62516 - Specialist Languages

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Quality education Gender equality Decent work and economic growth

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

The student knows the theoretical and practical issues of specialized languages. S/he is able to understand, analyze and (re) produce oral discourses used in a variety of specialized domains.

Course contents

In the first part of the course, we will discuss the features of the specialised languages and communication, both from a theoretical and applied perspective. We will observe their sociolinguistic variations according to different text typologies and discourse genres. Specialised language features will be investigated on written and oral texts, in formal and informal communicative situations, either in dialogic or monologic contexts. We will focus mainly on textuality, syntax and lexical dimensions of speeches of low, medium and high specialism, extracted from the medical, economic-financial and social fields, with a strong focus on the most current issues. We will be hosting very experienced speakers in the economic/financial and medical fields.
An additional seminar will be devoted to the language of art, as a model of hybrid language between the literary and the technical.
We will exploit authentic material in Italian and/or authentic interpretations in other languages. We will try to point out the challenges of interpreting a specialised text and to reflect on the strategies to adopt.

This course is part of the integrated course of 'Institutional and Specialized Communication' focussed on the interlinguistic, intralinguistic and intercultural analysis of different oral and written text typologies.


For a smooth progression of the topics, it is recommended to read the essays in the order they are listed in the bibliography.
The material (slides and others) used in class is an integral part of the curriculum and is available on Virtuale platform.

Gualdo, R. & Telve, S. (2011), Linguaggi specialistici dell’italiano, Roma: Carocci editore [Cap. 1 - Il campo di ricerca, solo pp. 17-46 e pp. 107-136; ‘Il linguaggio della medicina’ (cap. 4) e ‘Il linguaggio dell’economia’ (cap. 5)].
Telve, S. (2015), “La terminologia medica in Italia: uno sguardo al dinamismo attuale”, Mediazioni 18, http://mediazioni.sitlec.unibo.it.

Two essays at your choice from the list below:

-Bertaccini F., Lecci C., Bono V., (2010), "Processi di terminologizzazione e determinologizzazione nel dominio della diffusione e distribuzione del libro". Atti Convegno Assiterm 2009. Publifarum, http://www.assiterm91.it/?page_id=256.
-De Martin, M.P. (1994), "Dalla parola all'immagine: il linguaggio della critica d'arte: Per la traduzione di una 'traduzione'", Traduzione, società e cultura, 4, pp. 1-18.
-Maldussi, D. (2019), « La dénomination métaphorique financière « hedge fund », entre démétaphorisation par la traduction et charge axiologique. Une étude comparée anglais, français, italien », pp.1-8. In PUBLIF@RUM, vol. 31, Terminologie e comunicazione istituzionale, tra multilinguismo e traduzione. https://www.publifarum.farum.it/index.php/publifarum/article/view/222/438.
-Maldussi, D. (2019), « Aspects perlocutoires, discursifs et traductionnels dans la terminologie de la BCE. Un regard franco-italien », F. Barbin, S. Monjean-Decaudin (éds.) La traduction juridique et économique. Aspects théoriques et pratiques. In TRANSLATIO, vol. 4, Classiques Garnier, Paris, pp. 85-97.
-Maldussi D. (2018), « Acheter », « Surperformer », « Surpondérer » … Les « Recommandations d'investissement » à l'ère Internet, entre contraintes juridiques et structures argumentales, ÉTUDES DE LINGUISTIQUE APPLIQUÉE, vol. 192, pp. 405-416.
-Maldussi D. (2016), « Le pouvoir de la « non-traduction » : la consécration législative de l’emprunt intégral fair value dans le droit italien clôt le débat terminologique », SYNERGIES Italie, vol. 12, pp.79-92. https://gerflint.fr/Base/Italie12/italie12.html
-Maldussi D. (2015), «Aspetti propedeutici della traduzione economico-finanziaria: l’orientamento alla futurità nell’informativa societaria, tra effetti perlocutivi, inferenze predittive ed implicitezza, Mediazioni, 18.
-Maldussi D. (2015), Ideological connotations in financial terminology: an English-French-Italian study from ‘hedge funds’ through ‘fondi speculativi/fonds spéculatifs’ to ‘fondi alternativi/fonds alternatifs’, «INTRALINEA ONLINE TRANSLATION JOURNAL», Special Issue: New Insights into Specialised Translation, http://www.intralinea.org/specials/article/ideological_connotations_in_financial_terminology.
-Maldussi D. (2014), «Haircut »: étude comparative anglais/français/italien d’un glissement sémantique dans la terminologie de la crise, «MEDIAZIONI», 16.
-Giumelli, S. (2013), Le caratteristiche linguistiche del foglietto illustrativo. Italiano LinguaDue. 5. 10.13130/2037-3597/3125. https://riviste.unimi.it/index.php/promoitals/article/view/3125/3315.
-Lucchini, A. (2012), Il linguaggio della salute. Come migliorare la comunicazione con il paziente. Sperling & Kupfer Editori (indice su Virtuale).
-Sandrelli, A. (2012), Interpreting Football Press Conferences: The FOOTIE Corpus, EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste (online: https://www.openstarts.units.it/handle/10077/7373).  

