Publications of Julien Perrez
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See detailTwenty years of research on political discourse: A systematic review and directions for future research
Randour, François; Perrez, Julien ULiege; Reuchamps, Min

in Discourse and Society (2020)

There is a long tradition of linguistic research on political discourse, but little attention has been paid to what the concept of political discourse itself encompasses. With this in mind, this article ... [more ▼]

There is a long tradition of linguistic research on political discourse, but little attention has been paid to what the concept of political discourse itself encompasses. With this in mind, this article aims to understand what types of discourse are categorized as ‘political’ in linguistic research and what their characteristics are (form, type of actors, policy domains, geographical coverage). To this end, we conducted a systematic literature review of 164 scientific articles from the Scopus database. Overall, the findings show that political discourse is generally limited to the discourses of (institutionalized) political elites and most specifically to oral monological speeches. The review also highlights discrepancies regarding the geographical scope and the policy domains covered by the empirical analyses, more specifically a bias toward the Western world and issues related to external defense policies, justice and home affairs. [less ▲]

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See detailVariation in political metaphor: A diachronic study of metaphor use in TV debates about Belgian federalism
Perrez, Julien ULiege; Randour, François; Reuchamps, Min

Conference (2019, August 11)

Building on an interdisciplinary approach bringing together political science and linguistics, this paper investigates how and why metaphors are used by Belgian politicians. In particular, the article ... [more ▼]

Building on an interdisciplinary approach bringing together political science and linguistics, this paper investigates how and why metaphors are used by Belgian politicians. In particular, the article focuses on the usage of metaphors to describe the evolution of federalism in the country over time. As argued by Ritchie (2013), ‘examining metaphors that appear in political discourse provides insights into the way speakers understand their situation, and how they seek to accomplish their ends’. This research undertakes a systematic analysis of the use of metaphors by Belgian politicians during television debates from the 1980’s until now. We rely on an original longitudinal corpus of 127 (part of) television debates covering 40 years from both public broadcasters in Belgium: the Dutch-speaking VRT and the French-speaking RTBF. The selected television debates relate to the progressive – albeit not without political tensions – transformation of Belgium’s political system. Our corpus is thus a solid indicator of this political transformation and therefore provides a fertile ground for the analysis of metaphors. To do so, we will conduct a corpus analysis by applying the MIPVU procedure (Steen et al., 2010) in order to identify potential metaphorical contexts. In line with Steen’s three- dimensional model (2008), we will subsequently analyse the identified metaphors by making a distinction between three different layers of metaphor, respectively at the linguistic, conceptual and communicative levels. Building on previous studies (Perrez & Reuchamps 2014, 2015), this analysis makes it possible to determine which (deliberate) metaphors have been used by the political elite to describe the establishment and evolution of the federal system, and more specifically, to assess to what extent this metaphor usage evolved over time and across the linguistic border. References Perrez, Julien & Reuchamps, Min (2014). Deliberate metaphors in political discourse: the case of citizen discourse. Metaphorik.de 25: 7–41. Perrez, Julien & Reuchamps, Min (2015). A crazy machine or a strong “living apart together” relationship? The role of metaphors in citizens’ perception of Belgian federalism. Mots. Les langages du politique 109: 125–145. Ritchie, L. David. (2013): Metaphor. Cambridge: Cambridge UP. Steen, Gerard J. (2008): “The paradox of metaphor: Why we need a three- dimensional model for metaphor”, in: Metaphor & Symbol 23: 213–241. Steen, Gerard J., Dorst, Aletta G., Herrmann, J. Berenike, Kaal, Anna, Krennmayr, Tina & Pasma, Trijntje (2010): A Method for Linguistic Metaphor Identification, From MIP to MIPVU, Amsterdam: John Benjamins. [less ▲]

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See detailDe l’uniformité du discours politique : analyse bibliométrique et linguistique de la catégorisation des discours politiques
Perrez, Julien ULiege; Randour, François; Reuchamps, Min

in CogniTextes (2019)

There is a long tradition of linguistic research on political discourse, but there has been little attention to what is meant by the concept of political discourse itself. In these studies, political ... [more ▼]

