Language as a magical property

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UNIVERSIDAD DE TARAPACÁ
Facultad de Educación y Humanidades
Departamento de Idiomas Extranjeros

Discourse Analysis

Language has a magical property

Names:
Patricia Cruz Chinchilla
Valeska Espinoza Pinto
Subject:
Discourse Analysis
Profesor: julio Jung

ARICA – CHILE
2008

Analyzing Ingrid Betancourt’s testimoniesAccording to Gee’s model

Abstract: In the current paper it is going to be analyzed two texts taken from the ex hostage Ingrid Betancourt’s testimonies. The purpose of this work is to analyze both texts applying the seven building tasks Paul Gee’s framework (2005), from different contextual perspectives, in order to prove how influential the setting is in the use of language. To enact thisanalysis we are going to focus in four of the seven building tasks proposed by Gee, as the most significant constructions of reality that are significance , activity, identity and politics. Finally we are going to proceed to discuss the expected results to make some generalizations according to Norman Fairclough`s theory on the Discourse analysis field.

Introduction

In the past fifteen years,discourse analysis has had a major impact on language study. It has introduced new methods of research, new ways of conceptualizing research questions and new ways understanding the nature of discourse itself. Analysis of discourse looks at patterns of language across texts by discussing issues of interest such as the relationship between language and social context, culture- specific ways ofspeaking and writing and ways of organizing texts in particular social and cultural situations.

On the other side, the humanity has known many attempts of social transformations searching equality and justice, sometimes through pacific bias, and other ones through violence. Consequently, terrorism is one of the most cruel human beings´ violence expressions against innocent people with the purposeof gaining publicity by means of political, revolutionary, religious and individual conflicts, that is the case of the Revolutionary Armed Forced of Colombia, that is well-known as FARC movement, which have been fighting in the Colombian Civil war for 40 years.

In 2002, the French Ingrid Betancourt Pulecio was taken as a hostage, by the FARC, during six and a half years in Colombian junglewhile she was campaigning for the Colombian presidency. During and after her permanence in captivity, Ingrid expressed many testimonies about her enduring experience, from which it is possible to make interesting discourse analysis considering the social and cultural context in which the text occurs. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to analyze two different Ingrid Betancourt’s testimonies applyingthe seven building tasks of James Paul Gee’s framework (2005), in order to demonstrate how important the setting is, in spoken or written discourse.

Gee, Paul James (2005): An Introduction to Discourse Analysis
- Building Tasks
- Building things through language

According to Gee, there exists a controversial aspect in language about what comes first, if the situation we are in, orthe language we use. However, we can say that language and a given context are related to each other in a reciprocal process. Nevertheless, in this paper, apart from carrying out a discourse analysis, we intend to prove our own hypothesis that is that the most influential factor in shaping language use is the setting, since a given situation in which a person is engaged in, will shape the way inwhich that person builds his language.

Then, considering that any text can be analyzed and what is reveled will depend on the approach that is taken, we are going to focus on the analytical method of James Gee, in which he has developed a two development framework corresponding to “the tools of inquiry” and “the seven building tasks” that are expected to appear in whatever we speak or write...
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