Linguistic Legitimation of Political Events in Newspaper Discourse

Marwah Kareem Ali, Anne A. Christopher, Munif Zarirruddin Fikri B. Nordin

Abstract


This paper examines the discursive structures employed in legitimizing the event of U.S. forces withdrawal from Iraq and identifies them in relation to linguistic features. It attempts to describe the relation between language use and legitimation discursive structures in depicting political events. The paper focuses on the political event of U.S. forces’ withdrawal from Iraq in the English newspaper issued in Iraq. The study shows the way in which journalists express their values and attitudes concerning this critical event. Consequently, this requires a critical discourse analysis (henceforth, CDA) to analyse news articles in the Iraqi English newspaper: The Kurdish Globe (henceforth, KG) newspaper. Accordingly, the study presents a qualitative content analysis of newspaper articles to identify the legitimation discursive structures and their linguistic features. It is found that the main discursive structures of legitimation employed in the KG newspaper are: authorization, rationalization, and moral evaluation. Besides, there were five verb processes used to represent this legitimation, including material, verbal, relational, mental, and existential.

Keywords: Critical discourse analysis, legitimation discursive structures, linguistic features, newspaper discourse, systemic functional linguistics


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