‘Phraseology, argumentation and identity in the Supreme Court of Ireland’s discourse: a case study on language policy judgments’
Dr Davide Mazzi, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Abstract: The Irish judiciary’s approach to bilingualism as the constitutional guarantee of the right to use either Irish or English for any official purpose has proved highly flexible. However, while emphasis has been laid on principles of constitutional interpretation from the practitioner’s perspective, the discursive dimension of cases involving language policy has yet to be fully elucidated. In this talk, quantitative analysis will be combined with a qualitative perspective to focus on phraseological and argumentative patterns in Supreme Court judgments on language policy, based on a small corpus. First, the most frequent lexical bundles of the corpus will be extracted to study the main discourse functions of phraseology in context. Second, a manual text analysis will be conducted of the two cases where recurrent phraseological patterns were most widely attested. This will allow to isolate the argument schemes underlying the discourse structure of the Justices’ opinions.
Bio: Davide Mazzi is Associate Professor of English at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy). His research interests concentrate on legal and news discourse, which he has explored mainly in an Irish context. His recent publications include: “By partially renouncing their sovereignty...”: On the discourse function(s) of lexical bundles in EU-related Irish judicial discourse, in Phraseology in Legal and Institutional Settings, Routledge, 2017; Views of place, Views of Irishness. Representing the Gaeltacht in the Irish Press, 1895-1905, Peter Lang, 2019; A discourse perspective on Bunreacht na hÉireann: A sound Constitution?, Cambridge Scholars, 2020.