Foto del docente

Sandro Moraldo

Full Professor

Department of Interpreting and Translation

Academic discipline: L-LIN/14 Language and Translation - German



1. Research project title

HCAI4Gend - Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence for Gender Sensitive Linguistic Simplification in German, English and Italian Institutional Communication

2. Duration (months) 24 months (2023-2025)

3. Associated Investigator: Prof. Dr. Sandro M. Moraldo


Brief description of the proposal

The project focuses on the institutional communication of universities, that is, a type of communication which has not yet received adequate attention in research, especially in a contrastive perspective (German, English, Italian). In the last few years, universities have drawn up guidelines for the use of gender-sensitive language, also prompted by the fact that the implementation of Gender Equality Plans (GEP) is a mandatory requirement for accessing Horizon Europe funding. However, especially in Italian universities, the guidelines have been put into practice only in part or they have not yet been implemented at all, also because the linguistic research and guidelines on institutional writing have focused on overcoming the linguistic complexity of texts through the description of linguistic simplification techniques that do not give indications on the use of gender-sensitive language. The problem of non-gendersensitive writing in institutional communication has, however, been highlighted in recent studies (Vellutino 2018, Cortelazzo 2021). Therefore, there is (a) a research need (i.e., analysis of university communication from the point of view of transparency and right of access to administrative documents) and (b) an applicative need (i.e., encouraging the use of gendersensitive writing in the internal and external communication of universities). The objectives of the project respond to these two needs: a. construction of a comparable corpus of institutional university texts (German, English, Italian) to analyse the linguistic strategies used; b. construction of a parallel corpus containing source texts and texts simplified according to gender-sensitive language to carry out psycholinguistic experiments and to train an artificial intelligence-based tool with editor function that proposes grammatical solutions oriented to gender-sensitive usage. The achievement of these two objectives will be possible thanks to the interdisciplinary research team (linguists, jurists, computer scientists, psycholinguist): the use of combined methods will allow the realisation of the tool (plug-in installable in writing systems and usable via a web page) as an output of the project. The open-source tool will be freely accessible not only to universities but also to other public bodies and anyone interested in producing texts written in gender-sensitive language according to the possibilities of the languages concerned and respecting the legal value of linguistic expressions.

Published on: January 24 2024