The Discursive Construction of European Identity: Stylistic Analysis of "Text in Context"

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Abstract

The Draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe submitted to the European Council meeting in Thessaloniki on June 2003 was intended to repeal by a single instrument all the existing European treaties (about 16 Treaties enacted between 1951-ECSC Treaty and 2001-Treaty of Nice, with the exception of the Euratom Treaty). Indeed, the ratification by all the Member States of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe was necessary in order to enter it into force.Because of the difficulties and problems faced in ratifying the Treaty, the European Council decided in 2005 to start a ‘period of reflection’ on the future of the European Union. In particular, at the European Council meeting on 21-22 June 2007 (ICG Mandate General Observation 1,2,3,4 - Brussels European Council 11177/1/07, REV 1-CONCL 2), Member States agreed to summon an inter-governmental conference to adopt a ‘reform treaty’ (“the term ‘Constitution’ will not be used”, ICG Mandate - G.O.3) for the European Union. If ratified, the treaty could enter into force in June 2009, before the elections of the European Parliament. The aim of this paper is to explore how stylistics can be successfully applied to the European discourse (analysed from a corpus of EU texts organized in a diachronic perspective) to determine the effects ‘specific’ textual traits effectively produce in relation to the message(s) being conveyed. Starting from the latest development in the fields of sociolinguistic (Auer, 2007) and discourse analysis (Fairclough, 2006), style becomes a concept which can overcome the limitations/shortcomings of single-variable studies, usefully combining linguistics with a more comprehensive theoretical approach of the ways in which choices made at semiotic EU discourse level: i) relate to the social practices of categorisation, identity, sense-making; ii) can be considered the outcome of communities’ adjustment/re-scaling (Fairclough, 2006) to the new socio-cultural, economic and political environment.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)161-186
Numero di pagine25
RivistaTEXTUS
Stato di pubblicazionePublished - 2010

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