Recognition Of Verbal Manipulation In Ibero-American Articles Disclosing The Image Of Russia

Abstract

The article deals with the problem of means of expressing manipulation and creating a certain vision of modern Russia by the Ibero-American mass media. The readers often get subjected to analytical pressure and sometimes the interpretation of events becomes more important than the event itself. Speech influence on consciousness works at the levels of a sentence and a text. The structure and composition of mass-media discourse has the potential of various methods of complex influence on consciousness. Manipulation, being one of the main tools of political communication, is expressed through the means found only in political discourse. The analysis of the media in Ibero-America also revealed special difficulties in understanding Russia. The difficulties are connected to the linguistic and cultural description, because even specialists and researchers interested in the history and culture of Russia do not always understand the realities and specifics of life in the country. Many journalists refer to the image of tsarist Russia, that is why allusions to historical facts are natural. The materials for the study are the articles published by the national media of Bolivia over the period from 2018 to 2020 on the website https:// www.prensalatinaescrita.com. The study includes both linguistic methods and methods of related sciences.

Keywords: Speech aggressionBolivian mediacultural code

Introduction

The article has been written in the framework of scientific research project Language Modeling of the Image of Russia in the Ibero-American Media and deals with the definition of verbal manipulation methods and techniques used to create a certain image of the President of the Russian Federation. Please note that we are interested in the view of Bolivian experts on modern Russia, as well as in the means of political discourse that Bolivian media use to create the image of Russia. There is no doubt that the cultural semantics of cultural code units manifests itself most clearly in phraseological units. The composition of information in the text has an important influence on the reader.

Problem Statement

Lately, modern linguistics has been actively analyzing the problems of speech influence (see Berlanga, 2013; O’Keeffe, 2013; van Dijk, 2013). The problem of the means of expressing manipulation in the media has a special place in the studies. Interest in the study of speech aggression in various aspects is growing significantly due to the increased manifestation of speech aggression in society.

The existing definitions of manipulation in psychology (interpersonal manipulation or manipulation of individual consciousness) and other humanities, such as political science, philosophy, and sociology (where manipulation of public consciousness takes place) confirm the complexity and versatility of this phenomenon. A person is a subject to the influence of collective social actors who use complex technologies of hidden psychological coercion, mainly related to the use of mass media.

Research Questions

Multilateral and ever-increasing contacts with Latin American countries attract the attention of researchers to this region. For example, Schelchkov (2019), a Russian specialist in Bolivia, Chile and Colombia, as well as Bolivian writers and political scientists, such as Ordenes-Lavadens (2018) and Cuban political scientists. Over the period of 2018-2020, a number of researchers at St. Petersburg State University have also devoted their works to this issue (see Iakushkina, 2019; Med, 2019; Nikolaeva, 2019; Sokolova, 2019; Voiku, 2019). Please note that we are interested in the view of Bolivian experts on modern Russia and the means of political discourse that Bolivian media use to create the image of Russia. After all, readers appear as witnesses, or rather observers, of political events. Very often, readers are subjected to such analytical pressure that the interpretation of events often becomes much more important than the event itself. One of the most effective media technologies that allows you to interpret events and put the right emphasis is undoubtedly the selection of facts.

Purpose of the Study

It is critical discourse analysis that allows us to understand "how language functions and works in society, and in whose interests it does so, and what impact it has on the world that is structured in a language" (Matheson, 2013, p. 28). We should remember that lately the "rhetoric of change" also started to be used (Price, 2002, p. 54).

The materials for the study are the articles published by the national media of Bolivia for the period from 2018 to 2020 on the website www.prensalatinaescrita.com.

Research Methods

The study, conducted for the first time and based on a comprehensive analysis of media texts of the leading Latin American media, includes both linguistic methods (descriptive analytical, methods of semantic, contextual and stylistic analysis), as well as methods of related sciences (cognitive, linguopragmatic, linguopolitical with an aim to generate positive/negative status of the phenomenon studied – the image of Russia.

Findings

G. V. Ordenes-Lavadenz (Gorge V. or Gorge Ordenes L. V. Ordenes-Lavadenz - there are two spellings of his name on Bolivian websites) is a PhD in Spanish literature, fellow of the Bolivian Academy of language, and also holder of a degree in Economics.

As the meticulous authors of Spanish-language media like to point out, on Saturday 28 July 2018, Ordenes-Lavadenz (2019) published his article “El pez muere por la boca y Putin también”. It appeared on some websites on July 29. The title of an article, especially a columnist's article, is an essential element of a journalistic text. After all, it is with the help of the title that the author can draw readers ' attention to his article. If the reader does not pay proper attention to the title, the article will be unnoticed and unread. The title of this article is the first part of the Spanish idiom, which has no direct analogue in Russian translation: ‘the fish dies when it opens its mouth’, and instead of the traditional ending "y el hombre por la palabra" – and a man dies because of his words, "y también Putin" – ‘and Putin, too’.

For a more accurate understanding of the meaning of Spanish phraseology, it seems necessary to consider its etymology.

