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Totalitarian Political Discourse?

Tolerance and Intolerance in Eastern and East Central European Countries- Diachronic and Synchronoc Aspects- In collaboration with Karsten Senkbeil


Edited By Beatrix Kreß

This volume contributes to the study of political and especially totalitarian language in the countries of the former Eastern Bloc, by bringing together not only diachronic and synchronic aspects, but also by including different media types, such as newspapers, the internet, and different discourse types, e.g. environmental and gender discourses. The combination of historical and contemporary perspectives in many contributions add comparative dimensions, while also shedding light on relevant socio-political developments and phenomena in those post-communist countries, thus uniting linguistic methods with cultural studies.


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Totalitarianism – Anti-totalitarianism – Posttotalitarianism? A historical perspective on totalitarian discourse in Russian linguistics: Vladislava Warditz


Totalitarianism – Anti-totalitarianism – Post- totalitarianism? A historical perspective on totalitarian discourse in Russian linguistics Vladislava Warditz In this paper, I will discuss the definition and opposition of the terms totalitar- ian and anti-totalitarian (as opposed to post-totalitarian) within the modern lin- guistic paradigm in Russia. My study is embedded within a larger research pro- ject, and connects Peter Kosta’s hypothesis that language change in post- communist states of Eastern Europe has to be understood as discourse change (cf. Kosta 2009: 241 ff.) with Russian approaches to language change after 1985. After reflecting the linguistic dimension of language developments in Russia, I will also examine some examples from the fields of literature and translation. The analysis of totalitarian discourse (or totalitarian language) represents an essential part of interdisciplinary Slavic (Slavonic) Studies today. Relevant stud- ies usually function within the paradigm of Critical Discourse Analysis, Com- munication Pattern analysis, or forensic linguistics (cf. Freidhof 1995, 1996; Kosta 1995, 1996, 1998; Kuße 1998, 2004; Mann 2000). Further relevant works include those from Slavic countries after 1985, which differentiate and compare “new” post-totalitarian language varieties to “detached” totalitarian language (cf. Kostomarov 1994, Duličenko 1994, Zemskaja 1996, to name just a few rep- resentative works from Russia). Already in 1999, Kosta showed in his study of Soviet/Russian concepts of linguistic change (Kosta 1999: 954 ff.) that most of those works approached language rather descriptively and merely provided lists of new linguistic, sociolinguistic, and cultural phenomena. His assessment of one of the first post-Soviet monographs...

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