There is a long tradition of linguistic research on political discourse, but there has been little attention to what is meant by the concept of political discourse itself. In these studies, political corpora collected from discourses by political elites (presidential debates, presidential addresses, public speeches, …) often appear to be overrepresented, leaving aside other forms of political discourses such as media discourse on political issues or citizen discourse. In this context, this contribution pursues a twofold objective. First, we aim to understand what types of discourse are categorized as political in linguistic research and what their characteristics are (type of actors, themes, etc.). To answer these questions, this contribution provides a PRISMA bibliometric analysis on a sample of 172 scientific articles from the Scopus database. Secondly, this article explores to what extent the notion of political discourse refers to a coherent whole from a linguistic point of view. To answer this second question, we study the formal characteristics of three subtypes of political discourse (parliamentary debates, televised debates and citizen corpora) in order to assess their degree of divergence. The results of these analyses reveal a real difference between these three corpora and allow us to better understand what could constitute the political genre and its textual registers. [less ▲]

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See detailConstructing futurity: A contrastive approach to L1 and L2 Dutch and French
Sambre, Paul; Perrez, Julien ULiege; Van Keirsbilck, Pascale et al

Conference (2018, July)

Context – Traditional grammar (Fleishman 1982) and constructional analyses of the future in other languages, largely concentrate on verbal predications (Berghs 2010, Hilpert 2008) as locus of futurity ... [more ▼]

Context – Traditional grammar (Fleishman 1982) and constructional analyses of the future in other languages, largely concentrate on verbal predications (Berghs 2010, Hilpert 2008) as locus of futurity. Furthermore, previous research in L1 (Dabrowska 2012) and L2 (Deknop et al. fc./2016) has shown individual productive variance in constructional profiles and lexical knowledge in adult speakers. Objective –This talk proposes a contrastive approach to describing constructional profiles and a conceptual network for futurity in L1 and advanced learners L2 Dutch and French (B1-C1 in CEFR). Corpus and procedure – The corpus is composed of elicited spoken Dutch and French, based on a questionnaire imposed on 20 L1/L2 speakers, who are asked questions about their future professional future in their mothertongue and thereafter in L2 Dutch or French (40 interactions). The questions combine different verb and nominal constructions for future time reference and are based on a usage-based construction network of futurity (AUTHOR 2009, 2012) inspired by Langacker’s (2008) extended epistemic model. This conceptual CxG network future time includes variation in tense and epistemic modality. (Expected) results – We describe and measure the constructional L1 and L2 profiles, comparing/correlating them as to their productivity for futurity in L1/L2. There are two important extensions of previous studies on future constructions. (1) The future is conceived at the interface between different predication types. (2) Future talk is taken at the level of larger-than-clause interaction (Nikiforidou 2011; Östman 2004). (3) Non-epistemic modality and complex clauses encode future time. (4) The descriptive approach leads to guidelines for teaching more authentic L2 constructions for futurity based on L1 constructions beyond the traditional scope of verbs and/or modes in a coherent conceptual framework. [less ▲]

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See detailConstructing futurity: a contrastive approach to L1 and L2 Dutch and French
Sambre, Paul; Perrez, Julien ULiege; Van Keirsbilck, Pascale et al

Conference (2018, February 16)

Context - Traditional grammar (Fleishman 1982) and constructional analyses of the future in other languages, largely concentrate on verbal predications (Berghs 2010, Hilpert 2008) as locus of futurity ... [more ▼]

Context - Traditional grammar (Fleishman 1982) and constructional analyses of the future in other languages, largely concentrate on verbal predications (Berghs 2010, Hilpert 2008) as locus of futurity. Furthermore, previous research in L1 (Dabrowska 2012) and L2 (Deknop et al. fc./2016) has shown individual productive variance in constructional profiles and lexical knowledge in adult speakers. Objective -This talk proposes a contrastive approach to describing constructional profiles and a conceptual network for futurity in L1 and advanced learners L2 Dutch and French (B1-C1 in CEFR). Corpus and procedure - The corpus is composed of elicited spoken Dutch and French, based on a questionnaire imposed on 20 L1/L2 speakers, who are asked questions about their future professional future in their mothertongue and thereafter in L2 Dutch or French (40 interactions). The questions combine different verb and nominal constructions for future time reference and are based on a usage-based construction network of futurity (AUTHOR 2009, 2012) inspired by Langacker's (2008) extended epistemic model. This conceptual CxG network future time includes variation in tense and epistemic modality. (Expected) results - We describe and measure the constructional L1 and L2 profiles, comparing/correlating them as to their productivity for futurity in L1/L2. There are two important extensions of previous studies on future constructions. (1) The future is conceived at the interface between different predication types. (2) Future talk is taken at the level of larger-than-clause interaction (Nikiforidou 2011; Östman 2004). (3) Non-epistemic modality and complex clauses encode future time. (4) The descriptive approach leads to guidelines for teaching more authentic L2 constructions for futurity based on L1 constructions beyond the traditional scope of verbs and/or modes in a coherent conceptual framework. [less ▲]

