Collaboration between applied linguists and professional experts
An interdisciplinary perspective
The purpose of this paper is to investigate some of the challenges and prospects connected with interdisciplinary cooperation in the analysis of specialised discourse. In the last few decades, the literature on English for Special Purposes has often underlined the importance of this type of collaboration for a better understanding of how practitioners use language to achieve the objectives of their professions. The contribution that the applied linguist can provide may be very relevant, particularly in those cases in which hybridity and interdiscursivity can be detected in the discourses used by professional participants. In this paper, an example of this type of explanation is presented, drawn from the literature and my own direct experience relating to a specific interdisciplinary research project carried out by a joint group of arbitration experts/practitioners and applied linguists. The issues identified show that linguistic explanations can be of great help to disciplinary experts in attaining a more correct interpretation of the texts and practices in which they are commonly involved.
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