The meanings of “war”
From lexis to context
In this paper I interpret findings from a project investigating media coverage of the 2003 “Coalition” invasion of Iraq, drawing on a corpus of news reports from the Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV news. The findings reported are evidence of a consistency that reflects the unconscious working of an ideology about “war”, with ideology considered in linguistic terms as a “configurative rapport” (Whorf 1956). To trace some dimensions of this ideology, I explore the meanings of “war”, its linguistic reactances, and its consequences for the creation of text with respect to registers of news discourse. I consider “war” from the point of view of lexis: its referential meaning, its relation to other related signs, (Saussure 1974), its denotative and connotative meanings (Hasan 2003) and its collocation and colligational potentials (Firth 1937, 1962). I then consider it from the point of view of text-in-context (e.g. Halliday & Hasan 1985). The paper extends the 30 year interest in the relations of language, mind and society that have characterised studies of ideology in critical linguistics/CDA.
Published online: 27 September 2013
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Cited by 5 other publications
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