"Doublethink" and Semiotics Of Political Discourse.

"Doublethink" and Semiotics Of Political Discourse.

Zolyan S.T.,

Professor, Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University; Leading Researcher, Institute of Philosophy, Sociology and Law, National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia, surenzolyan@gmail.com

elibrary_id: 733695 |

DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2018.03.07

For citation:

Zolyan S.T. "Doublethink" and Semiotics Of Political Discourse.. – Polis. Political Studies. 2018. No. 3. P. 93-109. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2018.03.07


The interdependence between language and mind inevitably causes to clarify the question – how it is possible to control thought through language. The Orwellian “doublethink” is one of such means, which is usually associated with intentional distortion of reality for some political purposes. It is shown that doublethink is the hypertrophic development of the essential semiotic characteristics of political discourse (multiple reference, implicit modality, domination of pragmatic factors over semantic, combination of prescriptive and descriptive features), which can also be accompanied by their purposeful abuse. Doublethink is a complex phenomenon that shares common features with 1) false statement; 2) paradox, oxymoron or contradiction; 3) euphemism, metaphor, poetic utterance, polysemy, enantiosemy. Orwell pointed out the dominant feature of doublethink: with the all semantic operations, “the lie always one leap ahead of the truth”. In the case of doublethink semiotic entities are exclusively used as referents. With the increasing of the rank of semantic interpretation all the statements (including the true ones) refer not to the world, but to the previous contexts and interpretations. “Even in using the word doublethink, it is necessary to exercise doublethink”. Reality is not denied – it is re-interpreted, re-placed and became opaque for reference. Verification can be achieved by changing the nature of the secondary semiosis – through transition from connotation to metasemiosis. Metalanguage operations under “doublespeak” utterances act as its “illocutionary killing”: it becomes a signifier for a new sign in the actual world.

semantics; semiotics; political discourse; Orwell; 1984; doublethink; doublespeak; social reality; language as a political instrument; possible world semantics.


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Content No. 3, 2018

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