Home / Regular Issue / JST Vol. 29 (3) Sep. 2021 / JSSH-8169-2021

 

Exploring Ideologies of Function Words in George Orwell’s Animal Farm

Ayman Farid Khafaga

Pertanika Journal of Science & Technology, Volume 29, Issue 3, September 2021

DOI: https://doi.org/10.47836/pjssh.29.3.30

Keywords: Animal Farm, frequency analysis, manipulation, modality, persuasion, pronouns

Published on: 27 September 2021

The main objective of this paper is to explore the extent to which function words, such as pronouns and modals go beyond their semantic functionality towards particular ideological meanings. To this end, the paper attempts to present a computer-aided critical discourse analysis to decipher the ideological weight of both pronouns and modality as carriers of persuasion and/ or manipulation in the discourse of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. Analytically, the focus is on two types of pronouns: the first person singular I and the first person plural we. Also two types of modals are discussed in this article: the truth modal will and the obligation modals must and should. In doing so, this paper draws upon two analytical frameworks: critical discourse analysis (CDA) and the computer-aided text analysis manifested in a frequency distribution analysis via concordance. Two main findings are reported in this study: first, pronouns and modality in the discourse of the selected novel go beyond their grammatical functions towards further pragmatic functions constituting persuasion and/or manipulation; second, the frequency analysis shows that despite the high frequency of the pronouns and modals investigated in the discourse of the selected novel, only few occurrences are indicative in generating both a persuasive and/or manipulative discourse. This, in turn, accentuates the relevance of employing a computer-aided critical discourse analysis to decipher specific interpretative meanings of the linguistic units in corpus and text linguistics in general and literary texts in particular.

  • Bolton, W. F. (1984). The language of 1984. Orwell’s English and ours. Basil Blackwell Publisher Limited.

  • Edelman, M. (2001). The politics of misinformation. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511612640

  • Fairclough, N. (1989). Language and power (2nd ed.). Longman.

  • Fairclough, N. (1995). Critical discourse analysis: The critical study of language. Longman.

  • Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In T. van Dijk (Ed.), Discourse as social interaction: Discourse studies: A multidisciplinary introduction (Vol. 2, pp. 258-284). Sage.

  • Flowerdew, J. (1993). Concordancing as a tool in course design. System, 21(2), 231-244. https://doi.org/10.1016/0346-251X(93)90044-H

  • Fowler, R. (1981). Literature as social discourse. Batsford Academic and Educational Ltd.

  • Fowler, R. (1991). Language in the news: Discourse and ideology in the press. Routledge.

  • Fowler, R. (1996). On critical linguistics. In C. R. Caldas-Coulthard & M. Coulthard (Eds.), Texts and practices: Readings in critical discourse analysis (pp. 15-31). Routledge.

  • Halliday, M. A. K. (1985). An introduction to functional grammar. Edward.

  • Hockey, S. (1980). A guide to computer applications in the humanities. The Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • Kennedy, G. (1998). An introduction to corpus linguistics. Longman.

  • Khafaga, A. (2017a). Linguistic manipulation of political myth in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. International Journal of English Linguistics, 7(3), 189-200. https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v7n3p189

  • Khafaga, A. (2017b). Discourse interpretation: A deconstructive reader-oriented approach to critical discourse analysis. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, 6(2), 138-146. https://doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.2p.138

  • Khafaga, A. (2019). Linguistic representation of power in Edward Bond’s Lear: A lexico-pragmatic approach to critical discourse analysis. International Journal of English Linguistics, 9(6), 404-420. https://doi.org/10.5539/ijel.v9n6p404

  • Khafaga, A., & Aldawsari, M. (2021). Ideological agency in Edward Bond’s Lear. Applied Linguistics Research Journal, 5(2), 11-23. https://doi.org/10.14744/alrj.2021.63496

  • Khafaga, A., & Shaalan, I. (2020). Using concordance to decode the ideological weight of lexis in learning narrative literature: A computational approach. International Journal of Advanced Computer Science and Applications, 11(4), 246-252. https://doi.org/10.14569/IJACSA.2020.0110433

  • Krieger, D. (2003). Corpus linguistics: What it is and how it can be applied to teaching. The Internet TESL Journal, IX(3), 123-141.

