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Lodz Papers in Pragmatics

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The framing of Muslims on the Spanish Internet

Manuel Alcántara-Plá
  • Departamento de Lingüística General y Lenguas Modernas Facultad de Filosofía y Letras Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Madrid 28049, Spain
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/ Ana Ruiz-Sánchez
  • Departamento de Lingüística General y Lenguas Modernas Facultad de Filosofía y Letras Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Madrid 28049, Spain
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Published Online: 2017-12-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lpp-2017-0013


In this work we study the representation of Muslims on the Internet in Spain. After the terrorist attacks in Europe, Islamophobia and Muslimophobia have grown considerably in our society. There is a strong rejection of Muslim groups and individuals, they are perceived not only as different, but also as dangerous and violent. We follow a cognitive linguistics approach using corpus linguistics as a methodology in order to know which concepts are related to Muslims in discourse. We have used three corpora: the Spanish part of the esTenTen corpus, which is a large web corpus intended to give a picture of the Spanish language on the Internet; a Twitter corpus encompassing tweets published by five main political parties in Spain and their candidates in 2015-2016; and a third corpus of articles on the topic “Muslims” from four important digital newspapers (El País, La Vanguardia, La Voz de Galicia, and ABC). We examine word co-occurrence patterns of islámico (‘Islamic’) and musulmán (‘Muslim’) to shed light on the stigmatization of this minority in the online discourse and its frequent presence in negative frames.

Keywords: online discourse; representation; Muslims; stigmatization; corpus linguistics; cognitive linguistics; frames


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About the article

Manuel Alcántara-Plá

Manuel Alcántara-Plá is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. He is member of the Wor(l)ds Lab research group. His research interests include corpus linguistics, discourse, and digital communication. More specifically, his current work examines the linguistic characteristics of the New Media using Corpus Assisted Discourse Studies. He is the PI of the project “Framing and Articulation Strategies in the Political Discourse on Twitter” (2015-2017), and co-editor in chief of the international journal CHIMERA: Romance Corpora and Linguistic Studies.

Ana Ruiz-Sánchez

Ana Ruiz Sánchez is Associate Professor in the Department of Linguistics and Modern Languages at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and has a European PhD in German Studies. She is member of the Wor(l)ds Lab research group. She is a researcher in the Project “Framing and Articulation Strategies in the Political Discourse on Twitter” (2015-2017). She is interested in the analysis of intercultural discourse in Europe, and works as a consultant on Human Rights and Minorities. She is co-author of Interkulturelle Literatur in Deutschland (Metzler 2000) and Bewegte Sprache: Vom ‘Gastarbeiterdeutsch’ zum interkulturellen Schreiben (Thelem 2014). She coordinates the Spanish civic initiative Pacto de Convivencia.

Published Online: 2017-12-19

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 261–283, ISSN (Online) 1898-4436, ISSN (Print) 1895-6106, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lpp-2017-0013.

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