Rhetorical tactics of radicalization in Western and Arabic countries
This paper draws on Pratt’s (2009) description of the key linguistic operations in war-making: exhortation, offense, deception and mediation. The study postulates that ISIS enacts the four operations in the radicalization of Muslims in Arabic and Western countries. Using FrameNet, the four concepts are mapped to four frames: Attempt_suasion, Cause_emotion, Intentional_deception and Translating. Frame-based analysis of a comparable corpus representing bilingual publications of ISIS is carried out to explore these operations. Corpus tools complemented the analysis with detecting contrastive rhetorical tactics and chronological changes ISIS imposes to radicalize followers. Findings highlight the destructive effect of transliterated words in the English corpus and refer to the significance of exhortation in the studied Arabic corpus.
Keywords: weaponizing words, radicalization, rhetorical tactics, ISIS, language of war
Published online: 06 September 2019
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