Subject: English, asked on 20/4/22


Teun A. van Dijk University of Amsterdam

Since ideologies are the basis of our social judgments, and ideologically controlled prepositions often are opinion statements, expressions of such opinions, e.g., those about. Others, will often indicate what ideological constraints are involved. Lexical items chosen to describe others, as in the case of the well-known pair of freedom fighter and terrorist, when applied to the Contras and the Sandinistas by ex-president Ronald Reagan, are an example in kind. Slightly more indirect or coded is the use of moderate (vs. radical) when describing groups, parties or countries that espouse our ideologies, that are our friends or that do not threaten our interests (Herman, 1992; Herman and Chomsky, 1988). The ideological semantics underlying such lexical selection follows a rather clear strategic pattern, viz., that in general in groups and their members, as well as friends, allies, or supporters, tend to be described in positive terms, whereas out groups, enemies or opponents are described in negative terms. This is a familiar finding in intergroup theory. theories of stereotyping and (other) social cognition research (Fiske and Taylo, 1991; Hamilton, 1991; Semin and Fiedler. 1992: Turner and Giles, 1981). That is, we assume that the mental representations of these groups in terms of attitude schemata and underlying ideologies will feature the overall evaluative concepts that also influence lexical selection (all other things like context constraints being equal). This may not only show in 144 adjectives or nouns used to describe in groups and out groups and their properties. but also in the complex structures that relate these groups with specific actions, objects, places, or events. African Americans in general, and young black males in particular, may thus be associated with the inner city, with drugs, riots or welfare in many ways that, for specific texts and contexts, are as many code words of the semantics of racist discourse. If the overall strategy of positive self presentation and negative other presentation is a well-known way to exhibit ideological structures in discourse, we may predict that the following structures and strategies of text and talk may typically be ideologically relevant, deperding on topic, context, speech acts and communicative geals, for in groups and out groups respectively: Describing/attributing positive action






High, prominent position.

Headlining, summarizing

Detailed description

Attribution to personality



Narrative illustration






Low, non-prominent position


Vague, overall description.

Attribution to context



No storytelling

Subject: English, asked on 29/3/22

Subject: English, asked on 11/3/22

Subject: English, asked on 4/3/22

Subject: English, asked on 4/3/22

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