Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
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According to news media outlets, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC), the newly-elected Democratic representative from New York, has stirred up conflicting feelings among Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill, attracting criticism, mockery and disapproval from both parties. The overarching aim of this study is to explore the extent to which these attitudes are acts of verbal aggression often dissimulated as patronizing warnings or manifestations of an opinion (Ramirez and Andreu 2003Wodak 2015). In particular, by analyzing a corpus of headlines regarding AOC’s political persona and activism collected from six major conservative and liberal newspapers circulating in the US, the study aims to detect linguistic markers associated with aggression and verify their level of toxicity (Musolff 2012). To this purpose, both quantitative and qualitative methodological approaches are used with particular reference to Corpus Linguistics (Baker et al. 2008Kilgariff et al. 2014) and the Discourse-Historical Approach (Reisigl and Wodak 20012016). Findings show that biased mediatized political discourse can influence attitudes toward aggressive speech behavior, and, therefore, intensify the devious nature of aggressive acts.


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