Between Union and a United Ireland

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This chapter concerns the double objective of political discourse: spreading ideological beliefs and allowing political progress. Political discourse can be effective by means of carefully chosen linguistic elements (pronouns, lexical referents, metaphors). If successfully constructed, the discourse can live on for many years, as we see in the Northern Irish Agreement of 1998 that is still resounding in current debates. Its ambiguity and vagueness allowed for different interpretations, in such a way that the support, or rejection, of the agreement could be legitimised, depending on the ideological beliefs of the community. An analysis of selected instances of its discourse over time shows how the ideological and political positions that are discursively constructed in such a way that they are close to both the producers and the interpreters of the document, but also to the political process of production and interpretation in which the texts are embedded. Text World Theory and Cognitive Linguistics are the tools for analysing the different types of mental representations that are recalled by each instance of discourse.


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