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Conference Information

Full Title: LINKD Workshop 2012: Language(s) in Knowledge Dissemination

Short Title: LINKD 2012
Location: Modena, Italy
Start Date: 11-Oct-2012 - 13-Oct-2012
Contact: Franca Poppi
Meeting Email: click here to access email
Meeting URL:
Meeting Description: The international workshop ‘Language in Knowledge Dissemination’ hosted by the Department of Studies on Language, Text and Translation will take place in Modena on 11-13 October 2012.

Knowledge Dissemination (KD) has become increasingly important in modern society for the socio-economic and cultural development of citizens. The issue of how experts communicate their specialist knowledge to lay-people has been widely discussed in the press and is often tackled in terms of ‘translating’ otherwise exclusive knowledge into more comprehensible language. Comprehensibility can be seen as a matter of simplification, explicitation or formulation in terms that are suitable to the level of knowledge of the addressee. The issue can also be studied in terms of re-contextualizing knowledge. As the applied linguistics literature on popularising is not extensive, useful indications can come from studies on intercultural communication, when looking at KD as ‘mediation’ of knowledge between members of different communities, each with their peculiar cultural and communicative practices. KD can be seen as an example of ‘inter-discourse communication’ i.e. communication that cuts across the boundaries of discourse communities characterized by different types of knowledge.

While the issue of KD has often been studied in relation to sciences that require exclusive expertise - e.g. chemistry or physics - the LINKD workshop would like to consider both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ sciences.

The objective of the workshop is to explore the language processes involved in KD in a theoretical, descriptive and applied perspective. In particular, it aims to provide a clearer definition of the nature of popularizing discourse, by means of an analysis of its strategies across disciplines and languages, also including the discursive construction of professional identity and intercultural communication, a closer lexical investigation of specific domains, the deployment of lexicographic tools and an investigation of the use of visual elements in popularisation.

Two complementary strands of linguistic investigation - corpus analysis and genre analysis - will be brought together to ascertain how far KD is actually characterized by intense use of metadiscourse, forms of readers’ engagement, systematic use of definitions, reformulation, higher degrees of explicitness, careful use of word-image relationship.

The workshop is held by the LINKD research group, active within CLAVIER (

One of the purposes of the LINKD 2012 workshop is to reinforce national and international cooperation with scholars and research centres that can widen and complement the interest in knowledge dissemination.

The workshop will start early in the afternoon on the first day and close around lunchtime on the third day, after a roundtable in which participants and invited speakers will discuss theoretical and methodological issues emerged from the papers presented in the previous sessions.

Speakers who have accepted to participate are: Susan Hunston, Jan Engberg, Josef Schmied, Geoffrey Williams.
Linguistic Subfield: Discourse Analysis; Text/Corpus Linguistics
LL Issue: 23.2731

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