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  • 1.
    Dvorak, Martin
    Högskolan Dalarna,.
    Fear Induction, Versatile Wide-Coverage Taints, Semantic Polarity and Semantic Association as Means of Persuasion in Religious Discourse2012In: International Symposium on Language and Communication: Research trends and challenges: Proceedings book, Izmir, Turkey: Institute of Language and Communication Studies , 2012, p. 497-509Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Fear occupies an undeniable portion of our lives and in most cases represents an incentive and driving force underlying our acts. The paper looks into discursive practices of generating fear through direct intimidation and by overemphasizing and/or fabricating versatile wide-coverage taints (reader’s/listener’s imperfections and flaws) deployed for the purpose of inducing feelings of guilt and insufficiency. It also tackles the issue of semantic polarity (juxtaposing two stylistically more or less identical but semantically opposing blocks of text) discussing its impact on the message recipient and the concepts it endeavors to establish in them in order to influence their future choices and conduct. Attention is also paid to semantic association, which proves to be another intimidating technique frequently utilized in religious discourse to supercharge selected lexical items with the meanings the writer/speaker purposefully attaches to these, thereby exploiting excessive signification (in the Saussurean sense) to achieve their intended persuasive effect.The paper, which is based on the author’s research and analysis of a corpus of religious texts, illustrates the individual phenomena by presenting examples selected from sources used by several denominations and religious movements (Christians, Latter-Day Saints, Jehova’s Witnesses, Satanists, Scientologists, etc.). Besides, it statistically maps the distribution of direct intimidation and versatile wide-coverage taints segments across these sources and points out the recent trends in persuasive mechanisms deployed to induce a change of individual’s opinion and/or behavior.

  • 2.
    Dvorak, Martin
    Mälardalen University, School of Education, Culture and Communication.
    Intimidation, Versatile Wide-Coverage Taints, Semantic Polarity and Semantic Association as Elements Facilitating Religious Persuasion2013In: Language and Communication Quarterly, ISSN 2168-7633Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Fear occupies an undeniable portion of our lives and in most cases represents an incentive and driving force underlying our acts. The paper looks into discursive practices of generating fear through direct intimidation and by overemphasizing and/or fabricating versatile wide-coverage taints (reader’s/listener’s imperfections and flaws) deployed for the purpose of inducing feelings of guilt and insufficiency. It also tackles the issue of semantic polarity (juxtaposing two stylistically more or less identical but semantically opposing blocks of text) discussing its impact on the message recipient and the concepts it endeavors to establish in them in order to influence their future choices and conduct. Attention is also paid to semantic association, which proves to be another intimidating technique frequently utilized in religious discourse to supercharge selected lexical items with the meanings the writer/speaker purposefully attaches to these, thereby exploiting excessive signification (in the Saussurean sense) to achieve their intended persuasive effect.

    The paper, which is based on the author’s research and analysis of a corpus of religious texts, illustrates the individual phenomena by presenting examples selected from sources used by several denominations and religious movements (Christians, Latter-Day Saints, Jehova’s Witnesses, Satanists, Scientologists, etc.). Besides, it statistically maps the distribution of direct intimidation and versatile wide-coverage taints segments across these sources and points out the recent trends in persuasive mechanisms deployed to induce a change of individual’s opinion and/or behavior.

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