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Abstract

Abstract

Linguistic analysis of the interpersonal patterning of threatening communication is a means of uncovering the attitudes, ideological orientation, and hostile intentions of perpetrators of violence in terrorist discourse ( ). Corpus analysis focused on attitudinal meaning also offers a diagnostic for characterizing the personal and relational identities ( ) manifest in such texts. This paper explores discursive patterns of authorial identity in terrorist communication in a set of post-9/11 terrorist public statements made by former al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. It draws on the Appraisal framework ( ), a model of evaluative language developed within Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL), to investigate the interpersonal component in this dataset. Specifically, patterns of provide evidence of relational and actional attitude, and personal and relational identities. Negative was found to characterize the encoded attitude in terms of (i) construing aggression and conflicting moral values (e.g., underpinning a perceived personal duty) and (ii) enacting the author’s aggressive and aloof identity, and violent actional attitude.

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2021-02-05
2021-06-18
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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: aggression; conflict; attitudinal meaning; identity; terrorist discourse
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