lunduniversity.lu.se

Language as a tool

The Joint Faculties of Humanities and Theology | Lund University

Project originality

This research project is an interdisciplinary effort combining knowledge and methodologies from the fields of linguistics, language technology, management studies. To the best of our knowledge, this study is novel in that it investigates consumer attitudes towards sustainable consumption from a linguistic perspective. Despite the understanding that life styles are important for sustainable consumption, not much research on sustainability in information flows among different actors have taken into concern the importance of differences in consumers’ social profiles. The linguistic analysis of a corpus, annotated with consumers’ sociodemographic information, will provide valuable insights about consumer motivation and expectations about sustainable products. Additionally, the combination of two different feedback sources (social media text and questionnaires) will provide a rich input for analysis and discussion. The linguistic choices, constructions and expressions that a speaker uses while evaluating a sustainable product will point to the speaker’s rationale, and the corpus to be compiled will become an important resource for future studies in the field. It will also enrich research on sensory experiences of products and of the language of evaluation in discourse.  

Also, this project has practical significance, as our Corpus is going to be an open source resource (from the project’s webpage) that can be used in future studies in various fields and for various purposes and products. Our results can be the objective of more extensive studies in linguistics, social and political science, and maybe contribute to the debate about the existing sustainability policies in Europe.