Patterns of change in English as a lingua franca in the UAE

Ronald Boyle

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    As foreign workers constitute about 90 per cent of the workforce of the UAE, English is used as the country's acrolectal lingua franca. In order to discover what effect this community of multilingual speakers is having on the lexicogrammar of English, a million-word corpus of examples of formal, written English as a lingua franca (ELF) was compiled, and was compared with data from the Longman Spoken and Written English Corpus. The results suggest that the patterns of use of non-finite complement clauses and of transitive and intransitive verbs, in particular, are beginning to change and that the changes are systematic. Where a choice of patterns exists, ELF usage appears to be converging on the dominant pattern.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)143-161
    Number of pages19
    JournalInternational Journal of Applied Linguistics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


    • Corpus linguistics
    • English as a lingua franca
    • Multilingualism
    • Second/foreign language acquisition
    • Sociolinguistics

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Language and Linguistics
    • Linguistics and Language


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