Baal icsig-2012-Schroeter


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Melanie Schroeter presented her research on interdiscursive encounters and interdiscursive misunderstanding at the BAAL-ICSIG Seminar 2012 at the Dept of Languages, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, on 17-18 May 2012.

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Baal icsig-2012-Schroeter

  1. 1. Interdiscursive Encounters and Interdiscursive Misunderstanding Melani Schröter University of Reading
  2. 2. Introduction Structure• Present a case of an interdiscursive misunderstanding• Conclusions regarding discourse determined semantic structures• Contrastive discourse analysis/ICC: common interest (?)  Your views?• Project on contrastive analysis of discourse key words (ongoing yet at the beginning)
  3. 3. An Interdiscursive Misunderstanding • Multicultural society = (~?) (≠) multikulturelle Gesellschaft?• Angela Merkel, 16 October 2010 (at a conference of the CDU young party members‟ organisation) Of course the approach to say okay we‘ll have multiculturalism (Multikulti) here and live side by side, happy with one another, this approach has failed. Utterly failed.
  4. 4. An Interdiscursive Misunderstanding • Reactions in the British Press Angela Merkel declares death of German multiculturalism (Guardian, 17.10.2010)Angela Merkel’s claim that multiculturalism has ‘utterly failed’ has put her country’s attitudes to immigration in the spotlight (The Sunday Telegraph 24.10.2010) ~ reads the „funeral rites over an open society‟; thinks immigrants „should conveniently disappear, taking their wives, their children, their benefit needs and their political antagonisms with them‟ (Independent, 21.10.2010)In a landmark speech, she broke one of Germany’s last taboos and courted anti-immigration support by claiming those from a different background failed to live happily side-by-side with native Germans. (Daily Mail 18.10.2010)
  5. 5. An Interdiscursive Misunderstanding• NOT…o “a starling shift from her previous views” (Guardian 18.10.2010)o “breaking a long standing taboo in Germany” (The Express, 18.10.2010)o “a lurch to the right” (Guardian 17.10.2010)…but different discourse position and meaning• German migration discourseo Area of tension between multiculturalism, assimilation and integration – latter = favoured middle groundo CDU long dismissed multiculturalism as naïve laissez faire approach esp. stigma word Multikulti (lacks seriousness; idealistic); post 2001 political climate; Merkel pushes for integration with a range of political measures
  6. 6. An Interdiscursive Misunderstanding• Use of multicultural in British Commons and House of Lords debates; first occurrence 1973; 80 times between 1990-1998; since 1999 on average more than 100 times per year• With first person plural Of course we are a multi-ethnic and multicultural society (Mrs. Angela Rumbold, Commons, 8 May 1990)(…) how to combat religious and racial prejudice in our plural, multi-cultural society? (Mr Anthony Lester, Lords, 28 March 1994).• Attributive to BritainIn today’s multicultural Britain, (…) (Mrs Marha Singh, Commons, 20 November 1997)• Attributive to a range of different aspects of the social worldMulticultural…city, education, projects, awareness, exchange, programmes
  7. 7. An Interdiscursive Misunderstanding• Germany‟s Upper House; searchable database 2000-2011 one single, and symptomatic, hitThe process of integration therefore is much more complicated whereby I admit that we should not fall into randomness. I also believe that the term „multicultural“ is misleading. [...] There are indeed binding agents, perhaps it is what some understand by a nation built on culture. (Otto Schily; Bundesrat, Stenografischer Bericht, 771. Sitzung., 20. Dezember 2001: 742. Debatte über Entwurf des Zuwanderungsgesetzes) Metalinguistically commenting, with critical distance, and in immediate vicinity of concurring concepts (integration, and, implicitly, guiding culture – a debate going on in 2000)
