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Language Use in the Public Sphere

Methodological Perspectives and Empirical Applications

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Edited By Inés Olza Moreno, Óscar Loureda Lamas and Manuel Casado

This book comprises a range of general discussions on tradition and innovation in the methodology used in discourse studies (Pragmatics, Discourse Analysis, Argumentation Theory, Rhetoric, Philosophy) and a number of empirical applications of such methodologies in the analysis of actual instances of language use in the public sphere – in particular, discourses arising in the context of the debate on the presence of religious symbols in public places.
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Vocabulary and Argumentation in the Spanish Press Discussion about Islamic Veil. Metaphorical Projections of Burqa: Carmen Llamas Saíz & Concepción Martínez Pasamar

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CARMEN LLAMAS SAÍZ & CONCEPCIÓN MARTÍNEZ PASAMAR

Vocabulary and Argumentation in the Spanish Press Discussion about Islamic Veil. Metaphorical Projections of Burqa1

This chapter deals with the use of the word burqa in the Spanish press debate about the proposed ban on the full Islamic veil, which was led by some local councils in May and June 2010. It is clear that lexical selection relating to certain topics, actors and facts contributes to the creation and projection of a particular image of reality. For the purposes of this study, 150 texts (mainly news reports and editorial columns) have been selected from two of the main newspapers in Spain: El País and El Mundo.

The results of our analysis show the expansion of the semantic range covered by the word burqa, as well as its use as a category prototype. However, the idealized model reflected in the press discourse does not mirror the world exactly. At the same time, the shared frame of reference occupied by addressers and addressees enables the use of burqa as a source domain of evaluative metaphors also found in other languages within the same cultural/ideological community.

In conclusion, the texts show that the persuasive force of burqa, as compared with other expressions relating to the veil, contributes to creating a certain climate of opinion in both its literal and metaphorical uses.

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