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178. A Critical Discourse Analysis of Derogation and Euphemization in Ahmadinejad’s International Speeches


Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) has become a very influential academic research activity across subjects in social, political, educational, and linguistic sciences. It scrutinizes the power relations, ideological manipulations, and hegemony used among the people manifested in texts. Therefore, it is always interesting to investigate an influential world leader‟s way to set the domination or derogation over the opponents and euphemization of his side to achieve the wanted interests through the language. This thesis is an attempt to explain the research problems of how Ahmadinejad, as the president of Iran Republic, uses the discursive strategies of derogation and euphemization in the international forum‟s speeches. The researcher decides to select his speeches at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in 2008 and Durban Review Conference 2009.

To answer the problems, the researcher adopts van Dijk's CDA framework of self-representation and negative other- representation (in-groups vs. out-groups ideologies) through euphemization and derogation leading to ideological based domination and hegemony in the texts. Methodologically, the researcher employs descriptive qualitative study as his research design. The data are collected by skimming and intensive reading to find out the aspects of discourse.
The findings reveal that Ahmadinejad uses the derogation and euphemization to strengthen in-group‟s stance and their ideologies as well and to downgrade or mitigate the power, authority, and strengths of the out-group member states showing the intention of the in-groups to dominate and marginalize the out-groups. In the tactics of derogation, he uses the strategies of actor description, number game, burden show, disclaimers, implication, norm expression, and negative lexicalization, meanwhile in the tactics of euphemization, he uses national-self glorification, evidentiality, and disclaimer. Therefore, this study is in line with van Dijk‟s theory of positive self-representation and negative other-representation which is mainly made up from derogation and euphemization.

The researcher suggests the next researchers to focus on discussing common and effective tactics revealed in the present study, such as actor description, number game, disclaimer, and lexicalization.
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