The project

Same question, different words, different opinions.
Words are weapons: they play a role in shaping the public debate about several social, ethical, political, and religious issues. Have you ever wondered to what extent words can change our opinion?
This is a fundamental point, especially if these words deal with hot topics that we, as citizens, are asked to decide upon.
Would you open your nation’s borders to hordes of illegal immigrants? Probably not, but maybe you would be down with welcoming a family of refugees. Bombing civilians is definitely an act of cruelty, whereas exporting democracy is a duty of Western civilization. These formulations are only alike on the surface, but they convey different messages indeed: for instance, the expression hordes of illegal immigrants puts us on the defensive against large-scale migrations. Instead, family of refugees might trigger a sense of warmth within us, and precisely, a sense of family.
A survey conducted by Gallup in May 2013 measured the effects of such different messages on the opinion of the U.S. citizens, who were asked to reflect on the issue of assisted dying. “Do you support…

“…ending the patient’s life by some painless means?” “…assisting the patient to commit suicide?”

The project

We strongly believe that words matter, and we set the following goals for our project:

1. Tidying up. What words are used to talk about sensitive issues such as assisted dying, immigration, war, and violence against women? How can we classify them? Are they associated with other words bearing a positive or a negative connotation?
2. Understanding. Why do the media opt for certain words over others? What scenarios do they want to evoke? What are their aims? What messages do they want to sneak under our noses?
3. Becoming aware. What is communicated to us is much more than what we are told!

To achieve these goals, we will use the tools of linguistics , that is, the scientific discipline that studies language.
Linguists all over the world collect data from real texts, run software to analyze them, and apply statistical methods to test their hypotheses: linguists are “scientists of language”. In short, linguists can measure the power of words and help us become better-informed.

We need your help!
Support our campaign, support good information, support scientific research!

#wordsmatter
#wordshavepower
#wordsareweapons


Link:

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/WordsMatterUniPv

Web site: https://sites.google.com/unipv.it/wordsmatter/

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Contribute
  • Donazione minima

  • Cartolina personalizzata con il logo e lo slogan del progetto

  • Borsa di tela Universitiamo e cartolina con il logo e lo slogan del progetto

  • Visita guidata alla scoperta dei segreti del Collegio Ghislieri

  • Copia del libro di Francesca Santulli "Le parole del potere, il potere delle parole"

  • Trattamenti benessere viso e capelli offerti da I Zaccaria Istituto di bellezza (primi 4 donatori)

  • Ringraziamento nella pubblicazione scientifica

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Would you like to donate more then 1600€ click here

Goals

1° STEP 5.000 EURO

- Funding: 4-month scholarship for a young linguist
- Transparency: creation of a web interface whereby contributors can freely access the data and the results of our analysis
- Transparency: shooting and editing of a video to divulgate the results of the analysis
- Publications: 1/2 peer-reviewed papers on scientific journals

2° STEP 7.500 EURO

- Funding: 7-month scholarship for a young linguist
- Update of the web interface and the project video

3° STEP 10.000 EURO

- Funding: 10-month scholarship for a young linguist
- Update of the web interface and the project video
- Publications: 3 peer-reviewed papers on scientific journals

Video

Media Gallery

Rewards

Euro 10

"Words Matter" postcard with our logo and our slogan.

Euro 15

"Universitiamo" shopper + "Words Matter" postcard with our logo and our slogan.

Euro 25

Guided tour: discover the hidden mysteries of Collegio Ghislieri!

Euro 70

Copy of "Le parole del potere, il potere delle parole" by Francesca Santulli (first 14 backers).

Euro 80

Spa treatments for face and hair offered by I Zaccaria Istituto di Bellezza (first 4 backers)

Euro 100

Acknowledgments in the scientific publications.

Team

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Chiara Zanchi

| Founder

Chiara Zanchi

| Founder
Postdoctoral Researcher. University of Pavia. Department of Humanities, Section of Linguistics
Complete CV
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Erica Pinelli

Erica Pinelli

Postdoctoral Researcher. University of Pavia. Department of Humanities, Section of Linguistics
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Elena Valvason

Elena Valvason

PhD student in Linguistic Sciences. University of Pavia/University of Bergamo.
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Guglielmo Inglese

Guglielmo Inglese

PhD student in Linguistic Sciences. University of Pavia/University of Bergamo
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Chiara Meluzzi

Chiara Meluzzi

Postdoctoral Researcher. University of Pavia. Department of Humanities, Section of Linguistics.
Complete CV
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Serena Coschignano

Borsista

Serena Coschignano

Borsista

Backers

  1. Serena Coschignano
  2. Mauro Vanetti
  3. Prof.ssa Claudia De Piero
  4. Evento "Anna Cappelli"
  5. Silvia Dal Negro
  6. Anonymous
  7. Monica Canziani
  8. Lascito Fondi Prof.ssa Baicchi
  9. Lascito Fondi Prof.ssa Baicchi
  10. Piergiorgio Sanguigni
  11. Evento "Danza Tablao Morado"
  12. Evento "L'importanza di essere Franche"
  13. Patrizia De Castro
  14. Luisa Borchio
  15. Anonymous
  16. Anonimo
  17. Shanshan Huang
  18. Evento: "Yoga: tra il dire e il fare"
  19. Matteo Tarsi
  20. Anonymous
  21. NICHOLAS NESE
  22. G.P.M. ENERGIE SRL
  23. Anonymous
  24. Mauro Epis Maurizio Raffaella
  25. Aperitivo "Giambra"
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Contact

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Enter your pledge amount

Contribute
  • Donazione minima

  • Cartolina personalizzata con il logo e lo slogan del progetto

  • Borsa di tela Universitiamo e cartolina con il logo e lo slogan del progetto

  • Visita guidata alla scoperta dei segreti del Collegio Ghislieri

  • Copia del libro di Francesca Santulli "Le parole del potere, il potere delle parole"

  • Trattamenti benessere viso e capelli offerti da I Zaccaria Istituto di bellezza (primi 4 donatori)

  • Ringraziamento nella pubblicazione scientifica

Would you like to donate by bank transfer? click here


Would you like to donate more then 1600€ click here