  • Orwell, G. (1944). Animal farm. Penguin Books Ltd.

  • Palmer, F. R. (1986). Mood and modality. Cambridge University Press.

  • Palmer, F. R. (1990). Modality and the English modals. Longman.

  • Pariña, J., & de Leon, K. (2014). A stylistic analysis of the use of modality to identify the point of view in a short story. 3L The Southeast Asian Journal of English Language Studies, 20(2), 91-10. https://doi.org/10.17576/3L-2014-2002-08

  • Partington, A. (2003). The linguistics of political argument: The spin-doctor and the wolf-park at the White House. Routledge. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203218259

  • Peachey, N. (2005). Concordancers in ELT. Teaching English. http://www.teachingenglish.org.uk/think/articles/concordancers-elt

  • Pinto, D. (2004). Indoctrinating the youth of post-war Spain: A discourse analysis of a Fascist Civics textbook. Discourse & Society, 15(5), 649-667. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926504045036

  • Quirk, R., Greenbaum S., Leech, G., & Svartvik, G. (1985). A comprehensive grammar of the English Language. Longman.

  • van Dijk, T. A. (1993). Principles of critical discourse analysis. Discourse & Society, 4(2), 249-283. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926593004002006

  • van Dijk, T. A. (1995). Ideological discourse analysis. In E. Ventola & A. Solin (Eds.), Interdisciplinary approaches to discourse analysis (pp. 135-161). New Courant.

  • van Dijk, T. A. (1996). Discourse, power and access. In C. Caldas-Coulthard, & M. Coulthard (Eds.), Texts and practices: Readings in critical discourse analysis (pp. 84-104). Routledge.

  • van Dijk, T. A. (1997a). Political discourse and racism: Describing others in western parliaments. In S. H. Riggins (Ed.), The language and politics of exclusion: Others in discourse (pp. 31-64). Sage.

  • van Dijk, T. A. (Ed.). (1997b). Discourse as interaction in society. In Discourse as social Interaction: Discourse studies: A multidisciplinary introduction (Vol. 2, pp. 1-37). Sage.

  • van Dijk, T. A. (2000). On the analysis of parliamentary debates on immigration. In M. Reisigl & R. Wodak (Eds.), The semiotics of racism: Approaches to critical discourse analysis (pp. 85-103). Passagen Verlag.

  • van Dijk, T. A. (2001a). Critical discourse analysis. In D. Schiffrin, D. Tannan, & H. Hamilton (Eds.), The handbook of discourse analysis (pp. 352-392). Blackwell.

  • van Dijk, T. A. (2001b). Discourse, ideology and context. Folia Linguistica, 35(1-2), 11-40. https://doi.org/10.1515/flin.2001.35.1-2.11

  • van Dijk, T. A. (2004). Communicating ideologies. Academic Press.

  • Weiss, G., & Wodak, R. (Eds.). (2003). Critical discourse analysis: Theory and interdisciplinarity. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230514560

  • Widdowson, H. G. (2007). Discourse analysis. Oxford University Press.

  • Wiechmann D., & Fuhs, S. (2006). Concordancing software. Corpus Linguistics And Linguistic Theory, 2(2), 107-127. https://doi.org/10.1515/CLLT.2006.006

  • Wodak, R., & Meyer, M. (Eds.). (2001). Methods of critical discourse analysis. Sage. https://doi.org/10.4135/9780857028020

  • Wood, L., & Kroger, R. (2000). Doing discourse analysis: Methods for studying action in talk and text. Sage Publications, Inc.

  • Wood, T. (2004). Ideology: The power of prior discourse. In P. Martin, N. A. JoAnne, & T. A. van Dijk (Eds.), Communicating ideologies: Multidisciplinary perspectives on language, discourse, and social practice (pp. 39-58). Peter Lang.

  • Yavuz, F. (2014). The use of concordancing programs in ELT. Procedia- Social and Behavioral Sciences, 116, 2312-2315. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.01.565

ISSN 0128-7702

e-ISSN 2231-8534

Article ID

JSSH-8169-2021

Download Full Article PDF

Share this article

Related Articles