Symbolism Of Colour Names With The Meaning "Freedom" In German Political Discourse


This article analyses the functioning of the adjectival colour names grün and blau in modern German political discourse when they take on a political connotation. It studies the specific patterns of their functioning in German political texts. The examples prove that the colour names have a political connotation, conveying both traditional and new meanings which reflect the modern realities of the social and political life in Germany. In addition, it reveals how frequently separate meanings of these linguistic units are displayed in German political discourse. The colour term grün turns out to be the most common in political publications to name the party Die Grünen, its policy and the political views of the electorate. Nowadays this colour name also represents ecology and environmental protection, freedom, and hope. It acquires a meaning “renewable” in the phrase grüne Energie and “misleading about environmental effects” in grün waschen. As in many other cultures, the colour name blau symbolizes truth, freedom, infinity, devotion, loyalty, tranquility, liberalism. Linguistic analysis shows that blau in modern German political discourse carries many meanings as well. It is associated with the FDP, the EU and NATO. It also relates to Ukraine, the US Democratic Party, the German police, and appears in various national campaigns and programs – “bunt statt blau” and “Aktion Blau plus” in particular. The results of this study significantly expand the information available in political linguistics and modern Germanic studies on the semantics of basic colour names in the German language and illustrate their political connotation.

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31 March 2022

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Nikonova, Z. V., Yastremskaya, I. G., Akhmadullina, E. N., & Kharitonova, D. I. (2022). Symbolism Of Colour Names With The Meaning "Freedom" In German Political Discourse. In & I. Savchenko (Ed.), Freedom and Responsibility in Pivotal Times, vol 125. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 614-624). European Publisher.