Manipulation by deliberate failure of communication
This work studies manipulative use of language that can be called “deliberate failure of communication”; I characterize this kind of manipulation and show that it can be found in the discourse of marketing experts and legal professionals. Relying on relevance theory, I show that manipulation of this kind takes advantage of what van Dijk calls the “context model” of the addressees. I exemplify two ways in which the context models of some of the discourse’s participants might be misused in order to manipulate them. One way is exemplified by a text from an advertisement, the other by a text from a criminal court file. I propose, finally, that the analysis supports van Dijk’s view that social, discursive, and epistemic inequalities reproduce one another in a kind of vicious circle. It suggests, in van Dijk’s terms, that manipulation by deliberate failure of communication is a discriminatory use of language employed by elite groups in order to reproduce their social power.
Keywords: manipulative discourse, context models, unspoken assumptions, Relevance Theory, legal discourse, communication failure
Published online: 21 December 2015
Levinson, Stephen C
Sperber, Dan, and Deirdre Wilson.
van Dijk, Teun A
2004 “From Text Grammar to Critical Discourse Analysis: A Brief Academic Autobiography”. Available at: http://www.discourses.org/OldArticles/From%20text%20grammar%20to%20critical%20discourse%20analysis.pdf
Cited by 2 other publications
Azuelos-Atias, Sol & Ning Ye
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 17 april 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.