This paper investigates how argument structure constructions (see e.g. Goldberg 1995) are used by Italian newspapers to portray gender-based violence (GBV), how their usage affects responsibility attribution to perpetrators, and how such usage is perceived by Italian readers. The assumption is that constructions critically affect meaning: constructional choices prompt different viewpoints of the same event. For the corpus study, we collected 40 articles from local newspapers and annotated 720 constructions denoting GBV events. Constructions suppressing/backgrounding the perpetrator or depicting the event as a bare happening were the most frequent. Building upon these results, for the perception study, 274 participants read an author-constructed news report portraying GBV and answered four speculative questions about the identity of the perpetrator and the victim. Respondents were divided into groups and each group was presented with a stimulus article containing different constructions of the GBV event surrounded by the same information frame. In line with previous studies, it was found that the perpetrator could be assigned less responsibility when the passive and nominal constructions were employed.

Responsibility attribution in gender-based domestic violence : A study bridging corpus-assisted discourse analysis and readers' perception / C. Meluzzi, E. Pinelli, E. Valvason, C. Zanchi. - In: JOURNAL OF PRAGMATICS. - ISSN 0378-2166. - 185(2021 Nov), pp. 73-92. [10.1016/j.pragma.2021.07.023]

Responsibility attribution in gender-based domestic violence : A study bridging corpus-assisted discourse analysis and readers' perception

C. Meluzzi
Primo
;
2021

Abstract

This paper investigates how argument structure constructions (see e.g. Goldberg 1995) are used by Italian newspapers to portray gender-based violence (GBV), how their usage affects responsibility attribution to perpetrators, and how such usage is perceived by Italian readers. The assumption is that constructions critically affect meaning: constructional choices prompt different viewpoints of the same event. For the corpus study, we collected 40 articles from local newspapers and annotated 720 constructions denoting GBV events. Constructions suppressing/backgrounding the perpetrator or depicting the event as a bare happening were the most frequent. Building upon these results, for the perception study, 274 participants read an author-constructed news report portraying GBV and answered four speculative questions about the identity of the perpetrator and the victim. Respondents were divided into groups and each group was presented with a stimulus article containing different constructions of the GBV event surrounded by the same information frame. In line with previous studies, it was found that the perpetrator could be assigned less responsibility when the passive and nominal constructions were employed.
Media discourse; Gender-based violence; Cognitive grammar; Corpus-assisted discourse studies; Perception studies
Settore L-LIN/01 - Glottologia e Linguistica
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/870109
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