In order to comply with Anti-Money Laundering laws, financial intermediaries are being engaged with unprecedented communicative activities, mainly oriented at detecting suspicious activities which must be reported to the Financial Intelligence Unit. The polysemous notion of ‘suspicion’ is pivotal to these communicative activities and needs to be clarified in order to establish to what extent argumentation is involved in their fulfillment. To this purpose, we apply the method of semantic analysis developed within Congruity Theory bringing to light the different semantic values of the verb ‘to suspect’ and its lexical derivates in a corpus of ordinary English; then we compare these meanings with the actual uses of this verb in the international and national AML laws. Amongst the numerous factors contributing to the polysemy of this word, we focalize on the difference emerged between an argumentative value of ’to suspect’ and another meaning in which suspicion is reduced to a mere hunch. This suggests that there exist different types of suspicion acts which are more or less argumentative. Interestingly, anti-money laundering international standards and some national implementations seem to admit suspicions at different argumentative degrees, entailing different levels of critical assessment expected from the financial intermediary. We also identify important implications for bank’s anti-money laundering activities deriving from the different semantic traits emerged in the analysis. We conclude the paper by eliciting from the outcome of the semantic analysis a number of questions that will guide the next steps of an ongoing research project in which Swiss banks’ AML practices are investigated from an argumentative perspective.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1075/jaic.3.3.03pal
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,274
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Ontology of Conflict.Sara Greco Morasso - 2008 - Pragmatics and Cognition 16 (3):540-567.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Do Banks Loan Money?Michael Philips - 1982 - Journal of Business Ethics 1 (3):249 - 250.
The Political Philosophy of Money.B. Goodwin - 1986 - History of Political Thought 7 (3):537.
Essence and Anti-Essentialism About Art.Lauren Tillinghast - 2004 - British Journal of Aesthetics 44 (2):167-183.
Passion in Prose.Eva Geulen - 2012 - Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 2012 (158):8-20.
Money.Eric Lonergan - 2009 - Routledge.


Added to PP index

Total views
10 ( #872,065 of 2,448,582 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #449,192 of 2,448,582 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes