Constructing Us : The First and Second Persons in Spanish Media Discourse
Miguel A. Aijón Oliva

Developments in the analysis of linguistic variation show the need for a theoretical model whereby variants are viewed as cognitively-based communicative choices. In this book, the analysis of the first and second grammatical persons in Spanish media discourse illustrates an approach to linguistic structure and usage as motivated by the need to create meaning at all semiotic levels. Rather than mere sets of deictic forms, persons constitute arrays of functional strategies used by speakers to develop certain representations of themselves and others. The degree of salience attributed to some participant through grammatical configuration – including features like person, way of formulation and syntactic function – strongly conditions the discursive role of that participant, as well as the communicative situation at large. Methodologically, the demonstration conjugates the analysis of quantitative usage patterns with that of specific instances of choice, in order to elucidate the stylistic potential of syntactic forms in media contexts. Understanding variation as the construction of meaning is essential to the scientific advancement of linguistics as an inherently social and cognitive discipline.

De Gruyter
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