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

Unit V - MILAN


GARZONE Giuliana Elena


The Milan Research Unit intends to explore the use of English as the dominant code of international business and economic relations, in both oral and written modes. Its purpose is to identify and analyse - within communicative exchanges which are to a certain extent standardized, being based on potentially globalized models and conventions - any elements which can be traced to the cultural or linguistic identities of the interactants, with specific attention given to linguistic, textual and discursive aspects.

Within this domain, two different types of material have been identified:

- texts and documents in English issued by companies which produce and market products and/or services closely associated with the national territory or the national identity and culture;

- linguistic and textual strategies and discursive practices deployed in international communication in English by economic actors (firms, cooperatives, financial institutions) who choose to present themselves with a culturally connotated image in order to affirm their particular identity.

From a theoretical point of view, the analytical tools to be used are mainly based on pragmatics and discourse analysis, and in particular Critical Discourse Analysis, as well as on contrastive rhetoric and genre analysis.

Among the aspects investigated, special attention is given to the variations in the realization of the different text genres, examining in particular the configuration, the textual and rhetoric organization and the stylistic features characterizing the texts; at the lower levels of codification, the use of ordinary linguistic structures for pragmatic purposes (e.g. the use of adverbial propositions, the use of personal pronouns and transitivity system) and the management of lexis and adverbials for the transmission of evaluative elements are specifically investigated, integrating the micro- and macro- levels of analysis.