Nuova ricerca

Donatella MALAVASI

Professore Associato presso: Dipartimento di Studi Linguistici e Culturali


Home | Curriculum(pdf) | Didattica |


Pubblicazioni

2020 - Academic Writing vs. Blogging: Paul Krugman as a Case Study [Capitolo/Saggio]
MALAVASI, Donatella
abstract

New media are having a significant impact on Knowledge Dissemination (KD) and on the way academics communicate expert knowledge to lay people. Notably, in addition to traditional research articles, academics have begun to use social networks, and in particular blogs, to communicate not only within their own community but also outside their community. In an attempt to examine the language and discourse strategies associated with the translation of domain-specific knowledge into blogs, this study sets out to examine contrastively two comparable corpora which are representative of the scientific and KD production of Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman. With the support of corpus linguistics tools, a sample of scientific papers and a selection of posts published on the blog The Conscience of a Liberal are analysed in their keywords and phraseological patterns. The analysis shows that a well-built argumentation based on theories and models typical of Economics research articles tends to be counterbalanced in blog posts by a critical, collaborative and participatory debate on up-to-date economic and political events.


2020 - Specialized Communication in English: Analysis and Translation [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Bondi, Marina; Cacchiani, Silvia; Malavasi, Donatella; Sezzi, Annalisa
abstract

The volume takes on the challenges posed by teaching specialized communication and specialized translation to University students in Italy. In particular it originates from the course of English specialised communication and translation held within the master’s degree programme in Languages for Communication in International Enterprises and Organization (LACOM), at the Department of Studies on Language and Culture of the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. The course has been jointly taught by the four authors over the years. The reason behind this clarification is twofold: on the one hand, the contents and the structure of the chapters try to meet students’ actual needs; on the other hand, the teaching experience was the driving force behind the attempt to face the enduring conundrum between theory and practice. In this regard, the volume does not have the ambition to fill this gap, but the network of recurring heuristic tools, concepts, and strategies throughout the chapters, associated with examples and practical resources, disclose the strict connection between these two sides of the same coin. Innumerable other coursebooks attempt to do so, one might say. Yet, the peculiarity of this volume resides in the fact that it outlines a range of approaches to specialized discourse and translation, while focusing on the translation of two specific genres - CSR reports and contracts - whose similarities and divergencies open up readers’ horizons over the complexity of specialized translation in general. Furthermore, the two working languages are Italian and English, and both the translation into one’s own mother tongue and into a foreign language are taken into account. This is again one foot in reality, as specialized translators or enterprises’ employees are often required to translate into English even if they are not native speakers.


2018 - Multimodal Strategies of Knowledge Communication in Corporate Social Responsibility Reports and Sustainability Webpages: A Comparative Analysis [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, D.
abstract

The paper reports on the results of a comparative study of two small corpora including the CSR reports and webpages generated by a sample of European companies working in three different sectors: Banking, Food and Beverages, and Oil and Gas. In an attempt to analyse the process of intralingual and intersemiotic translation of information from printed into digital materials, the two sets of documents were examined in a selection of multimodal configurations and language strategies used by firms to communicate their sustainability. The results suggest that highly informative portions of reports which mostly cover data, performance and achievements are counterbalanced on the Web by more discursive and ‘diluted’ sections which focus on companies’ CSR goals, values, programs, and partnerships.


2017 - 'No one can be the invisible tourist - but we like that you are trying': An Analysis of the Language of Sustainable Tourism [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, D.
abstract

The increase in public concern over sustainability issues has led businesses to behave ethically, and to communicate and demonstrate their integrity. Tourism is no exception to this trend. As such, new forms of tourism, prefixed with sustainable and eco-, for example, have proliferated. Set against this background, the paper explores the discourse of sustainable tourism and investigates some common strategies deployed to promote responsible places. With the support of corpus linguistics tools, the websites of the most sustainable destinations in Europe were analysed in a selection of recurrent content and function words. The study of frequent items in their phraseology reveals that the promotion of responsible tourism derives from the collective functioning of patterns typical of ‘traditional’ tourism promotion (e.g. emphatic language, emotional formulae referring to authenticity, and attractiveness), and sustainability-related tools (e.g. expressions describing commitment and dedication to the environment, local communities and visitors).


