Discourse Studies 13 (6):751-769 (2011)

Critical Discourse Analysis has recently begun to consider the implications of research in Evolutionary Psychology for political communication. At least three positions have been taken: i) that this research requires Critical Discourse Analysis to re-examine and defend some of its foundational assumptions ; ii) that this research provides a useful explanatory framework for Critical Discourse Analysis in which questions can be addressed as to why speakers might pursue particular discursive strategies and why they might be so persuasive ; and iii) that findings bare little or no relevance for Critical Discourse Analysis. In this article, I take up the first two of these positions and in doing so, of course, implicitly disagree with the third. I consider the positions in i) and ii), then, specifically in relation to Sperber’s notion of a ‘logico-rhetorical’ module. Taking the argument that Chilton makes concerning this module one stage further, I suggest that the logico-rhetorical module evolved as much for persuasion as it did for vigilance. I further suggest that the semantic category of evidentiality operationalized in media discourse serves to satisfy the conditions of acceptance laid down by the logico-rhetorical module. I show how this semantic category therefore performs a legitimizing function in media discourse on immigration.
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DOI 10.1177/1461445611421360
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References found in this work BETA

Logic and Conversation.H. Paul Grice - 1975 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 47.
Metaphors We Live By.George Lakoff & Mark Johnson - 1980 - Ethics 93 (3):619-621.
Logic and Conversation.H. P. Grice - 1975 - In Donald Davidson & Gilbert Harman (eds.), The Logic of Grammar. Encino, CA: pp. 64-75.

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