Chapter published in:Language Aggression in Public Debates on Immigration
Edited by Andreas Musolff
[Benjamins Current Topics 102] 2019
► pp. 123–149
A corpus-assisted discourse study of Donald Trump's Facebook conversations
Immigration has been and remains a conspicuous topic in American political debate, and the ongoing refugee crisis in Europe, exasperated by the Syrian conflict, has brought the issue of Muslim immigration into focus. The topic has been exploited, among others, by the presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. His proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. achieved great resonance and stimulated passionate discussion. This discussion, which displayed a high degree of xenophobia and verbal aggression, is the target of this paper’s investigation. Material was collected from Trump’s official Facebook page and was analyzed using Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus Linguistic methods. The results highlight the strategies employed in discourse that aims to posit Muslims as “Others” and as incompatible with American society, as well as dangerous, aggressive, and inferior, through the choice of semantic, syntactic, and rhetorical discursive structures.
Keywords: Corpus Linguistics, Critical Discourse Analysis, immigration, Muslims, social media, xenophobia
Published online: 24 April 2019