2017 - Building Trust through Corporate Identity: An Analysis of CSR Reports and Webpages [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Within the highly competitive scenario of the global economy, Donatella Malavasi investigates how the construction of identity and trust in some verbal resources is deployed by a sample of European leading companies in two different types of disclosures, CSR reports and websites. In particular, the author assumes that CSR reports are more technical and specialized documents, while webpages are rather ‘popularised’ disclosures targeted at a wider audience. Her analysis in "Building Trust through Corporate Identity: An Analysis of CRS Reports and Webpages" sets out to examine the variation in enterprises’ self-promotion as ‘impeccable’ and reliable corporate citizens in relation to the process of popularisation.


2017 - From Corporate Social Responsibility Reports to Sustainability Webpages: An Analysis of Convergences and Divergences [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

The paper reports on the results of a comparative study of two small corpora including the CSR reports and webpages generated by a sample of European companies working in three different sectors (Oil and Gas, Banking, and Food-BeveragesTobacco). In an attempt to analyse the process of intralingual and intersemiotic translation of information from printed into digital materials, the two sets of documents were examined for the kind of information they release, their textual organisation, paratextual elements and linguistic peculiarities. The results suggest that the high information density, preeminence of hard data and focus on performance typical of CSR reports are counterbalanced on the Web by more generic, simplified and grand claims about the companies' long-term commitment to sustainability.


2015 - Multimodal Strategies of Knowledge Communication in Corporate Social Responsibility Reports and Sustainability Webpages: A Comparative Analysis [Abstract in Atti di Convegno]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

The abstract presents a work-in-progress study that investigates the ways in which knowledge is communicated multimodally in CSR reports and webpages.


2014 - SELLING HOW GOOD WE ARE: AN ANALYSIS OF WEB-BASED CSR COMMUNICATION IN 'MADE IN ITALY' COMPANIES [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

The paper explores the linguistic expression of companies’ commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility by analyzing frequently occurring words, their collocates and phraseology derived from text through computational means. With the support of corpus linguistics tools and the software package WordSmith Tools 5.0, the CSR disclosures issued on the Web by a sample of Made in Italy companies are analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively in an attempt to shed some light on a diversified repertoire of argumentative strategies adopted by enterprises to persuade stakeholders of their dedication to sustainability principles.


2013 - ‘Made in Italy’: Local and Global Distinctive Traits [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Over the past decades increasing attention has been paid to the construction of identity in academic, institutional and professional settings (Dyer and Keller-Cohen 2000, Benwell and Stokoe 2002). Specifically, identity has been analysed as a phenomenon which is dynamically constituted in discourse. In line with this approach, the paper investigates the discursive enactment of corporate identity or the articulation of what a company is, what it stands for, and what it does (van Riel and Balmer 1997, Balmer 2001). Among the strategic factors which contribute to a laudatory self-presentation of companies, the analysis focuses on the role that the notion of space plays in the shaping of corporate identities. Data for this study consist of a corpus of corporate webpages published by a sample of Italian companies working in the three sectors of 'Made in Italy' , i.e. Fashion, Food and Furniture. With the support of corpus linguistics tools and the software package WordSmith Tools 5.0, corporate webpages are analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively in their space-related keywords. The study of key-words (e.g. local, national, Italian, world, international, global) and their phraseology sheds some light on some of the most pervasive strategies which are adopted by the companies under study to reach a competitive position in the global economic scenario, to insist on their “Italianness”, and to gain support of local and international stakeholders.


2012 - 'The necessary balance between sustainability and economic success': an analysis of Fiat’s and Toyota’s Corporate Social Responsibility Reports. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has recently become a fashionable item on the corporate agenda, and a central plank of corporate communication (Goodman, 2000; Christensen, 2002). Traditionally, companies have been involved in disseminating detailed information about their performance, goals, priorities and developments. Nowadays, however, firms have embarked on more frequent and ambitious initiatives focussed on issues such as sustainability, ethics and CSR (Lantos, 2001; Dahlsrud, 2006), which are commonly ascribed to the public, institutional and not-for-profit sectors. Firms’ pledge of support for economic development, environmental preservation and community welfare has evolved into a promotional strategy adopted in business settings to reinforce actors’ positive image, increase credibility, and gain consumers’ confidence. In the automobile industry two leading companies are exemplars of the integration of long-term social and environmental aspects into their business and (self-)promotional activities, Fiat and Toyota. The aim of the paper is to examine a small database of CSR reports and to identify some of the core sustainability-oriented values. With the support of corpus linguistics tools (Sinclair, 2003, 2004) and the software package WordSmith Tools 4.0 (Scott, 2004), the two subcorpora of documents published by Fiat and Toyota are analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively. The study of wordlists, key-words and their phraseological patterns (e.g. environmental, employees, safety, energy, training, recycling, research) highlights some argumentative strategies adopted by the two manufacturers to demonstrate their accountability to stakeholders, and sheds some light on the crucial role played by CSR in corporate communication.


