"The Linguistics of Ethnic Nationalism in the Western Balkans"

  • Dr.Sc. Almasa MULALIĆ ILIRIA College
Keywords: Newspapers, Linguistics, Ethnic Nationalism, Public Opinion, Ideology, Discourse Analysis,


The Western Balkans socio-political discourse is heavily focused on the exclusive and radical ethnic nationalism and ideology. In this regard, the media and the political elites, through their focus on symbols, myths, ethnicity, tradition, history, language and culture play an important role in shaping the public opinion. Consequently, the daily newspapers in reporting the views of the political elites, within linguistic, discursive, socio-political and ideological contexts, can influence the masses who usually do not analyze the news critically. The paper also seeks to examine and interpret differences in language use by selected Western Balkans political leaders and the way their language choice influenced public opinion. Political, nationalist and ideological discourses promoted by the political elites are very specific and the journalists should report such discourses objectively. Therefore, it is significant to compare and contrast the role played by the media and the political elites in their linguistic, discursive and socio-linguistic choices in the text that may carry ethnic nationalist and ideological meanings. The theoretical and conceptual framework of the paper was based on Fowler’s (1989; 2003; 2010) works: “Language and Power”, “Analyzing Discourse” and “The Critical Study of Language”. In order to test research objectives on the coding and analyzing ethnic nationalism and ideology in the Western Balkans newspapers, the research employed critical discourse analysis for N=534 randomly selected news from the following four newspapers: Dnevni avaz (Bosnia and Herzegovina), “Večernji list” (Croatia), “Večernje novosti” (Serbia), “Vijesti” (Montenegro), limited to a period between 2016 and 2018.


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