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See detailFigurative framing in political communication: Conclusions
Perrez, Julien ULiege

Scientific conference (2017, December 14)

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See detailDo metaphors really matter politically? On the role of political knowledge on the framing effect of metaphors
Perrez, Julien ULiege; Heyvaert, Pauline ULiege; Vandeleene, Audrey et al

Conference (2017, July 14)

The political impact of metaphors has often been taken for granted from metaphor analysis in political discourse. Indeed, the framing function of metaphors, known as their ability to "select some aspects ... [more ▼]

The political impact of metaphors has often been taken for granted from metaphor analysis in political discourse. Indeed, the framing function of metaphors, known as their ability to "select some aspects of a perceived reality and make it more salient in a communicating context" (Entman, 1993: 52) has often been established on the basis of the production of metaphors in particular kind of political discourse, but has not been directly studied from the perspective of their impact on citizens' representations and political preferences until recently Perrez & Reuchamps (2015). Recent research on the subject however points to contradicting results. Whereas Thibodeau and Boroditsky (2011, 2013, 2015) observed that different metaphorical frames related to the target domain of crime led the citizens to opt for different policies, Steen and colleagues (2014, 2015) could not find similar evidence in a series of replication studies. This led them to suggest that the impact of metaphors on (political) reasoning was not automatic, but could be influenced by other parameters, such as extendedness, aptness or deliberateness (Steen et al 2015). A more recent study conducted by Dodeigne, Perrez & Reuchamps (2016) on the impact of a Tetris metaphor on the perception of Belgian federalism also suggested that the potential impact of metaphors on reasoning could interact with the level of political knowledge of the citizens. More specifically, the citizens with a lower level of political knowledge appeared to be more likely to be influenced by the metaphor, than the citizens with a higher level of political knowledge. Bearing on these different insights, this paper aims at studying under which circumstances metaphors can influence citizens' political reasoning, by more specifically looking into the exact role played by the level of political knowledge. To do so, we conducted two experiments among approx. 1200 first year bachelor students focusing on their perception of and preferences towards the concept of basic income. More specifically, we designed three different versions of an input text, each based on a different metaphorical frame (respectively a foundation frame, a pocket money frame and a springboard frame). The participants were distributed into different experimental conditions (2 control conditions and 3 metaphorical conditions) according to the type of input they had been exposed to, and were subsequently asked to perform a free description task and to fill in a questionnaire measuring different dimensions of their level of political knowledge on the one hand and their preferences regarding the introduction of a system of basic income on the other hand. This experimental design should allow us to determine the influence of the different metaphorical frames on the citizens preferences, but also to determine to what extent this potential influence of metaphors interact with the level of political knowledge of the participants. The results are currently under analysis and will be presented in detail at the conference [less ▲]

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See detailInter- and intra-speaker variation of gestural density
Lemmens, Maarten; Perrez, Julien ULiege

Conference (2017)

Research on co-verbal gestures has revealed that gestures are cognitively and communicatively quite advantageous to both speakers and hearers. Despite these communicative benefits, there is considerable ... [more ▼]