2012 - Research Articles in Business and Marketing: A Comparative Analysis of English Discussions and Italian Conclusioni [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

In the wide field of genre analysis, a number of studies have been devoted to the examination of research articles (RAs), which are considered the central genre of knowledge production (Swales, 1990 and 2004; Bhatia, 1993). Most prominent has been work on the organizational patterns of RA sections such as Introduction and Discussion (Swales, 1990; Dudley-Evans, 1994; Holmes, 1997), and particular text features such as hedges and modality (Hyland, 1996 and 2005; Salager-Meyer, 1992). Nowadays the growing tendency to examine RAs from a cross-disciplinary perspective (Bamford and Bondi, 2005; Hyland and Bondi, 2006) has not been accompanied by a burgeoning interest in genre variation across languages. In an attempt to partially fill this gap, this study analyses the closing portions of a selection of business RAs written in English and Italian. Data for this investigation consist of two comparable corpora of Discussions and Conclusioni drawn from some of the articles published in six specialised journals in 2000 (Academy of Management Journal, Administrative Science Quarterly and Marketing Science; Economia e Management, Studi Organizzativi and Micro Macro Marketing). With the support of corpus linguistic tools such as wordlists, concordances and collocates, the paper sheds some light on the similarities and differences which characterize the two sets of texts in terms of some rhetorical, content and metadiscursive elements (Vande Kopple, 1985; Crismore et al. 1993; Hyland, 2005). On the assumption that metadiscourse plays a crucial role in directing the reader and showing him/her how to understand what is said by the author, considerable attention is paid to the metadiscursive elements which are deployed in English and in Italian to present research findings and convince the addressee of the truthfulness and trustworthiness of the results presented.


2011 - ‘Doing Well by Doing Good’: A Comparative Analysis of Nokia’s and Ericsson’s Corporate Social Responsibility Reports [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Nowadays substantial corporate communication efforts have been directed towards the promotionalisation and description of corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is to be intended as the commitment of businesses to behave ethically, and to be responsive to society’s long-run needs and wants (Lantos, 2001). In the mobile communications industry the leading handset-makers, Sony Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Network, are no exceptions. The paper sets out to examine a small corpus of CSR reports in an attempt to identify the principles underlying the two companies’ decision-making and operational processes. With the support of corpus linguistics tools, the two sub-sets of documents published respectively by Sony Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Network are analysed both quantitatively and qualitatively in their value-related keywords. The study of key-words and key-phrases sheds some light on some of the most pervasive, common or distinctive argumentative strategies which are adopted by the companies under study to attract and motivate staff, to build consumer loyalty, and to persuade the whole readership of their authentic dedication to moral values and sustainability-oriented principles.


2010 - Concluding remarks in economic Research Articles and introductory Letters in Banks' Annual Reports: a comparative analysis of lexical, metadiscursive and persuasive strategies. [Articolo su rivista]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Questo contributo esamina un repertorio diversificato di espressioni lessicali e metadiscorsive utilizzate da economisti e da Amministratori Delegati per presentare rispettivamente i risultati delle ricerche condotte e l’andamento finanziario degli istituti di credito che rappresentano. Sulla base di due corpora costituiti dalle discussioni di risultati presenti in Articoli di Ricerca riconducibili all’economia e dalle Lettere Agli Azionisti incluse in Rapporti Annuali Bancari, l’analisi cross-discorsiva, cross-generica e cross-disciplinare intende far luce sulle principali strategie persuasive adottate da accademici/economisti e da professionisti finanziari per convincere l’audience alla quale si rivolgono della veridicità dei dati presentati. Lo studio quantitativo e qualitativo delle parole chiave mostra una sostanziale disomogeneità nell’adozione di strategie persuasive. Se infatti gli economisti prediligono il ragionamento ipotetico e il ricorso a modelli teorici quali fonti dell’inconfutabilità delle loro conclusioni, gli autori delle lettere agli azionisti ricorrono a forme di convincimento più dirette, interpersonali e dialogiche, fatte di elementi del metadiscorso interazionale e di descrizioni più o meno esplicitamente valutative delle banche e del loro operato.


