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Title: Insult and the construction of other’s identity: remarks on Portuguese political discourse
Author: Seara, Isabel
Manole, Veronica
Keywords: Análise do discurso
Violência verbal
Estratégias descorteses
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: Editura Academiei Romane
Citation: Seara, Isabel; Manole, Veronica - Insult and the construction of other’s identity: remarks on Portuguese political discourse. "Revue roumaine de linguistique: identities in dialogue" [Em linha]. ISSN 0035-3957. Vol. 61, nº 3 (2016), p. 301-318
Abstract: Personal antagonisms, political rivalries, verbal duels, petty disputes and insults play an important role in politics and reflect a tense atmosphere which transgresses the elementary rules of politeness, giving younger generations the idea of a model of growing aggression and verbal violence. Starting from a pragmatic approach to insulting and offensive acts (based on the research of Larguèche 1983 and 2009, and Lagorgette 2009), the object of our investigation is to analyse subjacent proceedings to the moral and social transgression which lead to the systematic degrading of the other. In the present study we are interested in the effect of pejorative utterances, which are insulting or considered as such, used in Portuguese parliament, during parliamentary debates between government officials and members of parliament of the opposition in 2011 and 2012 for which official information is available at We are especially interested in the relationship between impoliteness and verbal violence through the work of Bousfield & Locher (2008) and Culpeper (2011), among other studies. This paper will then go on to describe and analyse the linguistic procedures which define the manifestations of impoliteness, and attempt to show how, in certain discourses the multiple elements that stand for ill intention, deception, indignation or even anger, may be reflected through verbal aggression of the parts involved. According to the statement made by Marques “political parliamentary discourse may be troubled, aggressive discourse but it is not offensive, because it is located within the construction of a discursive political world that frees its (functional) participants of responsibilities and aggression.” (2009 : 294, our translation), we will try to prove that the debates resort to a intrinsically confrontational model that manifests a certain ‘preference for disagreement’ (Doury 2009) and which is, in part, beyond the rules of polite communication, though at times exhibiting a theatrical facet.
Peer review: yes
ISSN: 0035-3957
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Appears in Collections:Linguística - Artigos em revistas internacionais / Papers in international journals

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