Language and Power in Brazilian and Portuguese Media: The Marielle Franco Case

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


This paper demonstrates how referencing strategies are used in Brazilian and Portuguese media texts that address the murder of Rio de Janeiro city councilor Marielle Franco, which took place in March 2018, and its consequences. We observed how opinion articles published online, in Brazil and in Portugal, present a world view about the fact mentioned that reiterates polarized power relations. The theoretical contribution of this presentation is based on Text Linguistics, represented by authors such as Conte (1998), Koch and Marcuschi (1998), Apotheloz (2001), Mondada and Dubois (2003), among others. Text Linguistics usually understands the referential process as a discursive practice (cf. Mondada, 2003; Koch, 2003) that assumes interaction among the discourse subjects, who are responsible for making meaningful choices to represent the referents. The phenomena of deixis and anaphora have been discussed by many scholars, from different theoretical viewpoints – such as Halliday & Hasan (1976), Lyons (1978), Ehlich (1982), Levinson (1983), Koch & Marcuschi (2000), and so forth. However, the analysis of deixis is not always focused on its role in constructing meanings in texts. By comparing the traditional approach to more recent texts (Cornish, 2011; Abbott, 2010; Fossard & Rigalleau, 2005; Samaniego, 2011; Maalej, 2013, and others), what comes up is that studies on referential processes devote little reflection to deixis, which sometimes is presented either as a subcategory of anaphora or as a different process. Therefore, this research aims at discussing how deixis and anaphora are situated in the current theoretical and methodological panorama of analysis of referential processes and referential chains as an argumentative strategy. We also include theorists who have discussed aspects of referencing in a perspective that is consistent with a concept currently called textual-discursive – such as Cornish (2011) – and especially authors who analyze speeches from and about politicians – such as Maalej (2011), Santos and Cabral (2015) and Prior (2016). Regarding the Theory of Argumentation, we mainly rely on Adam (1992, 2002), Charaudeau (2008) and Amossy (2016). Our purpose is to describe the behavior of anaphorical and deictic strategies as axiological markers of the argumentative conduct of texts with a political theme, polarizing the complex power network associated with the facts. In this way, aspects related to left-right polarization and thematic developments – such as homophobia, machismo and racism – are analyzed in the corpus, mainly through direct and encapsulating anaphors, showing the similarities and differences in the use of these strategies. As preliminary conclusions, we intend to prove the hypothesis that deixis is associated as a typological continuum to cases of direct and indirect anaphora (including encapsulations), with a higher or smaller degree of deicticity (Santos & Cavalcante, 2012; 2014) and need of inferences for text comprehension, as an argumentative strategy in the construction of referential chains.
Period25 Mar 2021
Event titleColloque International LED 2021 (Langues et Discours): La référence: (co-)construction et exploitation
Event typeConference
LocationGrenoble, France
Degree of RecognitionInternational