Vol 21, No 1 (2017): Discourse Analysis in the 21 st Century: Theory an d Practice (II)


Discourse Analysis in the 21st Century: Theory and Practice (II)

Ponton D.M., Larina T.V.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):7-21
pages 7-21 views

The Discourse Semantics of Attitudinal Relations: Continuing the Study of Lexis

Martin J.R.


This paper explores some aspects of the problem of categorizing attitudinal relations in English, as part of a description of evaluation informed by systemic functional linguistics (SFL) - appraisal. It reviews paradigmatic and syntagmatic orientations to lexis within this tradition, and the development of typological and topological representations of systemic relations. Corpus based argumentation is considered in relation to work on evaluation by Bednarek 2008; and proposals for continuing the study of lexis are suggested, focusing on resources for negotiating sadness and negative reactions to behavior (e.g. embarrassed , ashamed ) and the affordances of topological representation. The paper highlights the possibilities and challenges involved in continuing the study of lexis in descriptions using SFL as their informing theory.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):22-47
pages 22-47 views

Metaphor and Grammar in the Poetic Representation of Nature

Goatly A.


This article is based on two assumptions which have already been evidenced in the literature of environmental discourse analysis. The first is that the normal congruent active material process clause (Halliday and Matthiessen 2004), if the empathy hierarchy (Langacker 1991) is imposed upon it, tends to represent humans as acting in a unidirectional way upon a passive environment (Goatly 2002, 2007). The second is that much pro-environmental discourse, such as the Worldwatch Institute’s reports, for the most part adopts this grammar and thereby undervalues the power of nature as a force independent of humans but with power over them (Goatly and Hiradhar 2016). This article builds on work already done in Goatly (2000, 2007) and Goatly and Hiradhar (2016) on non-congruent grammar, co-ordination, along with personification and other forms of metaphor, to represent the human-nature relationship in ways which are more in keeping with modern science, and more helpful from an ecological viewpoint. The poetic texts discussed are taken from Wordsworth’s The Prelude , Edward Thomas’ Collected Poems and Alice Oswald’s Woods etc. Besides the use of grammatical co-ordination and metaphor/literalisation to blur the human nature boundary, they illustrate the use of nominalisations, ergative verbs, the activation of tokens and existents, the emphasis on nature as sayer and experiencer, rather than goal, which is a grammar (and use of metaphor) quite different from the patterns in so-called environmental and news discourse.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):48-72
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Metapragmatics of Administering Justice in Russian and English Judicial Discourse

Dubrovskaya T.V.


This paper is intended as a contribution to a body of research on metapragmatics in courtroom settings, particularly in Russian and English judicial discourse, and presents the results of functional analysis of metapragmatic elements. In the article, I claim that meta-utterances are inherent in judicial discourse and perform specific functions that are essential for practising judicial power and discretion in court as well as administering justice. The paper discusses functions of meta-utterances as they are presented in recent scholarship and offers a three-group classification of metapragmatic elements in judicial discourse, according to the types of reality distinguished in (Gibbons 2003). The first group contributes to constructing the primary reality, i.e. the reality of the courtroom; the second group assists in framing the secondary reality, i.e. the reality of the crime or misdemeanor; the third group deals with framing the legal reality. Altogether, these groups of metapragmatic elements construct an organizational frame for the trial. Data for the analysis are drawn from a few trial transcripts of modern Russian and English cases (1998-2008). By using Russian and English data for the analysis, it is demonstrated that the principal functions of judicial meta-utterances are marked by parallelism in Russian and English, while minor differences discovered are related to some other pragmatic categories, e.g. politeness, that are more nationally and culturally specific.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):73-90
pages 73-90 views

Discourse Motivations of Mental Construal and the Expression of Stance in Speech: A Case Study of English

Khrisonopulo E.Y.


This paper presents an account of the phenomenon of mental construal manifested in English expressions of stance through the distinction of clauses that are headed by subjects associated with two conceptual archetypes: participant (P) invoked by the first-person pronoun ( I am certain that ) and abstract setting (S) conveyed by anticipatory it ( It is certain that ). With recourse to the main theoretical points on the anchoring of linguistic meaning in the acts of speech activity (Leontiev A.A.), mental construal (Langacker R.), processes of discourse-driven conceptualization and categorization (Kubryakova E.S.) and with reference to discourse oriented studies of stance (Biber D., Finegan E., Kärkkäinen E.), the conducted analysis focuses on a corpus of about 350 examples that represent narrative and dialogic discourse in English-language fiction. As evidenced by linguistic data, the choice of stance expressions with P- and S-subjects is motivated, respectively, by the distinctions that arise in discourse between actual and mentally represented types of reality, the contrast between reference-making and viewing as types of cognitive events and the distinction between event-schemas and mental experiences. These discursively relevant distinctions are further shown to be related to narrative and dialogic strategies that are used in literary texts for the expression of stance with the alternative stance-clauses.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):91-104
pages 91-104 views

Shopping as ‘Best Practice’ - Analyzing Walmart’s Debated Sustainability Policies

Abbamonte L., Cavaliere F.


