Norm Problems And Deviations From The Norm In German Political Communication

Abstract

This article is devoted to the concept of norm definition in language communication, the establishing cases of deviation from different types of norms in political communication, and understanding of the language meanings that confirm the violation of the norm in the speeches of German politicians. The speeches of German politicians Sarah Wagenknecht, F.-M. Stritmayer were analysed on the basis of observance and violation of linguistic and communicative norms. Cases of violation of norms in the process of speech action "charges" were revealed. Language norms in German political communication are generally respected. The violation of the communicative norm is most often expressed by confrontational communicative strategy, conflict and speech action "blame", which are verbalized by means of various language tools - lexical, stylistic, syntactic, rhetorical. Speech action "blame" is explicated through negative emotional assessment, criticism of the opponents’ actions.

Keywords: Language and communicative normdeviation from normcommunicative strategyspeech action "blame

Introduction

At present, society is going through a painful process of changing norms in various spheres of public life. Facts that for a long time were eternal and stable are being revised. We see that in recent years, for example, the norms of diplomatic discourse have changed dramatically. These changes also relate to the whole sphere of political communication, where it is possible to trace some divergence from the generally accepted communicative standard. A violation of a norm may not only involve violations of the use of language and departure from generally accepted norms in the language. Violation of norms can be detected in political communication as a communicative strategy to discredit the opponent in the political struggle. It should be noted that political communication has become more violent, sometimes merciless, and the language of political struggle has become more aggressive, negative and emotionally expressive.).

Problem Statement

This study aimed to find out whether the linguistic and communicative norm is violated in German political discourse. A certain departure from the communicative norm in the political discourse will be considered on the material of the speeches of two German opposition politicians. As an example of deviation from the norm speech action, "accusation" will be analyzed, which aims to discredit another politician to give a negative assessment of its activities, thus affect both the opponent and the public opinion, to persuade them to his side. When it comes to representatives of different parties, the strategy of political communication is to discredit politics in the eyes of voters.

Research Questions

We concur with the point of view of Saprykina ( 2007), who considers the verbal action "accusation" as a certain violation of the norm. "The accusation refers to verbal actions related to the norm: the accuser calls for its observance, the accused party admits / does not recognize the commission of acts that violate this norm". According to the author, in the situation of conviction/charge, the speaker, considering himself the bearer of the norms existing in this society, is convinced that the opponent deliberately violated them or violates them and considers the opponent guilty of a reprehensible act ( Saprykina, 2007).

Speech action "prosecution" may relate to various aspects of political activity. The accuser points, for example, to the wrong political actions leading to negative consequences, to deterioration of a political and economic situation, to populism, unprofessionalism, corruption, financial frauds and many other things.

Language means (lexical, stylistic, syntactic, etc.) are unique markers representing a negative assessment and aimed at accusation and harsh criticism of the opponent.

Most clearly this phenomenon can be observed in the speech of Sarah Wagenknecht, a representative of the Left party of Germany in Bundestag. Her incriminating speeches are aimed primarily at the Federal Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and her policies. The criticism concerns the activities of Angela Merkel herself, the party she represents (Christian Democratic Union), and the internal and foreign policy of the European Union, since Germany, being the economically and politically most powerful country in the European Union, largely determines the decisions and policies of the organization.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study is to define the concept of norm in language communication; establish cases of deviation from different types of norms in political communication; and identify the language means that confirm the violation of the norm in the speeches of certain German politicians.

Research Methods

The data collection methods included discursive, pragmalinguistic, linguistic and conceptual analysis.

Findings

Portions of speeches made by German politicians Angela Merkel, Sarah Wagenknecht, F.-M. Stritmayer and others were analysed from the point of view of observance and violation of linguistic and communicative norms. Cases of violation of norms in the process of speech action "charges" were revealed. We identified various areas of Angela Merkel's speech activity to which the verbal action "charge" brought by Sarah Wagenknecht was extended. Language tools represent this accusation.

