The Korean Association for the Study of English Language and Linguistics

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Korean Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21

[ Article ]
Korea Journal of English Language and Linguistics - Vol. 21, No. 0, pp.282-297
Abbreviation: KASELL
ISSN: 1598-1398 (Print) 2586-7474 (Online)
Received 05 Feb 2021 Revised 19 Mar 2021 Accepted 26 Mar 2021

The Use of Self-repair as a Pre-empting Strategy in English as a Lingua Franca (ELF) Interaction
Kanghee Lee
Visiting Professor, Dept. of English Language and Literature, University of Seoul, Tel: 02-739-8288 (

© 2021 KASELL All rights reserved
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The present paper aims to investigate the use of self-repair as a pre-empting action in ELF, and the focus of the study is to identify turn-organisational factors that trigger self-repair and how speakers perform their repair to resolve potential trouble source. The data are based on naturally occurring ELF conversations among international students in the UK university, and the Conversation Analysis (CA) approach provides the framework for the transcription and analysis of the data. The findings reveal that the participants employ self-repair practices when interlocutors produce overlapping talk or minimal responses. Although there is no explicit sign of non-comprehension or communicative breakdown, the speakers continue to monitor, detect, and respond to interlocutors’ reaction and adapt their speech patterns to communicative situations through self-repair actions. The ELF speakers engage in diverse clarification and self-repair practices by repeating, modifying, and expanding what they have said, and self-repair in the data is not confined to a narrow scope of lexical replacement at the word or phrase levels but used to introduce commentary, background knowledge, and justification of claim at the clausal level of modification. Self-repair practice in ELF shows a cooperative and proactive nature in ELF, which allows the discourse to proceed and secure the degree of shared understanding.

Keywords: self-repair, English as a lingua franca (ELF), mutual understanding, explicitness, pre-empting strategy, overlap, minimal response, announced self-rephrase marker

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