Plurilingual resources as an asset in ELF business interactions

Franceschi, V.

International business communication is sometimes perceived as being culture-neutral; however, the speakers’ linguacultural repertoires may be exploited as communicative resources in English as a Business Lingua Franca (BELF) interactions. Indeed, plurilingual phenomena can be inscribed in a view of ELF communication that sees such practices as a potential asset in intercultural communication. Multicultural competence – which may include the exploitation and integration of other linguacultures – alongside BELF competence and business-specific knowledge is identifiable as an essential skill for successful interactions on the workplace. This paper aims at exploring the domain of internationally oriented business communication in English by analyzing naturally occurring data of workplace interactions involving non-native speakers of English. Specifically, the analysis will look at how non-English linguistic and cultural elements are incorporated in ELF talk in business contexts. The Professional Business section of the VOICE corpus will be analyzed to this purpose through a qualitative approach in order to shed light on the functions of L1 and LN (other languages) cultural and linguistic elements in BELF interactions and their role in conducting successful business transactions.