Nowadays, companies who want to engage environment-friendly consumers increasingly rely on green-economy oriented campaigns. Such categories of (ethical) consumers are numerically increasing, and expressions evoking environmental friendliness are becoming particularly trendy. In this vein, words such as ‘sustainability’ have been variously recontextualized/reframed and have become an ‘ought to’ for media-savvy companies ‘with a vision’ - Walmart, the American multinational retail corporation, being a relevant case in point. It is no accident that, on the first Google page for ‘sustainability’, ‘Walmart’ proudly surfaces:http://corporate.walmart.com/global-responsibility/sustainability. The company has made an explicit commitment not just to expand the business but also to improve communities and enhance the sustainability of the products they sell, by encouraging more responsible production practices, while at the same time making product choices more affordable for customers, as reported on its website. However, as the world’s largest company, Walmart is an easy target for attack mainly by environmentalists. Sometimes, Walmart gives its critics grounds for some legitimate criticism in a variety of fields ranging from the supply chain emissions to renewable energy and preserving habitat. Such criticism resonates across the media, owing to their ‘lack of closure’ (Laclau and Mouffe 1985), finalized to offer an unbiased perspective. Against this ‘complexified’ (Macgilchrist 2007) background, our study aims to examine, from a broadly Multimodal and Positive Discourse Analysis perspective, the Walmart website ‘sustainability’ pages with their variety of communicative strategies, advertising ‘responsible’ Walmart positive attitudes to fundamental issues like Energy, Waste, Products and Responsible Sourcing.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):105-125
pages 105-125 views

“The Twenty Percent Solution”: The Concept of Social Capital through the New Words in English Business Discourse at the Turn of the 21st Century

Galchuk L.M.


The article reviews English words and expressions recorded in Word Spy online dictionary of neologisms within the last three decades and conceptualized around the notion of social capital viewed as a civil society attribute and a valuable resource for the sustainable economic development. The meaning of the newly coined words gets the onomasiological coverage within the framework of neology and the social capital theory. The lexical units are analyzed through extra- and intralinguistic motivators of their emergence in the language inventory as well as the formal and semantic composition. The study reveals that the connotatively marked transnominations used to indicate the internal corporate communications outnumber the proper neologisms that refer to new policies and practices developed by a company to operate in its business environment. As the majority of neologisms possess the metaphorical potential, their intensive use in modern business communication results in violating its traditional norms. Thus, English professional discourse tends to experience the loss of its conventionality in favour of increased efficiency of every single communicative act.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):126-140
pages 126-140 views

Commencement Speech as a Hybrid Polydiscursive Practice

Ivanova S.V.


Discourse and media communication researchers pay attention to the fact that popular discursive and communicative practices have a tendency to hybridization and convergence. Discourse which is understood as language in use is flexible. Consequently, it turns out that one and the same text can represent several types of discourses. A vivid example of this tendency is revealed in American commencement speech / commencement address / graduation speech. A commencement speech is a speech university graduates are addressed with which in compliance with the modern trend is delivered by outstanding media personalities (politicians, athletes, actors, etc.). The objective of this study is to define the specificity of the realization of polydiscursive practices within commencement speech. The research involves discursive, contextual, stylistic and definitive analyses. Methodologically the study is based on the discourse analysis theory, in particular the notion of a discursive practice as a verbalized social practice makes up the conceptual basis of the research. This research draws upon a hundred commencement speeches delivered by prominent representatives of American society since 1980s till now. In brief, commencement speech belongs to institutional discourse public speech embodies. Commencement speech institutional parameters are well represented in speeches delivered by people in power like American and university presidents. Nevertheless, as the results of the research indicate commencement speech institutional character is not its only feature. Conceptual information analysis enables to refer commencement speech to didactic discourse as it is aimed at teaching university graduates how to deal with challenges life is rich in. Discursive practices of personal discourse are also actively integrated into the commencement speech discourse. More than that, existential discursive practices also find their way into the discourse under study. Commencement speech also embodies didactic discourse as its objective is to share the final piece of knowledge the teachers can offer on such a significant day. Besides institutional and didactic discourses, commencement speech represents memoire discourse for many orators go back to and indulge in their memories of the days passed. Apart from this, current commencement speeches are closely related to ironic discourse. As a result of three types of transformations discursive practices undergo in commencement speech discourse it acquires the property of a polydiscursive hybrid. The harmonious combination of polydiscursive practices contributes to commencement speech hybridization which increases the degree of commencement speech persuasiveness.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):141-160
pages 141-160 views

Exploring Rhetorical-Discursive Practices of Rouhani’s Presidential Campaign and Victory of his Prudence-and-Hope Key: a Discourse of Persuasion

Mirzaei A., Eslami Z.R., Safari F.


