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“28 Palestinians Die”: A Cognitive Grammar Analysis of Mystification in Press Coverage of State Violence on the Gaza Border.

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/Proceedings - With ISBN/ISSNChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Publication date1/01/2021
Host publicationNew Directions in Cognitive Grammar and Style
EditorsMarcello Giovanelli, Chloe Harrison, Louise Nuttall
Number of pages23
ISBN (Print)9781350111110
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Although developed originally to account for ‘traditional’ rank levels of linguistic structure, Langacker’s Cognitive Grammar (CG) offers a particularly congenial framework to work with in various forms of text and discourse analysis. Indeed, while the primary method of linguistic analysis in stylistics and critical discourse analysis has typically been provided by systemic functional linguistics, there is now a rapidly growing body of work applying CG in both of these traditions. In this chapter, I apply a CG lens to an ideological effect much studied in critical discourse analysis, namely mystification. I take as data for a case study a convenience sample of media responses to recent (2018) instances of state violence and mass fatality on the Gaza-Israel border in which a number of Palestinian protesters were killed. I show how central notions within the architecture of CG, including action chaining, profiling and trajector-landmark alignments, might account for the mystificatory qualities, experienced in readers’ encounters with news texts, of certain textual features, including the use of intransitive verbs, agentless passive constructions and nominalisations.