METHODOLOGYVerbal Violence as Space of Social Identity Affirmation

The methodology of our research pertains to the following domains of the language sciences: semantics, syntax, enunciation theories, pragmatics of the verbal interactions, discourse analysis and sociolinguistics. In particular, the analysis is based on the diversity of the contexts (school environment, Internet, literature) and on the corpus (oral, written/Internet based, written/literary) that we are going to investigate. In order to accomplish the O.1. objective we will start from the study of an oral corpus built on audio recordings collected by the members of the project in the above mentioned contexts. By following the model proposed by the Groupe de recherche de la violence verbale ( N. Auger, V. Fillol, J. Lopez & C. Moïse, 2003; N. Auger, B. Fracchiolla, C. Moïse & C. Schultz-Romain, 2008; 2010), we will realize a situational description of verbal violence in the context of school interactions, of its forms (intentional vs. unintentional; “instantaneous”, “polemical” and “misappropriated”) starting from: the conflict triggers, the different phases (misunderstanding, negotiation, avoidance, reinforcing etc.), the marks of discursive discontinuity (discursive marks, syntactic effects, prosody, tone), the depreciative speech acts (harassment, provocation, menace, opposition, insult etc.), the indirect and implicit speech acts, the argumentation (ad hominem arguments) and the figures of speech with polemic and persuasive function (irony), the false consensual and cooperative interactions, as well as the ambiguous ones (irony, compliment, praise, hyper-politeness etc.) with counter illocutionary value, for the purpose of manipulation and harassment. For the accomplishment of the O.2. objective, we will analyse a written corpus established by consulting online social networks (forums, certain sites), from the perspective of pragmatics and discourse analysis, in order to identify the components granting a violent potential to these communicative practices (e.g. violation of some communicational norms online, of the netiquette; certain speech acts; semantic contents; types of interventions and their articulation) and to analyze their role in the discursive construction vs. deconstruction of a social identity. For the O.3. objective we will also proceed to a written corpus analysis (drama and novel) by using the methods provided by the illocutionary pragmatics and by the discourse analysis, as they were used for instance by D. Maingueneau in Le context de l’oeuvre littéraire and Pragmatique pour le texte littéraire. We will not narrow our concept study of violence to a number of insulting utterances, but we will rather postulate that it is a verbal act and we will consider it as a textual phenomenon. The establishment and the analysis of the corpus will thus allow us: (a) to realize a quantitative (statistical) study of the frequency of the employment of certain discursive forms of verbal violence and to reveal some current tendencies and even the existence of some generative models for this type of discourse; (b) to identify some ritualized and original forms of abusive discourse, as well as the expressivity of these discursive forms from the perspective of enunciation theory and conversation analysis; (c) The study of the role that these specific usages of the language play in the construction of a social identity, both in spontaneous interaction, and in literary discourse (check the notions of ethos in D. Maingueneau and présentation de soi in R. Amossy as well as Goffman’s face theory (1973,1974) as it is developed in the description and analysis of linguistic politeness (Brown & Levinson, 1978, 1987; Kerbrat-Orecchioni, 1992, 1996).