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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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The semantic field of POWER and political propaganda: революция (revolution) vs. переворот (coup) andвосстание (uprising) vs. мятеж (revolt): Dmitrij Dobrovol’skij & Ludmila Pöppel


The semantic field of POWER and political propaganda: революция (revolution) vs. переворот (coup) and восстание (uprising) vs. мятеж (revolt) Dmitrij Dobrovol’skij & Ludmila Pöppel 1 Preliminary remarks The semantic field of power is an essential area in political language. In Rus- sian, it is covered by such words as революция (revolution), переворот (coup), восстание (uprising), бунт (riot, rebellion, mutiny), мятеж (revolt), путч (putsch), заговор (conspiracy, plot), свержение (overthrowing), выступление (protest action, march), протест/акция протеста (protest action) etc. These words have always been used both in everyday language and as instruments for manipulating public opinion in official propaganda. An example of this is the political movement in Libya that started in February 2011. In the Russian media, these events have been called революция (revolution), мятеж (revolt), гражданская война (civil war), акции протеста (protest actions), движение протеста (protest movement), волнения (disturbances), беспорядки (disor- ders), восстание (uprising), вооруженный конфликт (armed conflict), движение сопротивления (resistance), кровопролитие (bloodshed), кровавая баня (bloodbath), геноцид (genocide), бунт (riot, rebellion, mutiny) and заговор (conspiracy, plot). One topic of discussion in the media has been why these events have so many different names. Numerous answers to this question have been proffered, all focused on different political aspects. Linguistic aspects – i.e. subtle semantic differences between these terms, differences in the speaker’s attitude and empathy – have never been mentioned in the discussion although they could give better insights into the mechanisms of manipulating public opinion. The purpose of this paper is to (i) clarify the way these semantic differences are used for political propaganda; (ii) determine possible diachronic shifts in the semantic field of power over the last hundred years. 2 Previous research: революция (revolution) and переворот (coup) In a prior work (Dobrovolskij/Pöppel 2012), we analyzed semantic differences...

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