Edited By Ali Almanna and Juan José Martínez Sierra
6 The Metadiscursive (Re)framing of Fact, Truth and Reality in Interpreted Political Discourse: A Corpus-based CDA on the Premier’s Press Conferences in China (Chonglong Gu)
6 The Metadiscursive (Re)framing of Fact, Truth and Reality in Interpreted Political Discourse: A Corpus-based CDA on the Premier’s Press Conferences in China
Essentially persuasive in nature, political language is arguably about conveying a (desired) version of truth, fact and reality, where politicians “are in the business of selling their products”, that is, “their policies and their point of view” or their “truth” (Vukovic 2014: 37). Unsurprisingly, what constitutes truth, fact and reality is in many ways mediated and shaped by discourse. A major site of ideology, the interpreter-mediated and televised Premier-Meets-the-Press conferences are an established annual event in mainland China (Gu 2018a). This high-profile discursive event constitutes a major regime of truth (Foucault 1984), enabling the Chinese premier (ranked second in China’s political hierarchy) to answer journalists’ questions on an array of potentially sensitive issues (e.g. Sino–Japanese relations, China’s economic reform and political restructuring, the US general election, corruption, Taiwan, Tibet, Syria and Crimea) and, in doing so, present and perpetuate Beijing’s desired and officially sanctioned version of truth, fact and reality. The interpreted nature of the press conferences highlights the interpreters’ potential agency in (re)framing reality and (re)constructing Beijing’s discourse and image in the process.
Surely, truth value can be articulated through different discursive means and a certain version of fact and reality can be realized in myriad ways. At a lexical level, for example, whether the Northern Irish city is lexicalized as...
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