Mariarosaria Provenzano- University of Salento, Italy
ELF hybridization strategies in the Western-Islamic
academic discourse of Finance.
A pedagogical approach
University of Bogazici-Istanbul
24-26 may 2012
• Topic: Socio-cognitive enquiry into hybridization processes
occurring in the academic discourse of a corpus of textbooks
in English on Islamic Finance.
• Focus: Hybridization strategies of original academic texts in
L1-Arabic through ELF structures and pragmatics to make
Islamic specialized concepts accessible (Widdowson 1991) and
acceptable to Western/International students.
Rationale: Defining Hybridization
Hybridization between culture-bound original textual and
conceptual structures of a discipline and parallel
structures in the receivers’culture by reformulating texts
through ELF at the structural, textual and pragmatic
levels to enhance accessibility and acceptability.
• To identify the strategies by which original
Islamic concepts and registers of Finance are
reformulated to: (a) make an
academic/pedagogic text function in a cross-
cultural perspective; and (b) facilitate students
in comprehending content competences in a
way that best fits their background knowledge
of the discipline.
Comparative critical analysis
between: • Hybridization: Analysis
(a) original Islamic corpus of
Finance in English
(‘availability’- Text 1) repetitions of noun
(b) original Western corpus of phrases) triggering
Finance in English to enable Western students’
‘accessibility’ (Text 2) processes of :
(c) hybridized ELF texts to • (a) schema redefinition,
enhance ‘acceptability’ (Text 3) (b) cross-cultural
revision of textuality
• (c) simplification rules
Analysis-Text 3: Macrorules of
• Application of van Dijk’s (1980) Macrorules allows :
– retextualization of the Islamic concept of riba by applying
the ‘construction’ macrorule, i.e. by hybridizing the original
religious/economic concepts and the Western traditional
disciplinary and textual practices to make concepts clear and
acceptable through a new ELF register (text 3):
- focus on lexis: i.e. ‘use of the rate of interest’, ‘halal profit’ as each
item aims at clarifying the prohibition of this financial concept.
- textual strategies: use of deictic pronoun ‘it’; definitions (i.e.‘a
• Standards of Textuality (de Beaugrande and Dressler 1981) in
a cross-cultural ELF perspective:
• - Informativity (Text 4)
• “ The structure of Islamic finance revolves around the prohibition
of any return derived on a loan/debt (Riba) and the legality of
• - Intertextuality (Text 5)
• “But one should not ignore the fact that the most important
requirement for validity of murabahah [related concept] is that it
is a genuine sale with all its ingredients and necessary
Analysis Text 7
• -“the use of the rate of interest” ,“the severity of
prohibition of interest”: further enhancements of
cohesion through precision and economy at the
expense of conciseness. (de Beaugrande and Dressler
• Ethnomethodological work with Western students
and pedagogical implications: further hints for
hybridization of Islamic finance models through ELF.
• Texts 6 and 7: Probing accessibility and
acceptability of the new texts.
– Focus on definitions, extended modality structures
• Probing acceptability of the concepts in the new
hybrid ELF texts (text 8).
• Results: availability of the reformulation concepts,
but unacceptability in terms of pragmatics (i.e. further
hybridization required in the statement on ‘interest
rate’; text 9).
• Hybridization processes of new ELF textbooks on
Islamic Finance shows useful pedagogic applications
in academic contexts and may stimulate further
research on cross-cultural text accessibility and
acceptability through the elaboration of new ELF
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- Halliday, MAK.. 1985. An Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Edward
- Iqbal, M. and A. Mirakhor 2011. An Introduction to Islamic Finance- Theory and
Practice. NJ: J.Wiley and Sons.
- Van Dijk, T.A. 1980. Macrostructures. An Interdisciplinary Study of Global
Structures in Discourse, Interaction and Society. Hillsdale: Erlbaum Publishers.
- Widdowson, H. G. 1991. “The Description and Prescription of Language”. In J. E.
Alatis (ed.) Georgetown University Round Table on Language and Linguistics.
Linguistics and Language Pedagogy: The State of the Art. Washington DC:
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