Leo to Robert South:

The people here may wish to look at your JARRAPUA project.

It limits concepts to a very small inventory.

A lot of work and thought was put it into it.


It uses the three basic vowels (A, E, U) and only ten consonants (F, H, J, K, M, N, P, R, S, and T).




From: International Auxiliary Languages [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Robert South
Sent: Thursday, May 4, 2017 3:03 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Jenkins' ELF -- the Lingua Franca Core



Should documents like treaties and trade agreements be promulgated in ELF

I gather that ELF, or rather LFC,  is just a set of pronunciation rules.  Right there in the description it says spelling will not be reformed.

Presumably this is for reverse compatibility, like keeping 32 bit capability in newer versions of the Windows OS, but with most written words being digitized, and anything digitized easily converted (you can do it yourself with a document: Replace All <night> with <nite> and software to do a comprehensive spelling conversion would be trivial compared to translation) why not do spelling? If the spelling is the same, then the written form would be the same, thus you couldn't tell the difference between a document written by an ELF speaker and one by an English speaker.  I haven't looked at the links yet, so maybe LFC involves a change in grammar.  Much needed also.  There needs to be simplification and standardization about where stuff goes--English syntax is just crazy. 


Ay gaathur thaat ELF, aur raathur LFC, iz jost o set of prownonsyeyxun rwlz.  Rayt ther in tho dyskripxon it sez spelyng wil nat by ryfaurmd.

Pryzumaably this iz faur ryvors kompaatobility, layk kypyng 32 bit keypobility in nwur vorzhunz ov tho Windowz OS, bot wic mowst ritun wordz byyng dijitayzd, aand inyceyng dijitayzd yzily kunvortid (yw kaan dw it yurself wic o dakywmint: rypleys aul <night> with <nayt> and sauftwer tw dw o kampryhensiv spelyng kunvorzhon wud by trivyul kumperd tw traansleyshun) hway nat dw spelyng?  If tho spelyng iz tho seym, thin tho ritun faurm wud by tho seym, thos yw kudunt tel tho difurins bytwyn o dakywmint ritun bay on ELF spykur aand won bay aan Yngglix spykur.  Ay havunt lukt aat tho lyngks yet, sow meyby LFC invalvz o qeynj in graamar.  Moq nydid aulsow. Ther nydz tw by simplifikeyshon and staandardayzexon obaawt hwer stof gowz--Yngglix sintaks iz jost kreyzy.


Robert South
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-----Original Message-----
From: Leo Moser <[log in to unmask]>
To: AUXLANG <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wed, May 3, 2017 3:34 pm
Subject: Jenkins' ELF -- the Lingua Franca Core

Jenkin’s ELF has many characteristics of an IAL. I believe it would be useful for us here to look at its nature, its pretentions, and its likely value in international communication.

As defined by Jennifer Jenkins in 2000, ELF is a teachable form of English that would have its own unique phonetic system—one unlike any prior dialect of English, but which might be uniform globally and easier for non-native speakers to use, primarily with each other.

The idea is that it would be the form of English for the “non-native speakers” who outnumber the native speakers of English by perhaps two to one. Changes in the written form are not involved (no spelling reform at all--only new rules of pronunciation.)

The concept of ELF (English as a Lingua Franca):

Jenkins, J. (2000). The phonology of English as an International Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Jenkins, J. (2007). English as a Lingua Franca: Attitude and Identity. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Here is perhaps more than some of you want to know about ELF.

//////// some rather random bits from the above. ///////////

English is the only language which has a greater number of non-native than native users. This phenomenon has naturally drawn attention of language researchers and resulted, among others, in the idea of English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) and the notion of Lingua Franca Core (LFC).

In her 2000 book, Jenkins proposed as a didactic priority in teaching English as a foreign language a set of phonetic features referred to as Lingua Franca Core. She proposed teaching a pronunciation which would guarantee intelligibility, local identity and learnability of important elements of English phonetics.

LFC English would have

no th sounds(replace with t, d, s or z),

no dark l,

h would be closer to /x/ and easier heard

stops would be aspirated,

glottal and fortis/lenis contrast would be maintained.

The r would always be clearly pronounced (unlike Estuary English); it would take the form of the GenAm retroflex approximant;

cluster reduction would be allowed only medially and finally,

vowel length distinctions would be kept

vowel quality distinctions ignored, weak forms would not be taught (but learners must know them in order to understand),

lexical stress would be important while rhythm, intonation, and phonostylistics not at all.

If learners have trouble producing consonant clusters, a very short schwa vowel between consonants is permitted, providing they don’t then stress this syllable,


.///////////// some comments

ELF emphasizes the role of English in communication between speakers of different first languages, i.e. the primary reason for people around the world learning English today; it suggests the idea of community as opposed to alienness; it emphasizes that people have something in common rather than their differences, it implies that “mixing” languages is acceptable […] and thus that there is nothing inherently wrong in retaining certain characteristics of the L1, such as accent; finally, the Latin name symbolically removes the ownership of English from the Anglos[…]These outcomes are all highly appropriate for a language that performs an international function. (Jenkins, 2000, p.11)

Kachru (1985) visualized the expansion of the use of English in the world in the figure of concentric circles. In the center, what he called the inner circle, are speakers from countries which traditionally have English as their mother languages. The following is the outer or expanding circle, with countries in which English has the role of a second language in a multilingual environment. The third, and most growing, is the expanding or extending circle, with countries which recognize English as an international language, but within their borders it does not have a special status.

 Basically, what is observed when talking about EFL (English as a Foreign Language) is that the aim is communication with speakers of the inner circle, whereas in ELF the idea is communication among speakers mainly of the outer and expanding circles.

//////// Some critics say.

It doesn’t get rid of the taint of ‘English language Imperialism.’   “There is still a risk of the monolingual fallacy in the ELF debate and of an inadvertent monoculturalism. The determination to encourage the development of an easy to-use, democratic tongue, however admirable or understanding, does sometimes take on a messianic tone, and risks pushing out other languages.   There are (often unstated) assumptions about certain political values that we might be in accordance with, but which happen to share a similar cultural provenance to the English language itself.

It is also interesting to note a lack of analysis of translation as an issue: should documents be translated into ELF rather than a ‘native’ form of English so as to encourage wider intelligibility (at the cost, probably, of style and ‘naturalness’ that are often the objective of a translator)? Should documents like treaties and trade agreements be promulgated in ELF and then translated as secondary versions, for convenience but not having the same authority?

And many other criticisms, as the above citations will show.