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Impoliteness in Media Discourse

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Edited By Anna Bączkowska

The book presents the issue of impoliteness in media discourse found in television debates, films and computer-mediated communication. The phenomenon is viewed from different theoretical perspectives, namely prosody studies, corpus linguistics, media studies and audiovisual translation, neo-Gricean approaches, reception-oriented investigations and context-bound interpretations. Authors from ten different countries – Sweden, USA, Norway, New Zealand, Mexico, Georgia, France, Poland, India, and UAE – analyse data from nine languages – English, Swedish, Georgian, Polish, Arabic, Persian, French, Croatian and Montenegrin.

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Realizations and functions of impoliteness in discourse about language and identity in Croatian and Montenegrin media (Ljiljana Šarić / Tatjana Radanović Felberg)

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Ljiljana Šariü Tatjana Radanoviü Felberg Realizations and functions of impoliteness in discourse about language and identity in Croatian and Montenegrin media Abstract This chapter addresses realizations of impoliteness in written discourse thematizing language and identity in Croatian and Montenegrin media (online and print newspapers, and internet forums) from 2010 to 2011. The main participants in this discourse include well-known intellectuals, journalists, and editors. They all defend or attack a particular position in discussing, among other things, “how similar ‘our’ language (Croatian/Montenegrin) is to ‘their’ language” (Serbian), and “what makes this language (Croatian/Montenegrin) a distinctive and independent entity.” They clearly position themselves in relation to the other. In other words, they are engaged in identity work. Because their positioning of the self and the other involves negative identity-ascribing practices, our understanding of impoliteness is linked to the notion of identity. Moreover, we connect the concept of impoliteness with power and emotions. Contrary to our expectations, the participants in the media discourse analyzed in both countries frequently use offensive language both strategically and systematically while defending their particular positions. Taking into consideration parameters such as the role of participants in discourse, their social roles, the context and co-text, and activity types in which discourse participants were engaged at the various stages in a discourse, we identified various types and functions of impoliteness realizations. The types of these realizations predominantly include “subtle” impoliteness, such as inappropriate personal identity markers, and negative personal assertions, but taboo words are also occasionally found. Most of impoliteness...

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