2010 - Language variation across genres: the discussion of results in letters to shareholders and marketing research articles. [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Genre-based research has been prominently conducted in two macro-fields of enquiry: academic and professional discourse (Swales, 1990 and 2004; Bhatia, 1993 and 2004; Dudley-Evans, 1994). More recently, however, the attention paid by genre analysis to text similarities has incipiently switched towards the examination of cross-disciplinary, cross-discursive and cross-generic differences. In the light of these latest analytic perspectives, the study relies on two corpora comprised of instances of two genres: the Letter to Shareholders appearing at the beginning of company’s financial annual reports (ARs), and the discussion section of marketing academic research articles (RAs). The paper brings insights into the different strategies and metadiscursive devices which are deployed by banks’ Presidents and RA authors to discuss findings and to fulfil more rhetorical purposes, i.e. to build credibility and to impart confidence in readers. The comparative quantitative and qualitative analysis suggests that from the ideational viewpoint, the genres under study share similar research- and result-oriented lexical items. However, it is from the viewpoint of interpersonal or interactional metadiscourse (Vande Kopple, 1985 and Hyland, 2005) that discrepancies can be identified. Financial and professional writers insist on themselves (by means of self mentions) to emphasise their credibility and expertise, whereas, by contrast, RA authors more conspicuously downplay their authority by means of uncertainty and tentativeness markers, such as hedges.


2010 - The Multifaceted Nature of Banks’ Annual Reports as Informative, Promotional and Corporate Communication Practices [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Companies’ annual reports have become more and more easily accessible thanks to their general availability on the Web. Burgeoning research has thus focused on these financial tools. However, due to their complexity, a comprehensive survey of AR overall functions has not been conducted yet. In this paper, the annual reports published by some European Big Banks will be presented not simply as texts used in financial investor relations or as marketing tools but rather as a genre in corporate communication, the main purposes of which are to construct a particular institutional identity and to impart a specific organizational image to relevant publics.


2010 - “History v. Marketing. Keywords as a Clue to Disciplinary Epistemology” [Capitolo/Saggio]
Mazzi, Davide; Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

The paper explores the usefulness of the notion of keywords as a clue to disciplinary epistemology. It compares two related corpora of research articles from the disciplines of history and marketing, in order to shed light on the link between keywords and related disciplinary practices and values


2009 - “I hope that I can convince readers of…”: the construction of professional identity in marketing research articles [Articolo su rivista]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

In institutional settings, identity has been favourably examined from a CA (Conversation Analysis) perspective and in its association with the “binary and asymmetrical roles” attributed to the institutional representative who is invested with authority, and the addressee who must obey institutional norms (Drew and Heritage, 1992; Gunnarsson et al., 1998; Benwell and Stokoe, 2006). Thus, the enactment of institutional identity has received growing consideration whereas professional identity has been less thoroughly examined. This paper will focus on a corpus of business and marketing research articles (RAs) and it will investigate writers’ self-positioning as experts (Dyer and Keller-Cohen, 2000; van De Mieroop, 2004 and 2005). The study will both quantitatively and qualitatively delve into a range of lexico-grammatical and metadiscursive strategies which are commonly used to build a strong and coherent professional identity (e.g. the use of technical terminology, the presentation of the self as both agentive and epistemic, and the co-occurrence of personal pronouns with cognitive verbs such as believe, conclude, consider, regard…). Analysis reveals how academics pervasively deploy these resources to parade an ethos of competence and expertise.


2008 - Banks’ Annual Reports: An Overview of the Linguistic Means Used to Express Evaluation [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

The paper concentrates on the lexical expressions of evaluation in Banks’ Annual Reports, along the so-called Value dimension in terms of ‘good-ness’ or ‘bad-ness’, and confirms the notion –already brought home by Garzone (2004) for Annual Company Reports as a text genre – that although in theory these documents are supposed to have “an essentially objective, ‘ideational’ focus, in actual fact an element of involvement and stance is inherent in the genre itself” (Garzone 2004:317). In particular, the study focuses on the descriptive and narrative sections of Reports and is based on the words group(s), bank(s), business(es) and service(s), considering not only the frequency of such evaluative items, but also looking at their meaning in context, in a qualitative perspective. Results indicate a predominance of laudatory adjectives and verbs, which can be traced back to the function that evaluation is used to accomplish in ARs, i.e. to build a positive image of the bank, expressing its points of strength and values, for the sake of clients and potential investors.


