Applied Linguistics in Latin America: AILA Review, Volume 18
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595
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This paper focuses on political change in Venezuela from a critical discourse analysis perspective that emphasizes the roles of the participants in the interaction to show how, with their actions, they are affected and affect others. An interactional approach based on Firth’s categories of context (Firth, 1951) and conversational analysis is used (Bolívar, 1986, 1994a, 1994b). The interaction is studied at a global level first in order to identify the actors responsible for political change in the social dynamics, and then particular events are examined in more detail. The aim is to describe how, in ongoing interaction, the political dialogue after 1998 moved from a formal democratic one to a violent confrontation between two major groups. The article focuses on political events before and after April 11th 2002, which marked a turning point in Venezuelan history. The corpus includes national newspapers, presidential speeches, the program Aló Presidente, slogans, graffiti, and insults recalled by women and men. The results show how verbal aggression and physical violence affect and weaken democratic dialogue and, consequently, the possibility of cooperation and understanding. The discussion highlights the need to strengthen critical language awareness in order to promote peace language rather than hate language.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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