Università di Bergamo > Cerlis > English Version > Projects > Identity and Culture in English Domain-Specific Discourse



CORTESE Giuseppina


The study of translation in specific domains, also in an interdisciplinary and intercultural perspective, has led to the hypothesis that the dominance of English in international communication may involve a propensity for Anglocentric cultural practices and textual models. Members of the Turin Research Unit have been investigating the Anglocentric hypothesis in texts relevant for "good practice" in international citizenship, produced within the discursive domain of social categorization and its political implications. The contexts identified for analysis are diplomacy, on-line information/persuasion on socioeconomic and human rights issues, linguistic education with special subjects, namely deaf adults and interpretation for the deaf from English to Italian Sign Language

The following types of text are considered:

a) transcripts, recordings/videorecordings of international diplomatic negotiations and reports by diplomatic staff;

b) multilingual electronic texts, as well as paper texts, issued by non-profit-making national and international agencies, where narrative activity focuses on promoting awareness and positive action on issues of ethics and social policy;

c) visual texts produced in the experimental TEDS (Teaching English to Deaf Students) and LIS (Lingua Italiana dei Segni, Italian Sign Language) courses.

Observation focusses on introductory and metapragmatic verbs as well as on nouns and anaphoric elements involving evaluation. When possible, parallel texts are compared (Italian/English; English/LIS, i.e. Lingua Italiana dei Segni, Italian Sign Language/Italian) to locate omission, paraphrasing or other reformulation strategies involving manipulation of the original linguistic/cultural data, which mitigate, silence or distort identity traits of the community whence the texts originated or, vice versa, highlight difference and resistance to change. It is expected that language adjustments will emerge, including nonverbal and paralinguistic ones to be observed in multimodal sequences.