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"Veto the war but let no French head fall" : Linguistic avoidance strategies in Jacques Chirac's pre-Iraq war interview transcripts

Title data

Anchimbe, Eric A.:
"Veto the war but let no French head fall" : Linguistic avoidance strategies in Jacques Chirac's pre-Iraq war interview transcripts.
In: Journal of Language and Politics. Vol. 7 (2008) Issue 1 . - pp. 156-170.
ISSN 1569-9862
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.7.1.08anc

Abstract in another language

The eve of the ongoing Iraq war was a decisive moment for world leaders since they, given American pressure, had to choose between being with US or with the enemies. It meant treading on potentially threatening issues that could harm inter-national alliances and friendships. This paper illustrates using transcripts of Jacques Chiracs (then French president) interviews the linguistic avoidance strategies used to avoid, redefine, recontextualise, reframe, and reassess concepts and topics considered threatening to the position held. The answers Chirac gives to the rather direct questions show his desire to avoid projecting the false idea that France is hindering American foreign policy. It is therefore not only his face that is at stake, but also that of his people, his political party, and the nation. Placing the analysis within the broader concept of multimodal communication, the paper adopts some of the findings made by Caffi & Janney (1994) and Janney (1999) to emphasise that strategies of avoiding implicative and threatening concepts in speech follow similar patterns of escaping from or avoiding harmful objects in the physical world.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: threatening concepts; political interviews; avoidance strategies; Linguistic avoidance; politeness; war on terror; public discourse; face-saving; political discourse
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Chair English Linguistics > Chair English Linguistics - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Susanne Mühleisen
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 400 Language > 400 Language
400 Language > 410 Linguistics
400 Language > 420 English, Old English languages
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2020 09:35
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2020 09:35
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/53741