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Space, Time and the Construction of Identity

Discursive Indexicality in Cultural, Institutional and Professional Fields


Edited By Rita Salvi and Janet Bowker

Given the consolidated position of English as the international language for communication in business and management, as well as in institutional contexts, this book depicts a wide panorama of encounters where identity, image and reputation are a key focus in creating effective interactions. The main theme of the work is how temporal and spatial meaning representations in language reflect and, in turn, construct these personal, professional and corporate identities. From each chapter different sociolinguistic realities emerge which affect English, as it is used by both native and non-native speakers, especially in the relationship between local or national cultures and the global professional discourse community.
In this context not only have domain-specific language features been analysed, but also the communication strategies and interactive patterns at work in how different geo-political cultures construe, manifest and adjust their identities over the course of time and in varying physical, virtual, and cognitive spaces.


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RITA SALVI / JANET BOWKER Preface This volume is one of the scientific products resulting from a PRIN project 2008, which gathered the Universities of Modena-Reggio Emilia, Bergamo, Florence, Naples ‘L’Orientale’ and Rome “Sa- pienza”. The research groups were privileged to have prof. Marina Bondi as national coordinator. The general title of the project was “Discourse identities and sense of space: from key-words to phraseol- ogy”. Fundamentally, the project aimed at a methodological rethink- ing about the notion of ‘keywords’ in relation to phraseology, the in- fluence of the cognitive factors of time and space in the construction of identity, and the integration of discourse analysis with corpus lin- guistics. The studies collected in this volume, therefore, tend to further illuminate the nature of communication – corporate, institutional, pro- fessional and academic – in which the construal, maintenance and re- pairing of identity develop in the course of time and in different loca- tions or mental spaces. At the broadest level, it was hypothesized that the various gen- res, subgenres and variations in contextual use (corporate and institu- tional websites, internal corporate communications, academic lectures and cultural encounters) would share a great deal in their modes of re- alization of their major communicative purposes, namely those of cre- ating persuasive and coherent textualizations to project and promote a series of positions and behaviours which pertain to the field of differ- ent specialized languages. However, at a micro-level, investigations into the differing contexts of use reveal a range of specific linguistic features as...

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