This chapter proposes a stylised picture of the mechanism that underpins the spread of competence in the lingua franca and many other linguistic phenomena. It begins with an overview of the emergence of English as Europe’s lingua franca before turning to a discussion of probability-driven language learning. It then considers the maxi-min-guided choice of the language used in communication between multilingual speakers and its interaction with probability-driven learning to generate the so-called maxi-min dynamics. The chapter also examines maxi-min dynamics within the context of power relationships and concludes with an argument that emphasises the role of trans-national demos in promoting egalitarian justice.
Keywords: linguistic competence, lingua franca, English, Europe, probability-driven language learning, multilingual speakers, maxi-min dynamics, power relationships, trans-national demos, egalitarian justice
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