From Euphemism to Verbal Aggression in British and Armenian Cultures
A Cross-Cultural Pragmatic Perspective
The topic of the present article concerns verbal aggression and focusses on the verbal expression of the emotional mind; specifically, the expression of negative feelings, emotions and attitudes. Since computer-mediated communication is widely used to shape and reshape public opinion, the analysis of hate speech on the material of internet discourse may shed light on the manipulative communicative tactics that are used in online media and social networking sites to spread hostility and negativity globally. Hence, the examination of the language strategies and tactics that are used to formulate hate speech becomes essential in communicatively oriented linguistic studies.
The present article provides a comparative analysis of manifestations of hate speech and euphemisms in Armenian and British online media outlets and social sites targeted towards people's sexual orientation. The aim of the paper is to show the close connection between hate speech and culture. The research, which embarks on two basically different cultures – British and Armenian – is carried out within the framework of cross-cultural pragmatics and discourse analysis. A qualitative research method is applied to analyse samples of hate speech. Social sites and online media outlets were searched through search engines, using certain keywords (LGBT, sexual minorities, etc.). For the purpose of the study, language resources from English and Armenian – words, expressions, constructions, speech acts expressing hostile attitudes towards sexual orientation – have been picked out and analysed.
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