to LSP 2022

Shaping knowledge through language: LSP in theory and practice

23rd International Conference on Languages for Specific Purposes

NOVA University Lisbon – ONSITE ONLY
Colégio Almada Negreiros, 1099 – 032 Lisboa, Portugal

September 12-13, 2022


The 23rd International Conference on Languages for Specific Purposes (LSP 2022) will be held EXCLUSIVELY ON SITE at NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal (CAN – Colégio Almada Negreiros, 1099 – 032 Lisboa).

Under this year’s motto “Shaping knowledge through language: LSP in theory and practice”, it aims to provide a meeting and sharing point to showcase the current and most recent LSP-related theoretical and methodological perspectives, oriented towards knowledge organisation in the digital age.

This conference seeks to gather not only language specialists but also experts from multiple areas and activities, whose methods of organising knowledge and their respective discourses in a specialised context introduce new research and/or applications that permeate the main challenges of the 21st century.

These challenges involve, on the one hand, resorting to the appropriate discourse according to the – previously defined and segmented – target audience and, on the other hand, also bringing citizens into the debate, offering them the means to access reliable, useful, and reusable information. The complexity increases when communication becomes multilingual, multicultural, and when the areas of knowledge are transdisciplinary.

In a multilingual, multicultural, and digital world, LSP play a crucial role as vehicles of specialised information in a wide range of communication contexts. Intended to be applied in various professional areas – communication, education, translation, among others -, LSP are not only complex in conceptual terms but they can also be terminologically unstable, which, in turn, has consequences for knowledge sharing.

The exploration of the proposed theme may follow a theoretical and/or methodological path in various fields of application, from organising and representing knowledge for linguistic purposes to specialised communication and translation. Monitoring, observation, and/or evaluation processes of the collected linguistic data will also be relevant, with the aim of creating linguistic and/or didactic resources.

On the other hand, efficiency in communication is directly dependent on the adequacy of the discourse to the target audience, who may or may not comprise specialists. This fact leads us to think and rethink the processes of popularisation and linguistic mediation: (i) what are the needs of the target audience? (ii) what methods can be used to collect and learn about the efficiency of the communication process? (iii) how does one negotiate and co-create with the audience, taking up the challenge of co-constructing knowledge? (iv) finally, how can LSP adapt to new forms of digital communication, especially taking into account the ongoing demands of digital transition?

Any of these approaches offers a wide range of opportunities for innovative research that responds to current challenges regarding knowledge sharing and, in addition, aimed at meeting the needs and expectations of citizens in general in what concerns the relevance and clarity of communication, which necessarily requires the development of new methodological practices in LSP.

The working languages of the conference are English, French, Portuguese and Spanish but all speakers are kindly requested to provide slides in English.


Keynote Speakers


Maria Teresa Zanola

La communication spécialisée: la terminologie à l’oeuvre

La communication spécialisée contribue à la transmission des savoirs disciplinaires: projets, textes, discours dans les différentes phases de conception, rédaction, présentation et dissémination à tous niveaux reposent sur les conceptualisations et les différentes terminologies des domaines qui les expriment.
Comment envisager le rôle central de la terminologie dans la communication spécialisée pour l’expert et le spécialiste, pour le traducteur et l’enseignant, pour l’étudiant et l’usager ? Cette conférence se propose d’illustrer l’état de la recherche autour de ces questions.

Notice biographique
Maria Teresa Zanola est une spécialiste des études en terminologie et en communication spécialisée (https://docenti.unicatt.it/ppd2/it/docenti/03620/mariateresa-zanola/profilo). Elle dirige l’Observatoire de Terminologies et Politiques Linguistiques (OTPL) de l’Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore de Milan, où elle est professeure de linguistique française. Elle est présidente du réseau de terminologies des langues romanes REALITER et du CEL/ELC Conseil Européen pour les Langues/European Language Council.


Pamela Faber

Framing LSP

Since LSP discourse is goal-directed and formulated with a specific purpose in mind, it is delimited by a communicative context or frame. It is this frame that gives meaning to specialized texts (and the terms that encode the knowledge in them). Using the example of environmental terminology and communication, this presentation shows how frames at the term level capture both the micro- and macro-contexts of concepts. This type of conceptual modelling, which is an integral part of terminology work, reveals the most frequent combinations and activations of terms. The large-scale knowledge structures, thus reflected, reveal how individual concepts are meaningfully related to each other.
However, frames are also present at the discourse level since they determine the configuration of a message as well as the selection of elements that compose it. Framing in communication broadly refers to the act of sense-making through the emphasis of certain aspects of a reality over others. As observed by Goffman (1974), framing an issue organizes thought, and also facilitates certain forms of identity and conduct. This is especially relevant to environmental risk communication since how a message is framed inevitably influences the mindset or perceptions of text receivers, their reaction to it, and the conclusions drawn from it.

