Discourse, ideology , identity and legal English

Starting date
October 1, 2014
Duration (months)
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Managers or local contacts
Zanfei Anna

The project Title: Discourse, ideology , identity and legal English.
Durata ottobre 2014 + 24 mesi
This project explores through research based on functional linguistics and multimodality the study of discourse in the production and interpretation of legal texts considering the context and specifically the social context.
Fairclough (1992) explains that all texts are constitutive of social identities, and of systems of knowledge and beliefs.  The project aims to investigate the link between the concept of identity and its definition in legal terms  and to consider how set of ideas that are socially constructed  have been used to interpret the law across various eras.
Legal discourse is therefore a study that aims at taking into consideration what ideologies have inspired first legislators and then judges or Justices in the moment in which they ruled on specific cases that made or changed history.  Antelmi (2007) explains that recognizing legal rights depends on a dynamic process of interpretation of legal texts within the communicative and social context and therefore she invites the analyst to abandon the misconception that legislative texts are the product of a system of mono-referential words that have unambiguous meaning. There are common words with specific legal meaning and there are legal terms that have been interpreted according to opposite and antithetic doctrines. The first example is the constitution of the USA and those inspired by it, the Supreme Court cases that defined and redefined both identity and the social inclusion according to changing ideological stances. Other cases will be defined in the course of the project also with reference to the European anti-discrimination laws and the application in the political idea of freedom based on social justice founded and vice-versa.

Contributo fondo per missioni Euro mille (Euro 2500)
Convegni Languaging Diversity con presentazione a Catania 2014 e a Macerata 2016



Funds: assigned and managed by the department

Project participants

Anna Zanfei
Associate Professor
Research areas involved in the project
Lingua e linguistica inglese
English Discourse Analysis and Text Linguistics
English language: Anglo-Saxon. Old English


Research facilities