2008 - “It can be assumed that, if our conceptual model is valid, then…”: The Construction of Multiple Identities in Economics vs. Marketing [Articolo su rivista]
Mazzi, Davide; Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

The paper compares the disciplines of marketing and economics, by using keywords as indicators of identity at three main levels: professional, academic and disciplinary. The corpus-based analysis of keywords how scholars from the two disciplines craft their niche of expertise and identity, showing, for instance, the empirical drive of marketing as opposed to the hypothetical nature of economics


2007 - Lexical Analysis of Implicit Promotional Devices in Bank Annual Reports [Articolo su rivista]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Among the many diverse business discourses, this article focuses on a particular financial genre, Bank Annual Reports (ARs). The main assumption underlying this study concerns the overlapping nature of these disclosures which overtly fulfil informative goals but covertly and concomitantly fulfil promotional ones as well. Starting with a general presentation of the distinctive features of Bank ARs, the article pinpoints the lexical and discursive devices which are utilized to highlight the institution’s specificities, its successful performance and ethical values. Particular attention is paid to the implicit and unexpressed evaluative resources deployed by AR writers to discreetly but efficiently promote a particular financial group, enticing the audience into taking advantage of services advertised through explicit but also invoked and indirect references.RésuméParmi les nombreux et diversifiés discours émanant du monde des affaires, l’objet d’étude de cet article est un genre financier particulier, celui du rapport annuel publié par les banques. La principale hypothèse qui sous-tend cette analyse concerne la nature double de ce discours qui remplit à la fois un objectif informatif ouvertement affiché en même temps qu’un objectif promotionnel plus discret. Après une présentation générale des caractéristiques définitoires du genre, l’article analyse les stratégies lexicales et discursives mises en œuvre pour mettre en valeur les spécificités de l’institution, sa performance et ses valeurs éthiques. Une attention toute particulière est accordée à l’analyse des ressources évaluatives implicites exploitées par les rédacteurs des rapports annuels pour promouvoir de manière discrète mais efficace tel ou tel groupe financier, incitant ainsi le lecteur à profiter des services proposés à travers des références explicites mais aussi évoquées et explicites.


2007 - Promotion in Banks’ Annual Reports: An Integrated Analysis of Genre, Evaluative Lexis and Institutional Identity. [Monografia/Trattato scientifico]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

The book is a study of a complex, multi-faceted and multi-objective financial documents, Banks’ Annual Reports (ARs). From the perspective of genre analysis, Banks’ ARs are described as a composite and multi-layered macro-aggregate of genres. In an attempt to clear up and grapple with their problematic hybrid nature, function-related and textual complexity, several regularities in terms of textual structure, communicative purposes and intended audience are identified. In particular, in contrast with the common understanding of these documents as purely informative texts, the present analysis endeavours to demonstrate that ARs are not only factual but also promotional and self-promotional documents. In order to highlight this aspect of annual reports, the study is centred on an exploration of the evaluatively positive lexis used by banks to describe themselves in a very attractive way, to construct an admirable institutional identity and to project a strong corporate image. Differences and similarities in terms of frequency of occurrence and meaning of evaluative lexis are investigated and illustrated. In an attempt to further highlight the complexity and variety of positive items, evaluation is examined comparatively in its distribution across AR sections and in British vs. non-British Banks’ documents.