Research on co-verbal gestures has revealed that gestures are cognitively and communicatively quite advantageous to both speakers and hearers. Despite these communicative benefits, there is considerable variation in speakers’ gestural behaviour, which can be attributed to a variety of social factors, such as age, gender, culture, etc. and cognitive factors (see, a.o., Gullberg, de Bot, & Volterra 2008; Hostetter & Alibali 2007; Hostetter & Potthoff 2012). There is also intra-speaker variation in that speakers gesture more on some occasions than others. For instance, people gesture more when they see their interlocutor. Also, in the case of misunderstandings, speakers have been shown to gesture more and in a more articulated fashion (Holler & Wilkin 2009). Alamillo, Coletta & Guidetti (2010) also show text type related variation: in their study, gestures were more frequent in explanations than in narratives. This paper contributes to the study of such gestural variation, but in a more constant context. The data analysed is drawn from video-taped picture descriptions where subjects (native speakers and learners of English, Dutch, and French) were asked to talk about the location of certain entities on these pictures (see Lemmens & Perrez 2012, 2017). The setting and task were in all cases identical. The focus of the present talk will be on the gestures used by speakers when locating entities, and in particular, variation in the use of gesture, both cross-linguistically as in relation to the topic that speakers talk about. One of the striking cross-linguistic differences is, for example, that the Dutch speakers use more representational gestures which express location, direction, shape and size, whereas the French speakers gesture much less frequently (if at all), and their gestures are less precise and of more meta- communicative nature. Further differences can be observed between native speakers and learners. On the whole, the learners use more reality-anchored gestures, but also more meta-communicative gestures pertaining to their linguistic shortcomings, such as open hands or shrugs, search for words gestures (see Ladewig 2011; Debras 2015). In addition, aligned with verbal hesitations and retakes, there is more “gestural stuttering”. Another striking variation is that in the pictures to be described (the same set for all subjects), there are scenes which lead to what, using Corts’ (2006) term, can be called “gestures burst”, where not only more speakers gesture but they also tend to gesture more intensively (multiple gestures applied to the same reality). Our data reveal gestural “heat-maps” which indicate the variable degree of gestural density for specific spatial configurations. As it turns out, these are typically more complex spatial configurations, where the gestures facilitate and/or augment the descriptive task at hand. In the learner data, such gesture bursts often occur to compensate their lack of lexical resources or accuracy (see also Gullberg 2009; Gullberg & Marziano 2013). The study not only confirms that gesture and language form a co-constructed unit of communication (cf. Kendon 2004, McNeill 1992), but that there is gestural variation just as much as there is verbal variation and that some variation is recurrent across languages and proficiency. [less ▲]

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See detailGestural expressions of spatial information in L1 and L2
Maarten, Lemmens; Perrez, Julien ULiege

Conference (2015)

This paper reports on the analysis of gestures in the expression of static locative relationships in French and Dutch, for L1 speakers as well as for francophone learners of Dutch (L2). The data analysed ... [more ▼]

This paper reports on the analysis of gestures in the expression of static locative relationships in French and Dutch, for L1 speakers as well as for francophone learners of Dutch (L2). The data analysed is drawn from video-taped picture descriptions where subjects were asked to talk about the location of certain entities on these pictures. Tutton (2012) has observed that in spatial descriptions gestures often express information that remains unexpressed in the verbal production and that typically the information that is gesturally expressed is directional (cf. also McNeill 2000; Gullberg 2009, 2010). Our data only partially confirm his findings: in most cases, gestures express information that is also expressed verbally. In addition, while gestures are indeed well-suited to express direction, we argue that a clearer distinction is needed between directional and (purely) locational gestures. We suggest that the crucial factor identifying a locative gesture is the fact of the gesture being anchored in the representational gesture space, an issue that hitherto has not been discussed in the literature. While all gestures are necessarily made in the gesture space, anchored gestures are those that receive a clear representational location. These can be pointing gestures, but often they are not (e.g., an anchored shape-, size- or manner-gesture). Functionally, they are not unlike what Liddell (2003) has called buoys in ASL, i.e., clearly located and stationary signs that function as conceptual landmarks while the discourse continues. The difference with anchored gestures is that the latter are not stationary. Non-anchored gestures do not have such a precise location. For example, directional gestures are not really anchored to a specific point, but merely indicate a direction. Similarly, some iconic gestures express locative relations (e.g. BETWEEN, EVERYWHERE), but are made without being anchored in the representational gesture space (e.g., just in front of the speaker, in centre space). We argue that despite their locative semantics, they are not locative gestures. In fact, anchored locative gestures could thus be seen as grounding predications, i.e. "an instance (but not a type) is thought of as having a particular location in the domain of instantiation" (Langacker 1991:57). In addition, typological differences are manifest in gesture. In line with Talmy’s (2000) typological distinction between verb-framed and satellite-framed languages, Dutch can be described as a “location-rich” language and the descriptions of the native Dutch speakers abound with locative descriptions, through the highly grammaticalised use of posture verbs but also via other linguistic means (prepositions, adverbs, etc.). French, in contrast, is “location-poor”: the French narrations have significantly fewer locative descriptions and the locative information is much more general. Instead, they add narrative detail and meta-linguistic comments to their descriptions. The francophone learners of Dutch (with 3 levels of proficiency) use more gestures revealing the challenge that free expression in a second language poses, especially for the lowest proficiency levels: they use more shape gestures, more enactment gestures (e.g., pulling a drawer, brushing one’s hair, etc.), more reality-anchored gestures (e.g., pointing at one’s shoes when talking about shoes), and more meta-communicative gestures indicating their lexical shortcomings, e.g., word- search gestures (see Ladewig 2011). Overall, and as can be expected, the low proficiency L2 speakers use almost more gestures than words, which can be seen as a visual compensation for their lack of lexical accuracy; the gestural expression of advanced learners, in contrast, is much more locational in nature, in line with the target language (cf. also Gullberg 2009, 2010, Alferink & Gullberg 2014). [less ▲]

