ELF and linguistic accessibility in EU migration laws. A Critical Discourse Analysis on text reformulations


Abstract – The present study examines a corpus of legal texts from the EU regarding Immigration and Political Asylum, that refer to the administrative practices and the procedures for claiming asylum, which involve immigrants and asylum seekers between the European Member States. At the core of the study, there is the awareness that these specialized text-types are mainly built on pragmatic strategies which mainly reflect Western routines. Such an issue is thus thought to be the main cause of misunderstandings between the EU and the mediators and the migrants, especially in terms of the ELF dynamics that are involved in the legal processes of discourse interpretation. Hence, the need to activate processes of hybridization in the form here of written reformulations, aimed at making the texts more accessible (Widdowson 1979) to the empirical receivers of the documents. As for the methodology, a Critical Discourse Analysis (Fairclough 1995) is applied in order to point out the possible incongruities of the original statements, and thus to propose new reformulations.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v24p125

Keywords: ELF variations; power asymmetry; simplification strategies; CDA


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