This phraseology, which originates from the speech of sailors, has become commonplace in everyday life. When a fish opens its mouth to catch a baited hook, its life is finished. In the same way, a person who talks too much eventually becomes a victim of his verbosity.

There are various versions of this phrase: "Al toro por las astas y al hombre por la palabra”, "Al toro por los cuernos y al hombre por el verbo", in which there is a bull who is killed by a spear or because of the horns, and a man-because of his language (talkativeness). Thus, you should not confuse this phrases with the Russian "Fish rots from the head".

In this example, the use of adding transformation technique creates a special effect. As Med (2019) rightly points out, "the Author uses the method of adding in order to make the reader share his point of view" (p. 376).

There is no doubt that the cultural semantics of cultural code units manifests itself most clearly in phraseological units. As Mokienko (2018) notes, "it is the journalistic discourse that reveals and fixes the main qualities of phraseological units – their expressiveness and characterization" (p. 2).

Speech influence on consciousness works at the levels of a sentence and a text. The structure and composition of mass-media discourse has the potential of various methods of complex influence on consciousness.

Battles are won not only by the preponderance of manpower and equipment, but also by the superiority of strategies and tactics. Of course, the composition of information in the text has a certain important influence on the reader. However, we must also take into account the fact that the reader sees the content of the text in the way that the author presents it. Let us consider the organization of the article's material in order to understand how a Bolivian linguist tries to achieve a manipulative effect.

The title of the article intrigues the reader, who expects to learn interesting facts and details about the life of the President of the Russian Federation. The most attractive thing is that, according to the author of the article, the reader will be able to learn a certain secret revealed precisely because of the excessive frankness of President Putin.

Then comes the introduction: "Nadie sabe cuánto dinero tiene Vladimir Putin, presidente de Rusia, pero muchos creen que es la persona más rica del planeta. Yahoo News dijo recientemente que tenía un palacio de $ 1.000 millones, un yate de $ 500 millones... y esto para empezar" – ‘No one knows how much money Russian President Vladimir Putin has, but many consider him the richest man in the world. According to the latest Yahoo News reports, he has a $1billion palace, a $500 million yacht... and this is just the beginning.’ The ellipsis sign can awaken the reader's imagination. And right here the author of the article limits the flight of fantasy to the adverb "quizá" - perhaps. Yet, it is known that this adverb requires the use of Modo Subjuntivo, which increases the degree of doubt: "Quizá como presidente tenga derecho a algunos de estos lujos" – ‘Perhaps, as a President, he is entitled to some of these privileges.’ Next follows: "fue formado en la KGB", "como empleado subalterno" – ‘started working in the KGB’, ‘as a junior employee’.

Narrative Exposition: "la formación de Putin no aceptar la posibilidad de la derrota – ‘Putin's professional education does not allow for the probability of defeat’. Special attention is drawn to the following sentence "El 16 de julio, de pie al lado de Trump, Putin dijo: “cada uno pongamos de nuestra parte: permitiremos que representantes de EEUU, incluyendo personal del fiscal especial Robert Müeller, ingresen a Rusia para interrogar a los oficiales rusos sospechosos de haberse inmiscuido cibernéticamente a favor de Trump en las elecciones presidenciales de 2016....” – ‘On July 16, standing next to Trump, Putin said: "let each of us do the following: allow US representatives, including special Prosecutor Robert Mueller personally, to come to Russia to interrogate Russian specialists (hackers) suspected of interfering in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.’

Conclusion: "La ley (Magnitsky) afecta seriamente los arcos de Putin y de otros rusos acaudalados " – ‘the law (Magnitsky) seriously affects the monetary interests of Putin and other rich Russians.’ Here, proper names perform a manipulative function as an emotional element.

In this article, the author uses the technique of putting the information that he would like to introduce to the reader’s mind at the beginning and the end of the article to manipulate the reader's memory: V. Putin is the richest man in the world, but he is afraid of exposure.

Conclusion

Manipulation, being one of the main tools of political communication, is expressed through thr means found only in political discourse. They include labeling, sloganizing abbreviations, intimating narratives, as well as military metaphors, paralogical techniques, etc. It is also worth mentioning that, as noted by Vasiliev (2017), "linguopolitical tricks-manipulations" began to emerge (p. 26).

The analysis of texts at the morphosyntactatic level showed a balanced set of features: the structural type "evaluative adjective + noun".

The analysis of the media in Iberoamerica also revealed special difficulties in understanding Russia. The difficulties connected цшер the linguistic and cultural description, because even specialists and researchers interested in the history and culture of Russia do not always understand the realities and specifics of life in the country. Many journalists refer to the image of tsarist Russia that is why allusions to historical facts are natural.

Acknowledgments

The article has been produced in the framework of scientific project N.19-012-00387 with support from The Russian Foundation for Basic Research.

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Publisher

European Publisher

First Online

08.12.2020

Doi

10.15405/epsbs.2020.12.02.46

Online ISSN

2357-1330