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See detailA serious LAT relationship or a crazy machine? Metaphors in citizens’ perception of Belgian federalism
Perrez, Julien ULiege; Reuchamps, Min

in Mots. Les Langages du Politique (2015), 109

This paper proposes a quantitative and qualitative corpus-based analysis of the use of metaphors in political discourse from the original perspective of citizen discourse. Our data were collected from ... [more ▼]

This paper proposes a quantitative and qualitative corpus-based analysis of the use of metaphors in political discourse from the original perspective of citizen discourse. Our data were collected from focus group discussions respectively held in the French-speaking and Dutch-speaking parts of Belgium, which tackled the citizens’ perceptions of Belgian federalism. Our findings suggest that citizens do produce metaphors when talking about complex political processes and that these metaphors reveal different political visions. This research also suggests differences in saliency of the source domains in terms of which citizens make sense of Belgian federalism. In this regard, the family domain, and more especially the metaphor BELGIAN FEDERALISM IS A LOVE RELATIONSHIP appears to function as an important conceptual reference point for the citizens’ understanding of the political relations in the Belgian context. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Belgian Tetris: assessing the political impact of metaphors on citizens' perceptions of Belgian federalism
Perrez, Julien ULiege; Reuchamps, Min

Conference (2014, June 20)

In the literature, the political impact of metaphors has often been taken for granted from metaphor analysis in political discourse, be it elite discourse or media discourse. However, a more global ... [more ▼]

In the literature, the political impact of metaphors has often been taken for granted from metaphor analysis in political discourse, be it elite discourse or media discourse. However, a more global understanding of what this political impact could consist of, is still lacking from the current research agenda. As Koller (2009:121) puts it: “metaphor helps construct particular aspects of reality and reproduce (or subvert) dominant schemas.” To be able to account for how metaphors, through discourses, actively shape the political reality, it is important to look at the relationships between metaphorical discourses and their environment. Based on the idea that metaphors do not only reflect the perceived reality, but also function as cues through which citizens come to understand complex political processes and through which they shape political behaviors, the aim of this study is precisely to look at how specific metaphors might impact on the citizens’ framing of Belgian federalism. To measure the impact of metaphors on the citizens’ political representations and attitudes, we developed an experimental set-up based on an article published in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir (13-14 July 2013) in which Belgian federalism was deliberately compared to a Tetris game. The original article included a picture and a text (208 words), which were used as authentic experimental material. For this experiment, we distinguished three experimental conditions and one control condition. In the first experimental condition (full condition), the participants were exposed to the original article (including the text and the picture). In the second and third experimental conditions, the participants were respectively exposed either to the text (text condition) or the picture (picture condition). In the control condition, the participants weren’t exposed to any metaphorical material at all. In the second stage of the experiment, the participants were asked to achieve three interrelated tasks: (i) a free description task, based on a free description of their own perception of Belgian federalism, (ii) an association task, in which they had to select a picture which they found the most appropriate to describe Belgian federalism, and finally (iii) a questionnaire measuring the participants’ political knowledge of Belgian federalism and attitudes towards its future development. In a post-test held four weeks after the first experiment, the three tasks of the second stage have been replicated. This experiment has been conducted in autumn 2013 among 400 students. Comparing the various experimental conditions will make it possible (i) to measure the impact of the Tetris metaphor on the citizens’ perceptions and representations of Belgian federalism, (ii) to assess to what extent the different metaphorical media differently contribute to this impact and (iii) to measure the long-term impact of this metaphor on the citizens’ political representations and attitudes. In answering these questions, this study will contribute to a better understanding of the role and functions metaphors play in political discourse, and more globally in our everyday political interactions. [less ▲]

