Discourse-historical approach (DHA) to critical discourse analysis employed in ideology and identity studies

Critical discourse analysis (CDA), which emerged in the early 1990s and branches out into several approaches, is increasingly employed in studies of the relationships among translation, ideology, identity, and power (Kim 2020). For CDA practitioners, discourse, namely language use in writing and speech, is a form of social practice, and by examining lexico-grammatical choices, genres, or types of discourses within specific contexts, CDA can demystify ideologies embedded in discourse, uncover inequalities and power straggles, and further address social problems (Fairclough and Wodak 1997). In particular, CDA ‘intervenes on the side of dominated and oppressed groups and against dominating groups’ and ‘openly declares the emancipatory interests that motivate it’ (Fairclough and Wodak 1997: 259). Of all the CDA approaches that differ in research focus, social domains, and theoretical legacy (Fairclough and Wodak 1997), the discourse-historical approach (DHA), developed mainly by Ruth Wodak, has been made the main methodological focus of the present study. Wodak (1986) developed the DHA from her study of anti-Semitic discourse during the Waldheim Affair in Austria by uncovering the anti-Semitic ideologies embodied in texts and discourses about Kurt Waldheim, who was accused of his participation or complicity in Nazi crimes against Jews during World War II when he ran for the 1986 Austrian presidential election. Different from the other CDA approaches, the DHA aims to ‘transcend the pure linguistic dimension’ and ‘include, more or less systematically, the historical, political, sociological and/or psychological dimension in the analysis and interpretation of a specific discursive occasion’ (Reisigl and Wodak 2001: 35). In another DHA-employed study (Wodak et al. 2009) that investigates how Austrian national identity is being constructed through discursive strategies and shifts of Austrian national identity amid EU integration, some linguistic strategies and devices are found to be used for discursively constructing national identities, such as using the deictic ‘we’ and its other dialectal forms to signify inclusiveness as opposed to ‘they' used to refer to ‘others’ or linking ‘they’ groups with derogatory and negative attributions (ibid.: 141-142). The application of the DHA is three-dimensional, including: (1) Initial identification of specific discursive topics or contents, (2) investigation of discursive strategies, and (3) examination of linguistic means and the linguistic realisations within contexts (Reisigl and Wodak 2001 : 44), and the discursive strategies may include referential/nomination strategies, predication strategies, perspectivation/framing/discourse representation strategies, intensifying/mitigation strategies, and argumentation strategies (Reisigl and Wodak 2001: 44-84). For instance, social actors may be constructed and represented by use of referential or nomination strategies. Predication strategies may involve linguistic devices which explicitly or implicitly express ‘evaluative attributions of negative and positive traits’ (ibid.: 45), while through strategies of perspectivation, framing, or discourse representation, speakers demonstrate linguistically their stance and their involvement in discourse. Intensifying and mitigation are two opposite strategies, and both may influence the original illocutionary force of utterances. Argumentation strategies, of which topoi (plausible argumentation schemes) and fallacies are two main features, help justify positive and negative attributions of specific persons or groups (ibid.: 45). As the DHA is effective in uncovering discursive strategies used on issues about racism, ethni-cism, and nationalism (Reisigl and Wodak 2001: 44), it has been used to explore the discursive (re)construction of one's identity and (re)presentation of the Other in both translation and interpreting studies (e.g. Chang 2012). Therefore, it should be appropriate to employ the DHA in the present study to investigate whether and how a Taiwanese translator, amid the hegemony-resistance relationship between China and Taiwan, may show resistance to Chinese hegemony and demonstrate his/her national identity in his/her renditions.

 
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