Category FAQs Search : Start-up Businesses

Question: BUSINESS AS A SITE OF LANGUAGE CONTACT by Sandra Harris and Francesca Bargiela-Chiappini

Answer: Although business settings have been a site of language contact for many years, the field of “language in business” has changed substantially during the past two decades. The proliferation of topics and approaches has contributed to shaping what is now an eclectic disciplinary field, methodologically diverse. Thus, this review of the field will necessarily move beyond sociolinguistic approaches and theories of variation and change. In particular, the globalization of the workforce and the growth of multinational and multilingual corporations have strengthened the perception of English as the “lingua franca” of international business, though some recent research challenges aspects of this perception in multicultural corporate settings. Intercultural communication, especially recent developments in that field, including its “discursive turn” and its current preference for qualitative studies, has made a significant contribution to the study of multicultural/multilingual business interaction. In the concluding section, we discuss three particular areas of development: (a) the growth in the use of new media and the analysis of that use and its impact on business discourse in context; (b) the shift from the analysis of written to spoken discourse and from simulated data to naturally-occurring corporate language; (c) and the increasing need to study the language of the multilingual workplace. We argue for redressing the balance of research into business as a site of language contact in favor of less well-represented languages and cultures through indigenous discourse studies, and we note in particular the increasing frequency and importance of work involving Asian languages.

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(Source: Pustaka Negeri Sarawak, 30 Mar 2020)

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