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LANGUAGE USE IN CRISIS SITUATIONS: ADISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF ONLINE REACTIONS TO DIGITAL NEWS REPORTS OF THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD SHOOTING AND THE NAIROBI WESTGATE ATTACK

Chiluwa, Innocent and Ajiboye, Esther (2016) LANGUAGE USE IN CRISIS SITUATIONS: ADISCOURSE ANALYSIS OF ONLINE REACTIONS TO DIGITAL NEWS REPORTS OF THE WASHINGTON NAVY YARD SHOOTING AND THE NAIROBI WESTGATE ATTACK. In: The Discourse of Digital Civic Engagement: Perspectives from the Developing World. Nova Science Publishers, New York, USA, pp. 35-55. ISBN 978-1-63484-120-7

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Abstract

This study applies critical discourse analysis and the appraisal framework to examine the evaluative structures of feedback comments on news reports of the mass shooting that occurred at a Navy Yard in Washington D.C. and the attack on Nairobi Westgate shopping mall in September, 2013 referred to as 'crisis situations'. The study shows that language use in crisis situations is highly ideological and exhibit features of affect involving the use of flaming, labelling, and some forms of rhetoric that reflect negative evaluation of some perceived social enemies. Negative representations of the attackers are understandably influenced by the emotions of people who are directly or indirectly affected by the crises. The expressions of anger, fear, shock and frustrations in language use occur frequently in the data. Rhetorical elements or tropes like exaggeration, metaphor and irony are also noticeable in the evaluations of the mass shooter and the Somali terrorist group. However, some forms of labelling and negative constructions of Al Shabaab are actually misleading and tend to divert attention to some serious aspects of the crisis in question. Keywords: Crisis situations, language use, mass shooting, terrorism, attacks, online news, feedback comments, Washington D.C., Nairobi

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: A General Works > AI Indexes (General)
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Divisions: Faculty of Law, Arts and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Miss Esther Ajiboye
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2016 13:23
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2016 13:23
URI: http://eprints.covenantuniversity.edu.ng/id/eprint/5935

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