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Explorations in Language and Linguistics

For Professor Piotr Stalmaszczyk on the Occasion of His 60th Birthday


Edited By Łukasz Bogucki and Piotr Cap

This volume is dedicated to Professor Piotr Stalmaszczyk, Head of the Department of English and General Linguistics at the University of Łódź, on the occasion of his 60th birthday. It includes texts written by his students, colleagues and friends, dealing with a variety of urgent, widely discussed topics in the contemporary language studies. Spanning contributions from language history, philosophy, rhetoric and argumentation, methodology, and discourse studies, it provides an authoritative outline of the field and a timely response to the existing challenges, thus making for a concise handbook of modern linguistics. It is recommended to graduate students of philology, as well as researchers working in linguistics and other disciplines within the broad spectrum of humanities and social sciences.

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Explorations in the Rhetoric of the Brexit Campaign: Playing the Immigration Card for the Leave Vote (Piotr Cap)


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Piotr Cap

Explorations in the Rhetoric of the Brexit Campaign: Playing the Immigration Card for the Leave Vote

Abstract: This chapter looks at British anti-immigration discourse on the example of Nigel Farage’s pre-referendum speeches. The use of metaphorization and proximization is studied to demonstrate the expression of isolationist moods in the UK.

Keywords: Brexit, political discourse, proximization, metaphor

1 Introduction

The beginning of summer 2016 saw a momentous event in the history of the modern Europe: the UK’s referendum on EU membership. On June 23, 2016, after a long and heated campaign, 52% of the British people cast their votes in favor of leaving the Union. Voting for ‘Brexit’, they put an end to the 24-year long period of UK’s membership in the EU as one of its founding states. The promise to hold the referendum was first announced by the British PM David Cameron in January 2013, subject to the condition that the Conservative party win the next general election in 2015. Cameron’s announcement was thus the starting point of a nationwide ‘proto-referendum’ debate, which lasted for the following three years, involving a variety of themes, attitudes, and arguments among the supporters as well as opponents of Brexit. A theme that was particularly salient, and often marking the dividing line between the two camps, was immigration – discussed in the context of ‘big’ national issues such as sovereignty, democracy and economic prosperity. Looking back, immigration (and mainly...

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