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Translation and Political Discourse

Abstract

The paper describes the text linguistic research of political texts in the field of Translation Studies and presents an overview of critical discourse analysis-based studies. First, the relationship between text, power and ideology and its implications on the role of translation are explored. This is followed by a review of a number of studies on the translation of political texts and on the power relations involved. The paper classifies such studies into the following six categories representing distinct research fields: translators' professional roles and politics; translators acting as mediators in situations of political conflict; translators' professional responsibilities and the strategies they apply; the inference of translators' own historical, social and cultural backgrounds; manipulation in the translation of literary texts and other text types; and critical discourse awareness in Translation Studies. The most recent studies in the above research fields and their results are also presented. It is concluded that these approaches exhibit quite varied research methods and their results are almost impossible to compare. With a view to the future development of this research field, it seems expedient to introduce a unified research theory, method and tool.

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Hedging in Political Discourse: Evidence from the Speeches of King Abdullah II of Jordan

Abstract

This paper reports on the findings of a study that aimed to identify the linguistic items which act as hedges in the speeches of King Abdullah II of Jordan, as well as to examine the pragmatic functions of these devices. Twenty-five political speeches of King Abdullah II, randomly selected from the official website of King Abdullah (see Appendix), were analyzed adopting Salager-Meyer’s (1994) taxonomy. The study revealed that the most frequently used hedging device in King Abdullah’s speech is modal auxiliaries, and the most frequently used hedging device subcategory is the modal auxiliary “can”. The findings suggest that these hedging devices fulfil several pragmatic functions. These findings contribute to understanding that speaking a second language (Arabic, in the case of King Abdullah II) neither affects the types of hedging devices nor the functions these devices perform. Moreover, contrary to scientific discourse (e.g., medicine), the research concludes that political discourse as a non-scientific genre resorts to hedging devices to express indirectness, politeness, lack of commitment and probability.

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From Candidate to President: Obama’S Discourse Two Years Later

Abstract

The article explores Barack Obama’s most notable speeches after becoming president. The authors intend to write a sequel to their 2009 paper Yes We Can: A New American Identity in the Speeches of Barack Obama, which looked at Obama’s campaign discourse, and investigate if his rhetoric has changed in the first half of his mandate.

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The Framing of the EU Visa Liberalization with Ukraine

Abstract

This article presents a qualitative study aimed at investigating the framing of political discourse associated with the EU visa liberalization with Ukraine. This study seeks to address the framing of the EU visa liberalization process in Ukrainian political discourse published online by several leading high-quality Internet news resources, e.g. 112ua, Censor.Net, or UNIAN. The corpus of the study is comprised of 34 articles that have been analysed from the vantage point of framing methodology developed by Entman (2004) and Dahl (2015). The results of the qualitative investigation reveal that Ukrainian political discourse associated with the EU visa liberalization with Ukraine is framed by means of such frames as the Building, the Divorce, the European Integration, the Game, the Home, the Hostage, and the Journey. These findings are further presented and discussed in the article.

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Prosody of the viewpoint in political discourse

Abstract

The article reports on the study of the prosodic characteristics of the utterances expressing viewpoint in English political discourse. The paper draws on the findings made in the course of the auditory analysis of presentations delivered by politicians. The work contains an overview of political discourse and viewpoint studies. Special focus is given to prosodic variations of viewpoint in political public speech.

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Migration Discourse in Slovak Politics. Context and Content of Migration in Political Discourse: European Values versus Campaign Rhetoric

Abstract

The migration crisis has not only influenced the societies of Europe, their governments, and decisions taken by them but also affected the work of media. As soon as the migration crisis began to escalate in Europe, the old continent has continuously tried to cope with the influx of refugees from the war-threatened Middle East; not only individual statements of politicians and influential individuals but also communication flows themselves, which have created content and expanded context within networks, have become the center of interest. We can assume that in the previous months (especially in the case of the Slovak Republic), political and media discourses influenced societal and individual opinions and attitudes toward the migration crisis. The main aim of this article is to compare the various contents in the Slovak printed media in the context of the migration crisis. The dominant focus will be on analyzing media messages in the analyzed period in the context of creating political (media-based and electoral) discourse on the refugee crisis. We assume that over time, the main political discourse changed, and that the rhetoric of the main political actors also changed over time. The reason for this shift was the national election in March 2016.

