English as a Lingua Franca: A New Variety in the New Expanding Circle?
The traditional tripartite model of English world-wide has so far ignored one of the most important functions of English today, namely that of a lingua franca between non-native speakers. In integrating ELF into models such as Kachru's, the question that arises is whether it can count as a variety. Evidence from a corpus-based study of lingua franca English as it is used between European speakers indicates that it is not a non-native variety in the traditional sense. It is suggested here that ELF could be conceptualised as a register, which can be integrated into the variety- and nation-based model only on a functional level.