Brothers in arms? : Discourse analysis of Serbian and Montenegrin identities and relations as constructed in Politika and Pobjeda front page articles during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999
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AbstractThis study is an example of studying language-in-use and language as social action in a particular situation (NATO air war on Federal Republic of Yugoslavia - FRY), at a particular time (from March 26 to June 11, 1999) and in a particular place (FRY). As a representative example of the particular social language, a corpus of front page political media texts was chosen from two different newspapers, the Serbian Politika and the Montenegrin Pobjeda. By analyzing this particular corpus of texts, this study was able to illuminate how two different national identities, that of Serbia/Yugo-slavia and that of Montenegro, and the relations between the two entities were discursively constructed during this critical period in history. This type of analysis required an innovative combination of different perspectives on language and society in order to address the complexity of the socio-linguistic elements. This complexity was addressed in the first part of the study comprising Chapter 2 on theory and Chapter 3 on methodology. From a social constructionist perspective on society and knowledge, the analysis drew on socio-cognitive linguistics, social semiotics and critical discourse analysis. Emerging from these theoretical perspectives, a suitable methodology was devised relevant to the nature of the selected texts. Methodological tools used in this study range from lexico-grammatical and semiotic resources to metaphors and Discourse Models. This made it possible to point to connection between what was written and what was done and vice versa.
Context played a crucial role and was approached in a novel way – as the analyst’s mental model. This approach was described in detail in Chapter 4 in the second part of the study. In addition to the chapter on context, the second part of the study also includes Chapter 5 on co-text, which takes a diachronic view of political and media orders of discourse. These two chapters together illuminate the broader picture and serve as a preparation for the detailed semiotic and linguistic analysis in context, conducted in the third part of the study. Part 3 thus consists of four chapters and makes up the main analytical section. In Chapter 6, for analytical reasons the semiotic analysis was dealt with separately; visual analysis without verbal analysis is only ever a partial analysis and can lead to erroneous interpretations. Chapters 7-9 direct the spotlights at primarily verbal, but also visual, analysis of the entire period of the NATO bombing, focusing on places which show how the identities of Serbia and Montenegro were constructed as different and how they were expressed and maintained in relation to each other and to other global political actors.