The discursive role of nominalizations in German political language Cover Image

Die diskursive Rolle von Nominalisierungen in der deutschen Politikersprache
The discursive role of nominalizations in German political language

Author(s): Sandra Lukšić
Subject(s): Politics, Language studies, Syntax
Published by: Filozofski fakultet Sveučilišta u Mostaru
Keywords: German language; political language; nominalizations; discursive role;
Summary/Abstract: In this exploratory-qualitative study a tendency towards nominalizations is investigated, which is a phenomenon increasingly present in the contemporary political discourse, i.e. in political debates of the German Parliament. This linguistic phenomenon is looked into within the framework of Political Discourse Analysis (PDA), a subbranch of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), as a means of compressing sentence structure from the pragmatic-semantic aspect. The article has three aims: to identify the tendency towards nominalizations in German parliamentary debates during the 19 election period, to interpret nominal expressions in the sense of underlying political concepts and to point out to possible pragmatic implications of their usage. In analyzing this linguistic phenomenon we start from three previously known assumptions within Discourse Analysis: (1) discourse makes use of preconstructed knowledge, which can formally be demonstrated by the use of nominalizations, (2) by converting expressions into nominalizations the potential agent gets lost and (3) the absence of an external source leads to depersonalization and unintelligibility. The analysis is conducted on the corpus of 21 speeches and their plenary proceedings of German MPs, which were held in German Parliament at parliamentary meetings on three different topics. Nominal expressions are extracted, listed according to their derivation base and classified depending on what they denote. A qualitative data analysis is employed to show that the MPs use nominalizations as a strategy for the abstraction of their political speeches. The aim of this strategy is to distance oneself from an already existing formulation and to strenghten one’s own and weaken the opponents’ linguistic resources.

  • Page Range: 50-75
  • Page Count: 26
  • Publication Year: 2020
  • Language: German