Year 32 No. 2 (2024): Issue 2/2024

The Pragmatics of Ecofriendly Recipes in Food and Sustainability Columns: Linguistic Analysis of British and American Newspapers

Fabio Ciambella
Sapienza University of Rome

Published 07/08/2024


  • Eco-culinary linguistics,
  • Pragmatics,
  • Food and Sustainability,
  • Newspaper Columns

How to Cite

Ciambella, F. (2024). The Pragmatics of Ecofriendly Recipes in Food and Sustainability Columns: Linguistic Analysis of British and American Newspapers. L’Analisi Linguistica E Letteraria, 32(2). Retrieved from


Sometimes defined as “the queen[s] of pragmatics” (Fortunati 2015, 30) – although I would say ‘the monarch(s) of pragmatics’, given the times we live in – recipes are usually regulative or prescriptive texts characterized by recurring kinds of speech acts, i.e., mainly (indirect) directives (Brdar-Szabó, Brdar 2009; Al-Azzawi, Abdulameer 2020) and expressives (Chiaro 2013), and a high degree of formulaicity and routines (Fortunati 2015, 31), to mention only a few of their most evident pragmatic features. In many cases, however, more complex methodological frameworks, based on interfaces between pragmatics and other levels of linguistic analysis, have been used to explore this textual typology. In addition, increasing interest in environmental issues has also recently influenced culinary linguistics and food studies in general, so much so that one could even talk about eco-culinary linguistics, as a subfield of research comprising discourses about food waste, nature-friendly farming, and low-emission cookery, among others.

Moving from these premises, this paper presents an analysis of pragmalinguistic strategies – with particular emphasis on interfaces between pragmatics, morphosyntax, and semantics – adopted by a small corpus of food and sustainability columns consisting of four well-known British and American newspapers (The Mirror and The Guardian in the UK on the one hand, and The New York Times and The Washington Post in the US on the other) which embed regulative/prescriptive texts such as recipes within more informational frameworks, i.e., newspaper introductory articles. The research question underlying this paper is understanding how, from a pragmatic standpoint, these food and sustainability columns try (and manage) to persuade readers that environmentally friendly recipes are not only good for our planet, but also healthy and tasty.


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