Suggested readings (not compulsory)
For information purpose only, we suggest some integrative readings if you need to deepen some of these topics.

Cavagnoli, S. (2014), La comunicazione specialistica, Roma: Carocci Editore.
Cortelazzo, M.A. (2000), “Le lingue speciali: le dimensioni verticale e orizzontale”, in Id., Italiano d’oggi, Padova: Esedra, pp. 25-36.
De Mauro, T. (1965), Il linguaggio della critica d'arte, Firenze: Valecchi Editore.
Garzone, G., Viezzi, M. (2001), Comunicazione specialistica e interpretazione di conferenza, Trieste, Edizioni Università di Trieste.
Sobrero, Alberto A. (1993), “Lingue speciali”, in Id. (a cura di), Introduzione all’italiano contemporaneo, Roma – Bari: Laterza, vol. 2º (La variazione e gli usi), pp. 237-277.

Teaching methods

This teaching aims to enhance the critical analysis skills of a specialist discourse in order to identify more quickly the complex transitions and discursive strategies implemented by the speaker(s). Alongside the strengthening of critical reflection on the characteristics of the discourse, skills of transformation, reformulation, explanation and synthesis will be developed, consistently with the different contexts in which the interpreters-mediators will work.
The course will consist of in-depth theoretical lessons and practical work on texts. The active participation of students is therefore required.

In view of the type of activity and teaching methods adopted, attendance of this training activity requires the prior participation of all students in modules 1 and 2 of training on safety in the workplace, in e-learning mode: https://elearning-sicurezza.unibo.it/.

Assessment methods

Score assignment:
-practical work on a specialist discourse: max.15 points out of 30. Listening and reading the text, oral summary, analysis of the characteristics of a specialised discourse, simplification of a paragraph.
-theoretical questions: max.15 points out of 30. Discussion of the essays in the bibliography.

The examination aims to assess
(i) the knowledge on the principles of specialised languages;
(ii) the ability to analyse the characteristics of a specialised written or oral discourse;
(iii) the ability to identify difficulties in the process of understanding and interpreting a specialist text and to show appropriate resolution strategies.

Evaluation criteria:

The following criteria will be taken into consideration during the evaluation:
-ability to understand expert discourse
-ability to analyse expert discourse
-clarity of the oral presentation
-capability of critical thinking
-theoretical knowledge of specialized languages.

The grade obtained in 'Specialized Languages' will average with the grade obtained in 'Institutional Communication' within the integrated course of Institutional and Specialized Communication.

Teaching tools

PPTs, Internet, Videos, e-learning platform (Virtuale and Teams).

Office hours

See the website of Cristiana Cervini