  8. 8. Discourse semantics• Difference in meaning and usage of mcs/mkG responsible for interdiscursive misunderstanding• UK: mc refers to social reality resulting from a historical process of immigration; Germany: contested and largely discarded political approach to dealing with the result of a historical process of immigration Discourses not only under different conditions in different ways, but determine meaning even in the nutshell of a political key word – resulting language use reflects and contributes to this Discourses construct, therefore determine, and reflect „what we know‟ about (social) „reality‟• Particularly apparent in contrastive (discourse) semantic analyses
  9. 9. Discourse Key Words (DKW)• Semantic complexity, cognitive relief Globalisierung (globalisation)• Trigger and/or express attitudes and/or evaluations Kriegsminister (‘minister of war’)• Bound up in discourse context (time, frequency, ensemble) – Gastarbeiter (guest workers)  a past, not a current DKW vs. integration  currently a central DKW, but not the whole discourse – part of an ensemble incl. other DKW• Inherently controversial (signifier; Verteidigunsminister OR signified; Globalisierung – opportunities vs. dangers)
  10. 10. Discourse Key Words (DKW)DKW analysis lends itself to…• a contrastive/comparative programme (systematic, manageable)• Keeping up with discourse analysis (DKW cannot be analysed isolated from related discourse, complex semantics generated in multitude of discourse related texts/utterances; profit from methodological adaptability of discourse analysis)• Producing accessible results (e.g. DKW dictionaries)
  11. 11. Discourse Key Words (DKW)Analysis of Discourse Key Words lends itself to….• Combination with corpus analytical approaches (phenomenologically distinct)• Cognitive linguistics/frame analysis (complex, discourse determined semantics; ~ nodes in semantic network of specific discourse, arguments, evaluations…wound up in DKW); frames as typicalised and structured segments of collective knowledge which result inductively or abductively from the intersection of similar individual experiences. (…) An activated frame regulates language and activity in that it triggers expectations regarding information that fits into it, or more precisely regarding potential elements of knowledge in the available slots. (Ziem 2008b: 97f; translated from German; MS) Semantic structures of DKW entail patterns of usage due to discursive formations The use of a DKW triggers expectations/knowledge – may therefore differ across discourses/languages!
  12. 12. Common interest (?)…between a contrastive approach to the analysis of public/political discourse and ICC• Discourse semantic structures; implicit – expectations/knowledge triggered with the use of DKW – unreflected  prone to misunderstanding• ~ cultural key words; (cf. Stubbs 2001/2010; Wierzbicka (1997; 2006; 2010) (also) at the level of lexical semantics, we may talk about different things while we think we talk about the same
  13. 13. AHRC funded networking project• Researching and Documenting Key Words in European Migration Discourses (AHRC Translating Cultures theme)• Participants from the UK, France, Italy, Germany• Corpus-based, comparative, relating DKW to cognitive conceptualisations• Aim to produce a comparative DKW dictionary of GB, F, I, D migration discourses, relating discourse „history‟ and semantics
  14. 14. ReferencesSchröter, M. (forthcoming): Die kontrastive Analyse politischer Diskurse. Skizze, Verkomplizierung und Ausblick. In: J. Kilian and T. Niehr (eds) Politik als sprachlich gebundenes Wissen. Erwerb, Entwicklung und (Aus-) wirkung politischer Sprache im lebenslangen Lernen und politischen Handeln. Bremen: Hempen.Stubbs, M. (2001) Words and phrases. Oxford: Blackwell.Stubbs, M. (2010) „Three concepts of keywords‟, in M. Bondi and M. Scott (eds) Keyness in Texts, pp. 21–42. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.Wierzbicka, A. (1997): Understanding Cultures through their Key Words. English, Russian, Polish, German , and Japanese. Oxford: OUP.Wierzbicka, A. (2006): English: Meaning and Culture. Oxford: OUP.Wierzbicka, A. (2010): Experience, Evidence, and Sense. The Hidden Cultural Legacy of English. Oxford: OUP.Ziem, A. (2008a) Frames und sprachliches Wissen. Kognitive Aspekte der semantischen Kompetenz. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter.