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See detailThe discourse of lending aid on small-scale development project websites: Dutch depreciatory diminutives
Juffermans, Kasper UL

in Language Matters: Studies in the Languages of Africa (2008), 39(1), 125-144

This article offers an analysis of the use of language on the websites of Dutch and Flemish small-scale development organisations active in The Gambia. The scope of this research is the websites of 66 ... [more ▼]

This article offers an analysis of the use of language on the websites of Dutch and Flemish small-scale development organisations active in The Gambia. The scope of this research is the websites of 66 organisations found through the hyperlink page http://gambia-hulporganisaties.startpagina.nl. The texts on the websites form a small corpus of around 375 000 words. Methodologically, a discourse-analytical perspective is assumed, heuristically assisted by corpus linguistic software. Thus, the texts are analysed simultaneously from a macro and micro-level: large-scale lexical patterns are combined with smaller-scale, contextualised, individual chunks of text. After a brief outline of the projects’ roots in tourism through self-reported histories of involvement and a cursory review of the literature on meanings and functions of diminutives in Dutch and other languages, the role of diminutives in the representation of the Third-World Other is explored. It is argued that diminutives in this context are used in an ambivalent way: diminutives express a sense of sympathy and at the same time reveal a derogative tone in descriptions of the Gambian side of the projects. [less ▲]

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