Here are examples of some linguistic units and microcontexts, selected from the speeches of Sarah Wagenknecht:

Accusation/criticism of German economic and social policy:

...eine massenhafte Enteignung deutscher Arbeitnehmer, weniger Lohn bekommen, ein massiver Angriff auf die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit europäischer Konkurrenten, Knebelinstrumente zur Erpressung ihrer Arbeitnehmer, großkoalitionäre Einheitspolitik, die sich für ihre elementaren Lebensinteressen und Zukunftsängste überhaupt nicht mehr interessiert,

(…massive expropriation of German workers, lower wages, a massive attack on the competitiveness of European competitors, tools to blackmail their workers, a major coalition unity policy that is no longer interested in their basic vital interests and fears for the future in general,)…

Accusation/criticism of the economic and social policy of the European Union

...ein Großangriff auf Arbeitnehmerrechte; die Ausgaben für Bildung, für Gesundheit, für Renten zusammengestrichen und die Sozialsysteme zerstört werden; immer mehr Menschen von einem Europa abwenden; Zerstörung ihrer Arbeitsplätze, für die Zerstörung ihrer sozialen Sicherheit und ihres Wohlstands; immer mehr Menschen eine EU als Bedrohung empfinden, die nichts mehr zu tun hat mit den großen Ideen der Freiheit, der Demokratie, der Solidarität und der Sozialstaatlichkeit; die Kluft zwischen Arm und Reich in Europa immer tiefer aufreißt;

(…attacks on workers' rights; the contributions to education, health care, pensions and social systems are collapsing, more people are turning away from Europe; their jobs are collapsing; violation of their social security and their welfare; and more and more people perceive the EU as a threat that has nothing to do with the great ideas of freedom, democracy, solidarity and social statehood; the gap between the rich and the poor in Europe is getting deeper;)

Accusation of indulgence of nationalism and right-wing radicalism in Europe and Ukraine:

…dass auf einem solchen Boden die nationalistische und rechtspopulistische Saat gedeiht; Das ist auch Ihre Saat, Frau Merkel, das ist auch das Ergebnis der von Ihnen verantworteten Politik.

(…that the nationalist and legal populist seed thrives on this ground; that is the result of their policies, as is their seed, Ms. Merkel).

Charge of failure of policy of the European Union and Germany in Ukraine, and also in support of the government of Poroshenko

...eine Regierung, der vier Minister einer offen antisemitischen und antirussischen Nazipartei angehören, brutal Krieg gegen die eigene Bevölkerung führt, Fehlschläge Ihrer Ukraine-Diplomatie .

(…the government, which includes four Ministers of the openly anti-Semitic and anti-Russian Nazi parties, is waging a brutal war against its people, causing the failure of your diplomacy in Ukraine).

Criticism of Merkel and NATO policy towards Russia:

…hat der Westen gegenüber Russland über Jahre sträflich vernachlässigt; dass die NATO-Osterweiterung ein Fehler war, verantwortungslos ist die absurde Sanktionsdebatte.

(…The West has forgotten to pay tribute to Russia for years; that NATO's eastward expansion was a mistake, and the absurd sanctions debate is irresponsible).

Comparison of /comparing policy Merkel's previous policies in Germany and Europe:

Frau Bundeskanzlerin, die deutsche Europapolitik stand einmal in einer anderen Tradition. Sie stand in einer Tradition, die begründet wurde durch den Bruderkuss Charles de Gaulles und Adenauers im Elysée, durch den Händedruck Mitterrands und Helmut Kohls über den Gräbern von Verdun und durch den Kniefall Willy Brandts in Warschau, mit dem er Deutschland für immer verpflichtete, gegen Judenhass und Rassismus in aller Welt vorzugehen, und der den Geist seiner Ost- und Entspannungspolitik symbolisch zum Ausdruck brachte.

