Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2589-109X
  • E-ISSN: 2589-1103
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Email messages have become the prevalent medium in academic communication between students and faculty at Hungarian universities. Over the past decade communication with international students of diverse language and cultural backgrounds has made the use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) typical in a previously culturally homogeneous setting. This paper analyzes email requests written by international students of various first language (L1) backgrounds ( = 37). The aim is to characterize requests in terms of directness, strategy use, request modification, address forms and closings. Findings shed light on three salient features of ELF requests: an overall preference for direct strategies, a limited range of internal modifiers, and uses of mostly formal, though not always academic address forms. Given the goal-driven nature of ELF interactions, the paper argues that these characteristics may serve as pragmatic strategies to preempt misunderstanding and to enhance intelligibility. Furthermore, interactants’ wish to express identity and their engagement in constructing new norms specific to their unique ELF contexts may also underlie their pragmalinguistic choices.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): ELF; email communication; intercultural pragmatics; interlanguage requests
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