Volume 13, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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This case study analyses the socio-pragmatic effects of invoked multiple voices in a commemorative speech delivered by Austrian writer Michael Köhlmeier on the occasion of the 2018 Austrian commemoration day against violence and fascism. Köhlmeier uses different forms of discourse representation to blame politicians of the then Austrian government for their political statements and actions. The focus of this article is on the speaker’s combination of (imagined and real) sources and forms of discourse representation, resulting in strategically deployed perspective shifts to express opposition and blame. Furthermore, the sociopragmatic functions of these rhetorical and textual strategies in the context of situation, as well as in the wider context of the Austrian culture of collective remembrance are explored, in particular by showing that by blaming actual Austrian politicians for their political statements and actions, the traditional consensual commemorative discourse is breached. This latter effect is probably responsible for the huge public attention the speech attracted in 2018.


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