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Contrastive lexicological studies of legal academic language in Italy and Brazil

Grant number: 14/03525-0
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research
Effective date (Start): May 17, 2014
Effective date (End): January 16, 2015
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics
Principal Investigator:Angela Maria Tenorio Zucchi
Grantee:Angela Maria Tenorio Zucchi
Host Investigator: Carla Marello
Host Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Università degli Studi di Torino (UNITO), Italy  


In the context of the significant cultural and scientific exchanges in which we live, this interdisciplinary project brings together two areas and two countries that are interrelated: Linguistics and Law, Brazil and Italy. Concerning Linguistics, the project is inserted in the field of Lexicology, Phraseology and Terminology, focusing on specialized phraseological units (SPU) in contrastive perspective between Portuguese of Brazil (PB) and Italian (IT). The object of this study is the academic language in the field of Law, especially Family Law. Its realization is justified by three reasons: 1. The recommended bibliographical index of Italian literature in the field of Law for undergraduate and postgraduate studies urges students to learn Italian for this specific purpose, due to the fact there are in general no translations for those books. 2. Portuguese and Italian constitute a pair of languages little regarded by publishers and, as a consequence, there are few bilingual dictionaries. Moreover, the good quality research based technical dictionaries are non-existent. In parallel, there are no teaching materials of IT as a foreign language for special purposes (in this case, legal) for Brazilians. 3. In recent years, the number of exchange students between Italian and Brazilian universities increased, which makes the culture of university environment learning from each country very important. The research objective is to establish, in contrastive perspective, the inherent characteristics of academic language focusing on the phraseology of legal language, as well as the Italian and Brazilian university environment. The methodology first stage to achieve the proposed goals begins in Brazil with questionnaires to Brazilian university students who had been in Italian universities (exchange CCInt/USP). With such material I can trace the difficulties faced in relation to both country culture and university attended, as well as to the Italian language and/or the specific academic language. In Italy, I intend to distribute a similar questionnaire to Italian university students and conduct interviews. The obtained data, which is intended to be analyzed in light of intercultural studies and didactics of languages, allow me to make comparisons and scale difficulties cited by the students. With the interviews, I will gather information that indicates the use of academic vocabulary in oral language. Under the supervision of Prof. Carla Marello and the suggestions of two Professors from the Schools of Law San Francisco/USP and UNITO, I carry out the second stage: collect academic papers of Family Law area to build two electronic corpora that will be the basis for the extraction of specialized phraseological units of legal language in both languages, forming a comparable corpus. Corpus Linguistics tools for compilation and analysis of corpora will be used. For the development of this research, it is essential to have the experience and supervision of Prof. Carla Marello, who, besides being specialist in lexicology, lexicography, translation studies and Italian as FL, is also vice-director of research of the Language Department and principal investigator of research projects sponsored by Italian Ministry for University and Research in the field of multilingual online corpora at UNITO (Valico, Nunc, Vinca, Corpus Taurinense and Jus Jurium a corpus of juridical texts- To learn the legal academic language in Italian, I believe it is important to observe where and how this language is produced, therefore I also intend to observe the university structure, follow disciplines of scientific methodology and specific content in Family Law, visit libraries and specialized websites. The results of the research will serve as input for the preparation of specialized glossaries and teaching material for Italian for special purposes. (AU)

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