The paper explores recent international crises involving Russia and her relations with the Western powers, critically exploring the role of the media in influencing public opinion. It draws on critical discourse analysis (e.g.Fairclough 1995, 2001), and centres on the linguistic means of construing ambiguity. Taking for granted the persuasive function of the fourth power (Bryant and Zillmann 2002), it is suggested that a pattern of negative representation emerges, which may in turn lead to a negative evaluation of Russia and President Putin among the British public. This is followed up through interviews conducted with students and members of the British public shortly after the Novichok crisis of 2018, when a Russian ex-spy was attacked by unknown persons in the English town of Salisbury. The paper focuses on the semantics of certain groups of words and other textual features that construe ambiguity. These may include evaluative language, presupposition (Levinson 1983, Fairclough 1995: 5), indefinite pronouns, epistemic modality and other linguistic resources found in critical discourse studies. The study suggests that these patterns may be cross-cultural features of journalistic discourse, that may serve a variety of rhetorical/pragmatic purposes.

Representations of the Novichok affair: Critical-Pragmatic aspects

douglas ponton
2019

Abstract

The paper explores recent international crises involving Russia and her relations with the Western powers, critically exploring the role of the media in influencing public opinion. It draws on critical discourse analysis (e.g.Fairclough 1995, 2001), and centres on the linguistic means of construing ambiguity. Taking for granted the persuasive function of the fourth power (Bryant and Zillmann 2002), it is suggested that a pattern of negative representation emerges, which may in turn lead to a negative evaluation of Russia and President Putin among the British public. This is followed up through interviews conducted with students and members of the British public shortly after the Novichok crisis of 2018, when a Russian ex-spy was attacked by unknown persons in the English town of Salisbury. The paper focuses on the semantics of certain groups of words and other textual features that construe ambiguity. These may include evaluative language, presupposition (Levinson 1983, Fairclough 1995: 5), indefinite pronouns, epistemic modality and other linguistic resources found in critical discourse studies. The study suggests that these patterns may be cross-cultural features of journalistic discourse, that may serve a variety of rhetorical/pragmatic purposes.
978-5-94778-562-3
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/370705
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