Trying to acquire and maintain power, politicians make use of certain rhetorical and linguistic devices to persuade voters in favor of their particular views constructed in the political discourse. The current study was an attempt to investigate Iranian president Hassan Rouhani’s use of persuasive rhetorical-discursive devices during his campaign for presidency in 2013. Specific attention was paid to the levels of language that constituted his political discourse through: 1) scrutinizing the level of sound, 2) investigating his selection of lexical elements, and 3) looking into syntactic structures employed to convey political nuances. Additionally, a critical discourse analysis (CDA) approach, drawing upon Fairclough’s three-dimensional analytical framework (2010), was adopted to probe the discourse-power relationship in his discourse, on the one hand, and the socio-cultural, religious, and political values underlying the rhetorical devices, on the other. The results revealed that Rouhani’s political discourse was embroidered with different rhetorical-discursive devices such as tripartite constructions, repetition in parallel lines, alliteration, and metaphor to influence the public opinion. Moreover, perhaps, using a concise and succinct message, visual symbols, and dynamic metaphors helped him reach out to the audience with an air of emotion and mobilize significant numbers of the electorate for himself.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):161-182
pages 161-182 views

Towards a New Linguistic Model for Detecting Political Lies

El-Zawawy A.M.


The present study addresses the problem of how the two US presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton use statements judged to be false by the Politifact site while delivering their campaign speeches. Two corpora of Clinton’s and Trump’s alleged lies were compiled. Each corpus contained 16 statements judged to be false or ridiculously untrue (‘pants on fire’) by the Pulitzer Prize Winner site Politifact. Some statements were accompanied by the video recordings where they appeared; others had no video recordings affiliated because they are either tweets or their events had not been recorded on Youtube or elsewhere. The present research made use of CBCA (Criteria-based Content Analysis) but as a stepping stone for building a new model of detecting lies in political discourse to suit the characteristics of campaign discourse. This furnished the qualitative dimension of the research. As for the quantitative dimension, data were analyzed using software, namely LIWC (Linguistic Inquiry & Word Count), and also focused on the content analysis of the deception cues that can be matched with the results obtained from computerized findings. When VSA (Voice Stress Analysis) was required, Praat was used. Statistical analyses were occasionally applied to reach highly accurate results. The study concluded that the New Model (NM) is not context-sensitive, being a quantitative one, and is thus numerically oriented in its decisions. Moreover, when qualitative analysis intervenes, especially in examining Politifact rulings, context plays a crucial role in passing judgements on deceptive vs. non-deceptive discourse.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):183-202
pages 183-202 views

Media Discourse in an Atmosphere of Information Warfare: From Manipulation to Aggression

Ozyumenko V.I.


In todays atmosphere of information warfare the biased impact of the media has increased, pushing behind other functions, including the informative one. The forms of media influence have also changed: direct persuasion has been replaced by implicit manipulation, which develops into outright aggression. Since, in the media discourse aggression can be both verbal and non-verbal, we propose to use the term information (or media) aggression , which is broader than verbal aggression . Media aggression can be considered as a binary process - in relation to the referent (affective aggression) and in relation to the audience (cognitive aggression). As a result, the information under media aggression refers to the expression of open hostility and animosity towards the referent and meaningful impact on the consciousness of the recipient (the target audience) to its ideological subordination. The purpose of this article is to justify the hypothesis that the growing media aggression is a feature of modern media discourse in the atmosphere of information warfare, and this function can be analysed within the framework of manipulative discourse as manipulative persuasion. The data has been taken from quality British and American newspapers, news websites of The BBC, The Economist, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and some others covering the relations between Russia and the USA, the situation in the Middle East, particularly in Syria. The the study was conducted using critical discourse analysis (Fairclough 2001, Van Dijk 2006, 2009; Wodak 2007; Weiss, Wodak 2007) and the multimodal approach (Ivanova, Spodarets 2010; Ponton 2016), and reveals various strategies and means of linguistic manipulation and media aggression. It also shows that the main aim of linguistic manipulation accentuated by verbal and non-verbal aggression is to deliberately mislead the audience imposing on it the desired idea of ideological subordination. Therefore, a knowledge of the mechanisms of manipulative influence is essential to counter the information and psychological war.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):203-220
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The IId International Conference “The Universal and the Unique in Linguistic Worldview”, Minsk, 14-15 October 2016

Lapteva N.E., Furashova N.V.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):230-232
pages 230-232 views

The Ist International Conference “Language. Culture. Communication: Studying and Teaching”, Orel, 13-15 October 2016

Vashchekina T.V., Abakumova O.B.
Russian Journal of Linguistics. 2017;21(1):233-237
pages 233-237 views

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