Università di Bergamo > Cerlis > English Version > Projects > Intercultural Discourse in Domain Specific English





Anno 2002 - prot. 2002104353


Intercultural discourse in domain-specific English


Scientific Coordinator:

Prof. Maurizio Gotti (University of Bergamo)


Unities of Researach:

University of Bergamo, Prof. Maurizio Gotti

University of Milan, Prof. Giuliana Elena Garzone

University of Naples, Prof. Gabriella Di Martino

University of Turin, Prof. Giuseppina Cortese

University of Verona, Prof. Roberta Facchinetti

University of Rome, Prof. Paola Evangelisti Allori


Objectives of the Research Project


This project is built on a definition of interculturality rooted in discourse, in line with recent research on interaction in specific fields. The spread of English, which frequently furthers exchange and contact between nations, also raises the crucial issue of the non-neutrality of language. From single phrases to generic patterns, linguistic constructs encode a culture-bound world view.

Language is approached here as inseparable from a given sociocultural configuration - not merely consistent with it but deeply involved in its construction of reality and its representations. Text and discourse are where culture is built but also distorted, rejected or ignored.

The focus will be on intercultural communication as it unfolds in the language of law, business communication, politics, diplomacy, research institutions and EU institutions. Intercultural communication affects the strategies whereby discourse is negotiated in texts for specific purposes, where social practices are shaped by the cultural diversity of actors and by a strong need for intercultural communication, and such practices are relevant to the field concerned and to English as a language subject to different (and at times contrasting) pressures.

The first phase of the programme will be devoted to the construction of representative corpora in each of the fields targeted by the local research units. Such corpora will be drawn from paper and/or digital sources and will include recordings and videorecordings.

In the second phase, each unit will analyse both electronically and manually the corpora in hand, for a multi-level analysis from micro- to macro-text, implementing corpus linguistic procedures and analytical tools provided by contrastive rhetoric, text linguistics, pragmatics, discourse analysis and sociolinguistics.

 Throughout the investigation process the units involved will operate in close connection with each other, so as to ensure uniformity in their methodological approach. Early results and final findings will be discussed nationally in meetings of the research units involved in the project, with the participation of Italian and foreign scholars. Finally, a CD-ROM database will be made available to the scientific community for further research as well as pedagogic purposes.



Project Results