological transfers affect the ELF variations (in terms of phonological phrasing, syntactic and lexical choices); (iii) how meaning, experience and understanding are mediated and cross-culturally constructed in interactions through phonopragmatic strategies; and (iv) the role played by prosody and paralinguistics in the negotiation of speakers’ attitudes, emotions, and socio-cultural ‘schemata’.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v16p81

Keywords: ELF phonopragmatics; cross-cultural transfer; intercultural mediation; interlanguage prosody


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