Pamela Faber (http://lexicon.ugr.es/faber) is Professor Emeritus in Translation and Interpreting at the University of Granada. She has published more than 150 articles, chapters, and books, which have encouraged other researchers to explore specialized knowledge from a frame-based perspective. One of the results of these projects and the practical application of Frame-based Terminology (FBT) is EcoLexicon (ecolexicon.ugr.es), a terminological knowledge base on environmental science.


Jan Engberg

Level of explanatory ambition: A tool for analyzing attempted participant relations in popularization discourse

Due to its relevance for the image and importance of a discipline in society, the communication of specialized knowledge across knowledge asymmetries has had a central position in LSP research over time and is still a frequent topic in recent scholarship (cf., e.g., Pontrandolfo & Piccioni, 2022). When studying communication across knowledge asymmetries, I find it relevant to work with a scalar distinction between, on the one hand, a more instruction-oriented communication type (dissemination) and, on the other hand, a more participatory communication type (popularization). Behind this distinction lies the idea of differences in the intended relation between experts and non-experts: When disseminating, the expert intends to convey enough knowledge for the non-expert to be able to use the expert knowledge for relevant tasks like decision-making. When popularizing, on the other hand, the expert intends to make the non-expert an actual part of the specialized discourse community. The main purpose of my talk will be to propose some approaches to the empirical analysis of communication across knowledge asymmetries under the heading of level of explanatory ambition (Engberg, 2020, 2022).
In my talk, I will first give some more details on the distinction, its background and importance in the discourse of a democratic society. In a second step, focus will be on the proposed distinction between dissemination and popularization. Finally, in the main third step analytical approaches to assessing the difference will be presented and exemplified on cases involving different disciplines.

. Engberg, J. (2020). Multimodal Institutional Knowledge Dissemination and Popularization in an EU Context – Explanatory Ambition in Focus. In G. Tessuto, V. K. Bhatia, R. Breeze, N. Brownlees, & M. Solly (Eds.), The Context and Media of Legal Discourse (pp. 50-76). Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
. Engberg, J. (2022). Dissemination of science and communicative efficiency of texts – is level of explanatory ambition a relevant diagnostic tool? In A. Holste & K. Pelikan (Eds.), Efficiency of Communication (pp. submitted). Hildesheim: Universitätsverlag Hildesheim.
. Pontrandolfo, G., & Piccioni, S. (2022). Communicación especializada y divulgación en la red. Oxon: Routledge.

Jan Engberg (https://pure.au.dk/portal/da/persons/jan-engberg(62ee980e-ae7d-4766-bb71-b5952ddf41bf).html) is Professor of Knowledge Communication at the School of Communication and Culture, Section of German Business Communication, University of Aarhus, Denmark. His main research interests are the study of texts and genres in the academic field, cognitive aspects of domain specific discourse and the relations between specialized knowledge and text formulation as well as basic aspects of communication in domain-specific settings. His research is focused upon communication, translation and meaning in the field of law. He has published widely in the field and co-edited a number of books and special journal issues. Finally, he is co-editor of the international journals Fachsprache and Hermes.

Sílvia Araújo

Langues de spécialité et données ouvertes: outils numériques collaboratifs pour la création de ressources multimodales pour/par la communauté académique

Aujourd’hui, l’accès à de grandes quantités de données sous forme numérique offre de nouveaux moyens d’accéder à la connaissance dans une grande variété de domaines spécialisés. Le volume des données de recherche produit connaît une croissance exponentielle. Dès lors, il est devenu crucial de tirer parti de l’intelligence artificielle et de l’apprentissage automatique pour créer des ressources pour l’enseignement/apprentissage des langues de spécialité (par exemple, un moteur de recherche bilingue qui permet d’identifier des équivalents de traduction à partir de textes comparables). L’usage innovant de ces données ouvertes passe aussi par la conception et la mise en place de méthodologies actives capables d’engager les étudiants dans le développement de contenus multimodaux (glossaires bi- ou multilingues ou représentations visuelles interactives d’un domaine de spécialité, entre autres) à partir d’outils numériques collaboratifs, qui encouragent la création de communautés d’apprentissage intra- et/ou interdisciplinaires.

Notice biographique
Sílvia Araújo est maître de conférences au Département d’Études Romanes de l’Université du Minho. Ses principaux champs de recherche sont la linguistique de corpus, les technologies appliquées à l’enseignement des langues (de spécialité) et les humanités numériques. Elle coordonne et participe à des projets de recherche portant sur le traitement automatique des langues et la traduction. Elle est membre de l’équipe de direction du Master de Traduction et Communication Multilingue et directrice du Master en Humanités Numériques.