Institute for Specialised Communication and Multilingualism
Founded in 1993, the Institute for Specialised Communication and Multilingualism originally focussed on research into “Language and Law”, but over the years, it has steadily expanded its remit to take in the areas of multilingualism and specialised communication. As a result, the Institute now holds an established position in the international scientific community of Applied Linguistics.
Ever since its foundation the Institute has carried out research in the areas of terminology, translation and special languages, with the aim of creating a scientific basis for multilingualism in law and administration in South Tyrol. Later, the reform of the bilingualism and trilingualism examinations brought about increased research activity in the areas of second language acquisition and language teaching, as well as the evaluation of language proficiency. At the same time there was a steady growth of research in the specialist area of “Migration and Language”. Comparing different languages and cultures has not only led to studies on the phenomena associated with migration; the Institute's is now also focussing on the protection and promotion of regional and minority languages, including Italian Sign Language.
The development of the bistro Information System for Legal Terminology, and the ELDIT Electronic Learners’ Dictionary led to the subsequent inclusion of automatic language processing. Research into language technologies is particularly concerned with the production and use of language resources, such as monolingual and multilingual text corpora. Furthermore, the Institute develops tools not only for research into languages and dialects, but also for graphical representation of linguistic information.
The growing research expertise has entailed a subsequent expansion in the methodological approaches and themes covered. Important new areas are now terminology management and knowledge management, which are major factors for the effective use of knowledge in business.
In addition, various events, publications, collaborations with national and international partners, as well as the ever-increasing activities in the fields of further education and consultation, have all helped to build the status of the Institute in the international scientific community.
The various projects carried out at the Institute can be subdivided into three main research topics: