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Crossing languagesĀ – crossing discourses

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Recent studies concerned with historical Germanisms have shown that public discourses in other languages often appropriate German loanwords as frames of reference to interpret political realities and influence collective attitudes. This paper intends to contribute to this new strand of research by investigating discursive transpositions of the historical Germanism Kulturkampf in the donor language, German, and two host languages, Polish and English. Originally used mainly in reference to government attempts to reduce the influence of the Catholic Church in Prussia/Germany in the 1870s, this term has come to be used in German and other languages to signify conflicts in various political and cultural contexts. Adopting a triangulated and trilateral approach and the method of corpus-assisted discourse study (CADS), this paper examines the use of Kulturkampf in large collections of Internet and newspaper data in German, English and Polish. The results show how the meaning of Kulturkampf has been discursively re-contextualised and appropriated to perform local ideological work in public discourses in the three different cultural contexts.
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Keywords: English; German; Kulturkampf; Polish; clash of civilisations; corpus-assisted discourse study; historical Germanisms

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 26, 2018

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