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Event-frames affect blame assignment and perception of aggression in discourse on political protests: an experimental case study in critical discourse analysis

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E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>10/06/2016
<mark>Journal</mark>Applied Linguistics
<mark>State</mark>E-pub ahead of print
Early online date10/06/16
<mark>Original language</mark>English


While CDA is largely an interpretative exercise, it places an emphasis on ‘triangulation’ as a guiding methodological principle intended to help ground analyses and guard against purely subjective readings of texts. Missing from CDA, however, is triangulation incorporating experimental methodologies. In this paper, I argue that CDA in general can benefit from an experimental dimension and that Cognitive Linguistic approaches in particular lend themselves to extension into experimentalism. I demonstrate this by reporting a recent experiment carried out within a Cognitive Linguistic framework on the effects of regular transactive versus reciprocal verbs in news reports of political protests. Results of the experiment show that in the context of media discourse on political protests the presentation of these alternate constructions, as well as differences in information sequence, affect how people apportion blame and the level of aggression they perceive in social actors. The experiment thus not only provides evidence for the ideological effects of these particular linguistic differences but more generally goes some way to justifying CDA’s focus on micro-level lexico-grammatical features of texts.

Bibliographic note

This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Applied Linguistics following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version: Christopher Hart
Event-Frames Affect Blame Assignment and Perception of Aggression in Discourse on Political Protests: An Experimental Case Study in Critical Discourse Analysis
Applied Linguistics first published online June 10, 2016 doi:10.1093/applin/amw017