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See detailMethodological approach of identity construction & strategies of allophones in Belgium
Dassargues, Alix ULiege; Perrez, Julien ULiege

Conference (2014, March 28)

In België bestaat er een nauwe band tussen talen (Nederlands-Frans) en regionale identiteiten (Vlaming-Waal). Echter, de aanwezigheid van Franstaligen in Vlaanderen en van Nederlandstaligen in Wallonië ... [more ▼]

In België bestaat er een nauwe band tussen talen (Nederlands-Frans) en regionale identiteiten (Vlaming-Waal). Echter, de aanwezigheid van Franstaligen in Vlaanderen en van Nederlandstaligen in Wallonië laat zien dat deze band niet automatisch is. Deze twee (onder)bevolkingsgroepen lijken dus een ideaal studiemateriaal om de ingewikkelde relatie tussen taal (talen) en identiteit(en) te bestuderen. Ondanks de belangstelling van verschillende disciplines (onder meer politieke wetenschappen, geschiedenis, sociologie en taalkunde) voor dit onderwerp, valt het toch op dat deze bevolkingsgroepen nog nooit onderzocht werden. In dit onderzoeksproject willen we daarom aan de hand van biografische gesprekken nagaan (i) hoe deze minoriteitsgroepen in een anderstalige context hun identiteit opbouwen, en (ii) in hoeverre ze identiteitsstrategieën gebruiken naargelang van de communicatiecontext waarin ze zich bevinden. Om deze vragen te beantwoorden, zullen biografische gesprekken verzameld worden die die vanuit het interdisciplinaire perspectief van de sociologie, de sociale psychologie, de sociolinguïstiek en de taalkunde geanalyseerd zullen worden. In deze bijdrage zullen we specifieker ingaan op de methodologie die wij zullen gebruiken om deze biografische gesprekken te analyseren. We zullen meer bepaald uitgaan van een tweeledige analyse van identiteitsmarkeerders. Ten eerste zullen we een semantische studie van de identiteitscategorieën verrichten, door de lexicale eenheden te bestuderen die door de informanten gebruikt worden om hun identiteit te omschrijven. Het is hiermee de bedoeling om de sociale categorieën die de respondenten gebruiken verder in kaart te brengen. Ten tweede zullen wij een psychosociale studie van de identiteitsstrategieën van de informanten verrichten. Vanuit dit perspectief kan een identiteit beschouwd worden als het resultaat van de interactie tussen een “identiteit voor zichzelf” en een “identiteit voor de anderen”. In dit onderdeel van onze studie willen we de persoonlijke identiteitsstrategieën van de informanten aan het licht brengen onder meer door hun identiteitskeuzes, zoals bijvoorbeeld de keuze voor een taalvariëteit in een bepaalde communicatiecontext, nauwkeurig te bestuderen. Deze tweedelige methode zal het mogelijk maken om de relatie tussen taal en identiteit in België beter te begrijpen en nauwkeuriger te kunnen omschrijven. [less ▲]

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See detailLa faillite de la Grèce: une formule effrayante qui fait son chemin?
Perrez, Julien ULiege

Conference (2014)

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See detailEen semantische studie van identiteitsconstructie. Het geval van Franstaligen uit Vlaanderen en Nederlandstaligen uit Wallonië
Dassargues, Alix ULiege; Perrez, Julien ULiege

in Degand, Liesbeth; Hiligsmann, Philippe; Rasier, Laurent (Eds.) et al In het teken van identiteit: taal en cultuur van de Nederlanden (2014)

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See detailLes tensions entre langue et politique en Belgique: linguistiques ou communautaires?
Dassargues, Alix ULiege; Perrez, Julien ULiege; Reuchamps, Min ULiege

in Revue Internationale de Politique Comparée (2014), 21

Since its creation in 1830, Belgium has experienced tensions between language and politics. The question of the linguistic or community-related nature of these tensions should be raised since they have ... [more ▼]

