The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history and sets out children’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. From a linguistic and subject-specific perspective, it is a typical international convention, which is most likely incomprehensible to children. For this reason, the Convention has undergone a process of reformulation and recontextualization (Calsamiglia – Van Dijk 2004) leading to the creation of a variety of child-friendly (CF) versions in many languages. This paper presents a corpus-based study of four CF posters explaining the rights enshrined in the CRC in English and Italian. The comparison of the CF versions with the original CRC revealed that the reformulation and recontextualization entailed a change in genre (from convention to poster), a significant reduction in length, a shift in focus from States Parties to children, a different use of deontic modality, and a limited use of cognitive popularization strategies.

Empowering children: The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its English and Italian child-friendly versions

Katia Peruzzo
2022-01-01

Abstract

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) is the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history and sets out children’s civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights. From a linguistic and subject-specific perspective, it is a typical international convention, which is most likely incomprehensible to children. For this reason, the Convention has undergone a process of reformulation and recontextualization (Calsamiglia – Van Dijk 2004) leading to the creation of a variety of child-friendly (CF) versions in many languages. This paper presents a corpus-based study of four CF posters explaining the rights enshrined in the CRC in English and Italian. The comparison of the CF versions with the original CRC revealed that the reformulation and recontextualization entailed a change in genre (from convention to poster), a significant reduction in length, a shift in focus from States Parties to children, a different use of deontic modality, and a limited use of cognitive popularization strategies.
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3055340
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