Genocide is the most violent denial of human identity, and it aims systematically to transform the societal organization of both victims and perpetrators. Considered the first among the genocides of the 20th century, the massacre of around 1.5 million Armenians has been denied official recognition by the Turkish government to date. Such denial has resisted not only international political pressure, but also evidence provided by news articles, editorials, and by letters to the editor documenting or referring to the massacre. Many letters to the editor of The Times mention the massacres that were later to be referred to as the Armenian genocide; the corpus analysed in this study includes those published closer to the events, between 1914 to 1926. Letters to the editor of a newspaper are selected for publication when their content fosters debate among the readers on topics which are particularly relevant for the newspaper’s agenda, and they have rarely been the target of linguistic analysis. This study examines the linguistic patterns used to represent the Armenian genocide at the time of the events, and how these patterns influence the perception of the Armenian identity via its representation through the letters to the editor. Concordance lines, collocations, clusters and extended co-textual references of keywords related to the Armenian national identity will be analysed using a corpus-assisted approach.
Jul 18, 2022