Since its creation in 1830, Belgium has experienced tensions between language and politics. The question of the linguistic or community-related nature of these tensions should be raised since they have regularly been referred to as linguistic by some researchers and as community-related by others. But the choice of these adjectives is not unimportant considering they frame the representations of the political issues at hand. The aim of this article is to tackle this question from the combined perspective of linguistics and political science. In the first, the article explores the genealogy of the adjectives ‘linguistic’ and ‘community-related’ as well as the multiplicity of their uses in the scientific literature. In the second part, it focuses on the ways citizens see and talk about Belgian federalism through the respective analyses of their mental representations and their conceptual metaphors. Such interdisciplinary endeavour, bringing together theoretical and empirical insights, seeks to yield a renewed understanding of the political relations in Belgium and to contribute to the debate about plurilingual societies. [less ▲]

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See detailDeliberate metaphors in political discourse: the case of citizen discourse
Perrez, Julien ULiege; Reuchamps, Min

in Metaphorik (2014)

This article proposes to apply Steen’s (2008) 3D model of metaphor analysis in communication to a corpus of political discourse, in this case citizen discourse. Our corpus has accordingly been analysed by ... [more ▼]

This article proposes to apply Steen’s (2008) 3D model of metaphor analysis in communication to a corpus of political discourse, in this case citizen discourse. Our corpus has accordingly been analysed by making a distinction between three layers of metaphor, respectively at the linguistic (direct vs. indirect metaphors), conceptual (novel vs. conventional metaphors) and communicative levels (deliberate vs. non-deliberate metaphors). Our results suggest that making the distinction between deliberate and non-deliberate metaphors lead to meaningful political insights, notably pointing to differences in saliency of the source domains in terms of which citizens make sense of Belgian federalism. In this regard, the family domain, and more especially the metaphor BELGIAN FEDERALISM IS A LOVE RELATIONSHIP appears to function as an important conceptual reference point for the citizens’ understanding of the political relations in the Belgian context. [less ▲]

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See detailThe “Belgian Tetris”: assessing the political impact of metaphors on citizens’ perception of and attitude towards Belgian federalism
Perrez, Julien ULiege; Reuchamps, Min

Conference (2014)

In the literature, the political impact of metaphors has often been taken for granted from metaphor analysis in political discourse, be it elite discourse or media discourse. However, a more global ... [more ▼]

In the literature, the political impact of metaphors has often been taken for granted from metaphor analysis in political discourse, be it elite discourse or media discourse. However, a more global understanding of what this political impact could consist of, is still lacking from the current research agenda. As Koller (2009:121) puts it: “metaphor helps construct particular aspects of reality and reproduce (or subvert) dominant schemas.” To be able to account for how metaphors, through discourses, actively shape the political reality, it is important to look at the relationships between metaphorical discourses and their environment. Based on the idea that metaphors do not only reflect the perceived reality, but also function as cues through which citizens come to understand complex political processes and through which they shape political behaviors, the aim of this study is precisely to look at how specific metaphors might impact on the citizens’ framing of Belgian federalism. To measure the impact of metaphors on the citizens’ political representations and attitudes, we developed an experimental set-up based on an article published in the Belgian newspaper Le Soir (13-14 July 2013) in which Belgian federalism was deliberately compared to a Tetris game. The original article included a picture and a text (208 words), which were used as authentic experimental material. For this experiment, we distinguished three experimental conditions and one control condition. In the first experimental condition (full condition), the participants were exposed to the original article (including the text and the picture). In the second and third experimental conditions, the participants were respectively exposed either to the text (text condition) or the picture (picture condition). In the control condition, the participants weren’t exposed to any metaphorical material at all. In the second stage of the experiment, the participants were asked to achieve three interrelated tasks: (i) a free description task, based on a free description of their own perception of Belgian federalism, (ii) an association task, in which they had to select a picture which they found the most appropriate to describe Belgian federalism, and finally (iii) a questionnaire measuring the participants’ political knowledge of Belgian federalism and attitudes towards its future development. In a post-test held four weeks after the first experiment, the three tasks of the second stage have been replicated. This experiment has been conducted in autumn 2013 among 400 students. Comparing the various experimental conditions will make it possible (i) to measure the impact of the Tetris metaphor on the citizens’ perceptions and representations of Belgian federalism, (ii) to assess to what extent the different metaphorical media differently contribute to this impact and (iii) to measure the long-term impact of this metaphor on the citizens’ political representations and attitudes. In answering these questions, this study will contribute to a better understanding of the role and functions metaphors play in political discourse, and more globally in our everyday political interactions. [less ▲]

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See detailBeyond the verb: constructions at work in the expression of static location in Dutch and French
Perrez, Julien ULiege; Lemmens, Maarten

Conference (2013, June 28)

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