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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.28 No.4 pp.227-248

A Corpus Analysis of Hedges in Lingua Franca English

Jee-Won Hahn
Pukyong National University


English globalization entails the use of English by speakers from mother tongues other than English. Trained and professional non-native speakers of English have reportedly achieved communicative competence owing to bilingual or multilingual experiences. Their pragmatic competence developed through diverse interactions with speakers from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds (Kecskes 2015). In this study, hedges were explored in international briefings where English was used as a lingua franca by professionals of an organization. Three hedging devices including modal verbs, modal adverbs, and pronouns were analyzed to investigate their pragmatic competence. In addition, the professional non-native English briefings were compared with the U.S. briefings for their similarities and differences. Results showed developmental patterns from learner English while they shared similarities with native data. These findings were accounted for by the varieties of English and the genre differences. Implications for pragmatic competence are discussed as well.