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Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics (IALS), Università della Svizzera italiana

Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics (IALS), Università della Svizzera italiana
IALS Istituto di argomentazione, linguistica e semiotica
Facoltà di scienze della comunicazione
Università della Svizzera italiana
Via G. Buffi 3
CH-6900 Lugano
T: +41 (0)58 666 47 91
Prof. Dr. Andrea Rocci, andrea.rocci@usi.ch
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The Institute of Argumentation, Linguistics and Semiotics (IALS) is devoted to research and teaching in the field of verbal communication, semiotics, discourse and dialogue analysis, argumentation and rhetoric. One of the main threads of research of the IALS focuses on argumentation and interpersonal communication and their role within specific practices and professional sectors (among which commercial and family mediation, consultancy in finance and banking etc.). The research of the IALS concentrates on the linguistic, semiotic, semantic pragmatic and rhetoric analysis of messages – written, oral, visual, multimedia – seen as integral part of communicative interactions within their social, cultural and institutional contexts. Other research activities include multilingual communication and the role of Italian in the context of multilingual Switzerland, as well as semiotic aspects of discourse of hypertexts and hypermedia and of e-learning applications.

Research areas

  • Research on fundamental logic-semantic and pragmatic structures of argumentation
  • Research on the relevance of argumentation in various communicative contexts, with particular attention to argumentation in the context of financial, economic and corporate communication
  • Semiotic systems used in non-verbal and multimodal communication, with particular focus on interpretative processes of hypermedia texts and on the integration of text, image and layout in printed and electronic documents
  • The use of language in intercultural communication, with particular reference to discourse forms in different cultures, to the relation of culture with linguistic and semiotic codes on the one hand, and with the tight network of culturally relevant texts on the other, to metaphorical structures associated with different cultures, to the argumentative role of keywords associated with cultural values
  • Multilingual communication, with particular attention to the role of Italian within the context of multilingual Switzerland
  • Analysis of argumentative discourse in language policy debates


Pragmatics, Semiotics, Communication, Interculturality, Italian, Switzerland, Discourse analysis