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Stability, Ambiguity and Change in the Discourses of NATO allies in the Black Sea region: The Cases of Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey

Abstract

Shortly after the Crimea crisis of March 2014, NATO started a process of strategic reflection and a series of actions under the umbrella of the ‘Pivot to East’. On the South of its Eastern flank, the Black Sea region looms as one of the most unstable areas, with a number of frozen conflicts in non-NATO countries as well as an increasing unrest overall. This article explores the political discourses, commitments and attitudes towards NATO of the three allies at the Black Sea, namely Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey, as well as exploring their role in regional security. The purpose of the research is to compare NATO’s representation in the mainstream politics of these countries. Based on discourse analysis and the comparative method, the paper examines to what extent stability, ambiguity and change are present in the Southeast allies’ discourses on NATO.

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Polish contemporary art to the anti-semitism of Poles and its political significance

Abstract

This article presents artistic creativity which worked through the problem of Polish anti-Semitism. Almost all discussed works, performances, films, projects appeared after 2000, when Jan Tomasz Gross published his book Neighbors, in which he described the massacre in the village of Jedwabne (1941) launching a public debate about the responsibility of Poles in the Holocaust of the Jews. In the text, I showed as art, which is conventionally called “post-Jedwabne” was part of this debate. Its political status on possibly general level was associated primarily with the revision of conventionalized historical memory and national identity formed on romantic patterns.

The text shows that the debate with the participation of artists formed part of the rules of socalled ritual chaos, so the highly polarized positions, in which anti-Semitism was considered as an obvious and determining such events as the ones in Jedwabne (the opinion was adopted by artists), or it was denied. Even those works that sought to break away from this dichotomy, as Ida by Paweł Pawlikowski were placed secondarily in it as a part of the public debate. In the text, I explained that the post-Jedwabne art worked through primarily so-called secondary anti-Semitism. The political potential of these gestures was related to the disclosure of social antagonisms and tensions arising from the fact that Poles denied phenomenon of their own anti-Semitism and put the blame on the Jews for the fate, which they met. A very important aspect (political as well) also proved the psychotherapeutic function of post-Jedwabne art. In this perspective, events such as the pogrom in Jedwabne appear like trauma, which disintegrates the national identity. Translating it into artistic strategies many artists applied measures that were to deprive the viewer the secure role of an observer in favor of an active, working through participant.

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Conceptual metaphors in Ukrainian prime ministers’ discourse involving renewables

Abstract

This qualitative study is aimed at elucidating conceptual metaphors associated with renewable energy sources (further referred to as ‘renewables’) in Ukrainian prime ministers’ (PMs) political discourse. The material derives from a corpus of Ukrainian PMs’ political texts on renewables in Ukraine within the timeframe 2005-2014. The corpus is examined for the presence of conceptual metaphors pertaining to the topic of renewables. Data analysis indicates that from 2005 to 2013 conceptual metaphors involving renewables are embedded in the issues of Ukraine’s adherence to the Kyoto Protocol, the EU directives on renewables, the monetary value of renewables and the role of renewables in Ukraine’s energy security, thus instantiating the conceptual metaphors Renewables as Ukraine’s European Choice, Renewables as a Path to the EU, Renewables as Money and Renewables as Independence respectively. However, the novel metaphor Renewables as Survival is identified in PM Yatsenjuk’s political discourse in 2014. This metaphor is embedded in the context of another conceptual metaphor, Gas as a Weapon, which is present in political discourse involving Russian natural gas export to third countries. Data analysis indicates that the conceptual metaphors Renewables as Survival and Renewables as Independence are in a polyphonic relationship of synergy and contrast with Gas as a Weapon.

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The Ruling Discourse on Proper Womanhood in the Hungarian Parliament

Abstract

Starting with a debate in September 2012 on the incorporation of domestic violence as a distinct offence in Hungary’s new Criminal Code, the issue of gender and proper womanhood has regularly re-surfaced in statements made by ruling coalition MPs in parliamentary debates. Drawing on discourse analysis, this study investigates a selection of these statements in the context of the government’s current policy and public discourse. The paper argues that these discourses outline an essentialist model reflective of a dominant ideology that is traditional, Christian, patriarchal and heteronormative, which, by hinting at women’s accountability for certain social ills, also allows for a chain of associations that ultimately results in the subversion of the overall social status of women, dividing and marginalising them further and discrediting any claims or actions aimed at establishing a more egalitarian society in the country

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