2006 - Banks’ Annual Reports: An Analysis of Lexical Evaluation across some Sections [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

The paper illustrates the ways in which evaluation is distributed throughout Banks’ ARs. More specifically, the similarities and differences in the occurrences of evaluation are foregrounded in four specific sections of the reports (Chairman’s Statement, Chief Executive’s Report, Bank and Business Description and, finally, Corporate Governance Description). On the basis of a cognitive categorization of AR evaluative lexis, a comparative and contrastive analysis of attitudinal vocabulary (viz. adjectives and verbs) was carried out across the four segments. This article, in reporting the findings of the investigation, stresses not only the evaluative aura perceivable throughout ARs but also its ‘good-ness’ (Hunston and Thompson, 2000; Martin, 2000; Stubbs, 2001; White, 2002). Specifically, the study reveals that evaluative adjectives occur most frequently in Chief Executive’s Reports, Chairman’s Statements and Bank and Business Descriptions. While banks’ competitiveness and international importance values are strongly emphasised in Chief Executive’s Reports and Bank and Business Descriptions, innovation appears to be the most notably focused on principle in Chairman’s Statements. Furthermore, the study suggests a clear orientation to customers in all the sections investigated and, in particular, in Corporate Governance Descriptions, in which clients are very often shown to be the primary concern of governance. Verbs also turn out to provide their contribution to the expression of positive evaluation and to a further differentiation of AR segments. On the basis of the twofold categorization of evaluative verbs, the task-oriented ones tend to be more frequently identified in Chief Executive’s Reports, Bank and Business Descriptions, and Chairman’s Statements, whereas the involvement-oriented ones seem to be an exclusive prerogative of Corporate Governance Descriptions.


2006 - Evaluation in Banks’ Annual Reports: A Comparison of EL1 and EIL Texts [Capitolo/Saggio]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

Business communication has been currently affected by the latest worldwide globalization, technological advance as well as the use of English as lingua franca in intercultural situations. As a consequence, it has been claimed that there is a generally widespread tendency to standardization, homogeneity and simplification in the language used in business transactions (Louhiala-Salminen, 1996; Dudley-Evans and St John, 1998; Bargiela-Chiappini and Nickerson, 1999). Starting from these assumptions, the paper analyses the language used in written financial communication tools, Banks’ Annual Reports. By making a comparison between Annual Reports written by British Big Banks in English as their L1 and those issued by other-than-British financial institutions in English as IL (International Language), this paper aims at investigating the similarities and differences in the lexis used to express evaluation (Hunston and Thompson, 2000), in order to detect some general patterns of the language employed in international financial contexts. More specifically, the investigation demonstrates that the EIL used in the particular case of financial statements cannot be intended as an impoverished variant of L1 English. ARs issued by non-British banks (EIL) turn out to contain a more diversified repertoire of evaluative lexical items, whether adjectives or verbs, than those issued by their British counterparts (EL1). The recognized non-homogeneity of the language used in non-British banks' ARs seems to confirm Seidlhofer’s (2001), Mauraneen’s (2003) and House’s (2003) claims about the non-standardized nature of English as IL and its continuously evolving essence in which new variation is brought by the linguistic outcome of English NNS. Deflecting from some of the spreading claims about the tendency to the standardization, and simplification in the language used in international business transactions, the paper demonstrates that the language and, more specifically, the evaluative lexis employed in EIL ARs are not homogeneous but much more diversified than the vocabulary appearing in British banks’ financial statements. Thus, this study has given further evidence to the enriching effects that languages in contact with each other have on international communicative practices and on the lexis used in them.


2005 - Banks’ Annual Reports: An Analysis of the Linguistic Means used to Express Evaluation [Relazione in Atti di Convegno]
Malavasi, Donatella
abstract

In line with the most recent trends in genre analysis (Swales, 1990; Bhatia, 1993; Dudley-Evans, 1994) and discourse studies on business communication (Dudley-Evans and St John, 1998; Bargiela-Chiappini and Nickerson, 1999; Gillaerts and Gotti, 2005), the article focuses on a particular financial genre, Banks’ Annual Reports (ARs). More in detail, in contrast to widespread claims about the purely financial and informative nature of ARs, addressing experts only, this paper aims at illustrating, in accordance with Bexley and Hynes’s (2003) and Burrough’s (1986) considerations, that these reports endeavour to promote the company image and to leave readers with a positive impression.Consequently, by means of analysis of some discursive parts of ARs, the article presents the results of a quantitative and qualitative survey of the evaluative means (Hunston and Thompson, 2000) which contribute to the persuasion and manipulation of the reader through direct or implied attitudinal lexis (White, 2002). Particular attention is paid to the identification of the main semantic areas to which the recognized evaluative items belong in an attempt to show the core values that AR writers insist on the most (importance and competitiveness, positive performances, involvement and positive values, realis and irrealis evaluation).