Language of Death 172.237 Version 2

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172.237 slideshow presentation - Language of Death ass 3 2011

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Language of Death 172.237 Version 2

  1. 1. The Language of Death:<br />“Words are about the world but they also form the world as they represent it” (Wetherell, 2001. p. 16)<br />“Meaning emerges from complex social and historical processes” (Wetherell, 2001. p. 17).<br />“Power is not simply exersized, it is also fought over in discourse” (Chouliaraki and Fairclough, 1999. p. 62). <br />
  2. 2. 0000000000<br />Timor Leste<br />The setting; 1975.<br />Indonesia invades and occupies Timor, killing thousands. <br />
  3. 3. .<br />Five Australian journalists, sent to Timor to cover the story, were shot by Indonesian soldiers, their corpses dressed in uniforms, guns propped beside them, photographs taken, and a mock funeral staged and filmed. <br />This photograph is courtesy of the Balibo Film publicity dept. <br />All other photographs used in this presentation were taken by the author in Timor Leste.<br />
  4. 4. They became known as The ‘Balibo Five’ (labeling requiring assumption of prior knowledge for understanding - Lee, 2007).It took years for the truth to emerge.The film’s title is the name of the tiny coastal town where the men died. <br />
  5. 5. The Language of Death. <br />they deliberately killed the journalists attributable <br />their murderous nature otherization<br />shoot the journalists to death explicit <br />were killed accidentally in crossfire dissimulation<br />executed with a bullet to the head connotation <br />bullet was fired into his head passive voice<br />summarily executed emotive<br />the deaths of the Balibo Five presupposition<br />their murderous intent accusatory <br />
  6. 6. To be meaningful, language needs to have context;<br /><ul><li>connection with previous discourse and history
  7. 7. organised with possible future discourses in mind
  8. 8. adherence to genre and medium rules.
  9. 9. acknowledgement of socio-knowledge
  10. 10. Knowledge of cultural connotations.</li></ul> (Wetherell, 2001)<br />
  11. 11. .<br />Intertextuality connects elements of discourse to create “constructions of the real that reflect the interests of the speech community” (Chilton and Shaefer, 1997, p. 221). <br />Meaning is relational –<br /> it exists because speech communities cooperate in having a shared understanding of the meaning of words <br />(Wetherell, 2001).<br />
  12. 12. Exerts from two texts to illustrate - <br />1. Graeme Dobell’s article ‘Some perspectives on Balibo’ published in The Interpreter, Lowy Institute of International Policy.<br />2.Shirley Shackleton spent years demanding the truth about her husband’s death – her open letter to the United Nations Prosecuter General. <br />
  13. 13. A story is woven using:<br />Representational understandings – Fretilin rebel forces/Indonesian militia/ larger issues of East Timor<br />Common collocations – killed in crossfire/ heat of the battle/ full light of day/monumental blunder/ <br />Chunked reused phrases – the Balibo Five/the murdered Australians/executed with a bullet in the top the head/growing weight of evidence<br />Accepted truths – blaming the Indonesian army/the clear findings/the cover-up culture of Indonesia/professional testimony <br />Acceptable attitudes – that is worth remembering/it is worth action against Indonesia<br />
  14. 14. Shirley’s linguistic power struggle: <br />Hedging and diminutives - I refer you to the fact/Fretilin had wisely withdrawn/as is often stated/certain historical accuracies<br />Indirect speech – one would expect that/have been shown to be deeply flawed/<br />Acknowledges power differentials – Dear Sir/my reason for writing is to point out <br />Face saving – this letter is not to persuade you/my reason for writing is<br />Coercive – Indonesia itself needs this matter to come to court/the evidence before you <br />Euphemisms –giant jig-saw puzzle/vital clues/mythical history/skirmishes <br />Seeks common ground – we were all lied to/the world cared so little for justice/her own government officials<br />Enables and allows for future discourse – you will no doubt hear of/of course there could be many valid reasons <br />
  15. 15. Painting pictures to persuade:<br />Kicking and yelling – masculinised from kicking and screaming<br />Forgotten freelancer – altruistic, intrepid, martyr <br />Cover-up culture – Western/Indonesian. Open/closed<br /> The fig-leaf of doubt could still be waved –<br /> humour depicting view of ‘the other’ as flimsy, archaic, mythical and easily exposed and embarrassed, reference back to cover-up culture.<br /> Cursed the Ind. troops as any Australian would <br />-creating an ‘us’ group, positive stereotyping, <br />
  16. 16. ‘Shock and horror’, ‘murder and mayhem’ are linguistically powerless, but…..<br />Vilified and defamed (endured extremes)<br />My mother-in-law committed suicide (unbearable despair)<br />Marched to the wharf (military, asymmetrical power)<br />Executed with a bullet to the head (brutal,, merciless)<br />Embittered by the deaths (emotionally scarred)<br />evoke strong emotion. <br />Meaning is a joint production between the writer and the reader (Wetherell, 2001)<br />
  17. 17. Headline -<br />“Australia, Indonesia and East Timor” (names the players)<br />Opening sentence - “Why are we still arguing about the six dead journalists?” (defines the subject, sets the topic)<br />“Discourse is<br /> a social action” <br />(Wetherell, M. 2001)<br />
  18. 18. “Discourse builds worlds” (Wetherell, 2001)<br />Discourse is constructive; it creates as it expresses.<br />
  19. 19. It is indexical; meanings depend on context<br />
  20. 20. It is collaborative; meaning is a joint production. <br />
  21. 21. Discourse creates meaning around everythingin life - including how we talk about death.<br />Timorese mourning houses in honour of the dead.<br />

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