Critical Discourse Analysis of Adolf Hitler's Speeches

2015-07-22T11:30:21Z (GMT) by Adel Rahmi
<p>How we perceive language is the base of social interactions and it constructs social relationships and barriers. Unlike traditional views of discourse analysis what critical discourse analysis tries to do is to open a social door to discourse analysis and view it as a form of social practice. No doubt that giving a speech is a hard job and requires a full attention to the usage of language that obviously sends the meaning to the audience. Giving a speech during World War II was a hard job and being on the spotlight during the time gives a tremendous amount of stress to the speech as well. Adolf Hitler was one the prominent leaders in the World War II and his speeches were of most importance. He had a distinctive way of giving speeches. His speeches, his sentences and his choice of vocabulary. As the words and vocabularies used in a speech can make a pretty much different meaning Adolf Hitler’s speeches were fully revised and therefore it truly reflects his ideology and his beliefs. In this paper a corpus of Adolf Hitler’s speeches between the years 1941 until 1944 is used. This corpus consists of 200+ thousand words. A critical discourse analysis of the speeches by the means of computer software is applied. The top words used in the speeches is sorted in a list by frequency. The frequency list of words can show the topics and subjects Hitler talked about the most and also it suggests his favorite range of vocabulary. This can be divided into two categories. The former formal and informal category. Or the latter compound or complex words versus simple words. Both are indications of his vocabulary usage. In the next step the multi-word sequences are analyzed in the corpus. The study of lexical bundles have been in the focus of researchers for a while now. These lexical bundles which are also called N-Grams are the reason behind coherence in the discourse. Putting them in the frequency list can be necessary for understanding the development of evolving discourse. The last but not the least is the concordance of the words. When analyzing top words, specific words and their nearby words can be curious this is called keyword in context concordance. When analyzing these concordances it can be easily understood how these word are related to their context and how they can manage to give specific meaning in the context.</p>