Mustafa Hussain mustafa.hussain at WEBSPEED.DK
Tue Mar 25 19:43:01 UTC 2008

Thanks Chris, you alereted my attention to 'immigration discourse' in 
connection with pragmatic implicatures.

On March the the 21rst, a 15-years old boy of Turkish descent died of 
injuries, inflicted under an unprovoked  burtal attack by three young Danish 
boys on an open street pounding the victim with the typical  Danish racists' 
slur and shout before, and during the attack, according to the 
eye-witnesses, yet the police-chief of homocide departement held  that it 
was not racially motivated, but a ' meaningless violent act for the sake of 
violence. (even before the actual police investigation is completed).
And, now the politicians are talking about that if only the social 
authorities of the Copenhagen municipality had taken notice of the deviant 
behaviour, reported to the concerened social authorities by the school about 
a 15-years old Danish boy in time, whose base-ball bat hit is the cause of 
the death, the tragedy could have benn avoided.
In other words: it is the lapse of bureaucratic procedures, rather than the 
dominant anti-Muslim discourse, or the Neo-racism as a social phenomena in 
the society, that is to be held responsible for this 'meaningless murder'.
The discourse: No racism in Denmark. A typical pragmatic denial that can 
hardly solve the real problem of "meningless violence" or the hate-crimes of 
other sorts, in this God-forsaken fairy-land of H.C. Andersens' fictions, 
but, alas, far from the present-days reality.
'If only the immigrants were not here, our youth could not be blamed for 
being xenophobic and racists'.
I, feel, I  need to learn more about pragmatics.
Best Wishes
Mustafa Hussain /Copenhagen.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christopher Hart" <c.hart at LANCASTER.AC.UK>
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2008 7:03 PM
Subject: Counterfactuals

> Dear all,
> Precisely the kind of examples schematised by Paul as "you (morally) 
> should have done X and you are now to blame for Y" do occur in immigration 
> discourse.  Consider the following taken from UK newspapers:
> 1.  If we had implemented more rigorous measures sooner, last week's 
> murder of a police officer would not have happened (Mail on Sunday 19 Jan. 
> 2003)
> 2.  Immigration officials could have averted the tragedy if they had not 
> repeatedly missed the chance to kick Kabir out of Britain (The Express 3 
> Nov. 2006)
> These kind of statements certainly seem worthy of the attention of CDA no?
> Best,
> Chris
> Chilton, Paul wrote:
>> Dear all,
>>  Please also note my own humble efforts in the attached paper 
>> (prepublication draft). It is a novel theoretical framework that the 
>> older reference do not use. You need a new framework to capture the 
>> relevant phenonema. This framework is fundamentally discourse-based, as 
>> well as cognitive. The section on counterfactuals starts at about page 
>> 32. You need to check out the diagrams.
>>  I don't see the point of a specifically CDA account of counterfactuals: 
>> we first of all need to have an adequate account of the linguistic 
>> phenomenon. Then, of course, CDAnalysts might find counterfactuals used 
>> strategically in  specific utterances. For instance, there are some 
>> frequent pragmatic implicatures, I think, when people use 
>> counterfactuals, e.g. "If you had done X, then Y would have happened", 
>> which can in certain situations have the implicature: "you (morally) 
>> should have done X and you are now to blame for Y not having happened". 
>> Paul
>> ________________________________
>> From: Critical Discourse/Language/Communication Analysis on behalf of 
>> Teun A. van Dijk
>> Sent: Tue 25/03/2008 14:30
>> Subject: Bibliography Counterfactuals
>> Hi Chris,
>> Here is a (non selective) bibliography on counterfactuals, of references 
>> that have the word in the title or its descriptors. Much discussion of 
>> David Lewis famous book of 1973 - and most of it logical-philosophical, 
>> some linguistic and some psychological.
>> See also the article on counterfactuals in the always very useful on line 
>> Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ( 
>> <> ).
>> I am afraid I don't know specific CDA studies on counterfactuals if they 
>> are not on this list. So, you need to read all the titles and see what's 
>> there. Sorry I cannot be more helpful. Significantly, in the bibliography 
>> the word "discourse" does not even appear once! Which again shows that 
>> also philosophers need some discursive indoctrination, since 
>> counterfactuals are first of all text or talk....!
>> I send the bibliography to the CRITICS-L list, in case more people want 
>> to read on counterfactuals - quite interesting topic for discourse 
>> analysis as well.
>> Cheers
>> Teun
>> ________________________________________
>> Teun A. van Dijk
>> Universitat Pompeu Fabra
>> Dept. de Traducció i Filologia
>> Rambla 30
>> 08002 Barcelona
>> E-mail: teun at
>> Internet: <>
> -- 
> Christopher Hart
> Lecturer in English Language and Communication
> School of Humanities
> University of Hertfordshire
> -- 
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