1887
Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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Abstract

This paper provides a qualitative historical (socio)pragmatic analysis of records of three eighteenth-century Hungarian witchcraft trials using a socio-cognitive model of discursive community and identity construction. I aim to describe how the general social and legal context of witchcraft became situated and interpreted in the actual witchcraft trial records from the delegated officials’ perspective. I argue that in the analysed records, the officials did not simply apply a codified definition of “witchcraft”, but they discursively (re)constructed “witchcraft” as a community and “witch” as the defendants’ identity. Thus, from the officials’ perspective, discursive community and identity construction established a relationship between the general context of witchcraft and the actual witchcraft trials. In order to reconstruct this process, I investigate the linguistic constructs by which the delegated officials actively created “witchcraft” and the defendants’ “witch” identity as mental constructs.

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2018-02-09
2019-10-14
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): cognitive pragmatics , community , Hungarian , identity and witchcraft trial
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