(Madam Federal Chancellor, German European policy once had a different tradition. It stood in a tradition founded by Charles de Gaulle and Adenauer's marital kiss in Elysee, Mitterrand and Helmut Kohl's handshake over Verdun's graves and the collapse of Willy Brandt in Warsaw, with whom he led Germany forever Hatred of Jews and racism around the world and a symbolic expression of the spirit of his policies)

In the studied material, various types of proposals have been established, which are eddied to accuse the opponent, they are aimed at discrediting him. Such sentences contain, as a rule, negative evaluative language.

Interrogative sentences and rhetorical questions:

....Ist es nicht geradezu verantwortungslos, einer Regierung, die so offenkundig elementarste demokratische Maßstäbe verletzt, auch noch mit Milliarden an EU-Geld unter die Arme zu greifen?

Aber merken Sie denn gar nicht, dass es genau diese fatale Politik ist, die Europa spaltet und immer mehr kaputtgehen lässt ? ( Wagenknecht, 2016)

(Is it not irresponsible to help the government, which so clearly violates basic democratic standards, but lacks the hands of billions of EU money? But don't you realize that this is the fatal policy which divides Europe and does more damage?)

Incentive sentences-appeals:

Deshalb, Frau Merkel: Lösen Sie sich endlich aus dem Schlepptau dieser US-Kriegspolitik.

Setzen Sie sich - möglichst gemeinsam mit Frankreich - dafür ein, dass Europa sich diesem Eskalationskurs verweigert.

(So, Ms. Merkel: finally, free at last from the towline from the warlike policy of the United States. If possible, join forces with France to ensure that Europe abandons this escalation course).

Sentences-approvals/charges:

Damit es nicht zu peinlich wird, belügen Sie die Öffentlichkeit hinsichtlich der wahren Situation in der Ukraine…

In Deutschland wachsen soziale Ungleichheit und Verunsicherung…

Aber Ihre einzige Schlussfolgerung scheint zu sein, jetzt einen europäischen Hochrüstungswettlauf zu starten.

(Not to be confused, you lie to the public about the true situation in Ukraine ...In German social inequality and uncertainty are on the rise ...But your only conclusion seems to be to launch the European arms race now).

The reception of the appeal to the authority and receiving citations:

Angesichts Ihres Verhaltens fällt einem wirklich nur noch der Satz von Albert Einstein ein:

Die reinste Form des Wahnsinns ist es, alles beim Alten zu lassen und gleichzeitig zu hoffen, dass sich etwas ändert.

(In view of your behaviour, you really only remember Albert Einstein's suggestion: the purest form of madness is to leave everything as it is and at the same time hope that something will change).

Suggestions-slogan/calls:

Schluss mit Oligarchie und Korruption! Demokratie und bessere soziale Absicherung… ( Wagenknecht, 2014).

(Stop oligarchy and corruption! Democracy and better social security …)

Conclusion

Thus, the verbal action of "accusation" in political discourse is usually a manifestation of conflict. The speaker deliberately initiates the conflict and aggravates it, using various methods of argumentation, which are represented by various language means. This can be considered as a deviation from the communicative norm. The prosecution is directed against rival politicians in order to discredit their activities, cause political damage and win in the competition, in the struggle for power, as well as to assert their own views.

References

  1. Chudinov, A. (2007). Political linguistics: studies. Benefit. - Moscow: Flint.
  2. Saprykina, E. V. (2007) Methods of representation of speech action "accusation" in parliamentary discourse, Unpublished dissertation. – Ufa.
  3. Wagenknecht, S. (2014). Frau Merkel, lösen Sie sich aus dem Schlepptau der US-Kriegspolitik. Retrieved from https://www.sahra-wagenknecht.de/de/article/1924.frau-merkel-loesen-sie-sich-aus-dem-schlepptau-der-us-kriegspolitik.html
  4. Wagenknecht, S. (2016). Die Menschen wollen kein 'Weiter so' mehr. Retrieved from http://www.sahra-wagenknecht.de/de/article/2456.die-menschen-wollen-kein-weiter-so-mehr.html

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Publisher

Future Academy

First Online

18.12.2019

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2019.02.02.57

Online ISSN

2357-1330