Chapter published in:Reference and Identity in Public Discourses
Edited by Ursula Lutzky and Minna Nevala
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 306] 2019
► pp. 19–41
Two miserable creatures or those atrocious criminals?
Evaluative reference in the Mannings murder reporting
This chapter studies the way in which an infamous nineteenth-century couple, Frederick and Maria Manning, was described in the news of a murder case, and how by the use of person reference they were placed into a particular social group. The interest is in whether the social representation of murderers became the way in which the Mannings were described as individuals, and in whether the resulting social identities could be considered stable or variable. The study shows that although evaluative reference was mostly rather neutral in tone, the Mannings were in general referred to as negatively as other nineteenth-century murderers. However, there was also situational variation linked to momentary empathy, which made the couple’s social representation less stable than expected.
Keywords: social representation, evaluative language, person reference, Manning, Victorian press
Published online: 21 October 2019
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Cited by 1 other publications
Chaemsaithong, Krisda & Yoonjeong Kim
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