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The Discursive Construction of Emotions in the Headlines of French Newspapers on Seismic Disasters

Authors: Mirela-Gabriela Bratu

Abstract:

The main objective of this study is to highlight the way in which emotions are constructed discursively in the French written press, more particularly in the titles of informative articles. To achieve this objective, we will begin the study with the theoretical part, which aims to capture the characteristics of journalistic discourse, to which we will add clues of emotions that we will identify in the titles of the articles. The approach is based on the empirical results from the analysis of the articles published on the earthquake that took place on August 24, 2016, in Italy, as described by two French national daily newspapers: Le Monde and Le Point. The corpus submitted to the analysis contains thirty-seven titles, published between August 24, 2016, and August 24, 2017. If the textual content of the speech offers information respecting the grammatical standards and following the presentation conventions, the choice of words can touch the reader, so the journalist must add other means than mastering of the language to create emotion. This study aims to highlight the strategies, such as rhetorical figures, the tenses, or factual data, used by journalists to create emotions for the readers. We also try, thanks to the study of the articles which were published for several days relating to the same event, to emphasize whether we can speak or not of the dissipation of emotion and the catastrophic side as the event fades away in time. The theoretical framework is offered by works on rhetorical strategies (Perelman, 1992; Amossi, 2000; Charaudeau, 2000) and on the study of emotions (Plantin, 1997, 1998, 2004; Tetu, 2004).

Keywords: disaster, earthquake, emotion, feeling

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