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Title: Scotland as an imagined construct in the pre-referendum speeches of Alex Salmond
Author: Massie, Eugenia Valeryevna
ISNI:       0000 0004 7225 9839
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2017
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In recent years, one of the primary protagonists behind the dissemination of Scottish national identity has been Alex Salmond, the former First Minister of Scotland, following his aim of gaining Scotland's independence from the United Kingdom. This has been especially notable in his speeches leading up to the independence referendum, where he constructed his version of national identity in detail. Although the rise of national identity in Scotland has been clearly visible within the nation with the increase in popularity of the SNP and the establishment of the devolved Scottish government, Salmond illustrates a freshly strategic approach of constructing his own version of Scottish national identity. It can be considered that he uses his pro-independence campaign speeches in an attempt to convince the people of Scotland of this image and to persuade them to vote in favour of independence. This study is therefore motivated by this strong emphasis of Scottish national identity highlighted by Salmond during his pro-independence campaign speeches as well as a sharp rise in studies investigating the discursive construction of national identities (e.g. Wodak et al, 2009; Krzyzanowski, 2010) including Scotland. The study by Leith and Soule (2012) is probably the only work that investigated language use in the construction of national identity of Scotland in political discourse. This study will specifically analyse the pro-independence campaign speeches delivered by Alex Salmond in the period leading up to the Scottish independence referendum held in September 2014. These speeches were chosen for the present study, as they will allow us to thoroughly investigate the discursive projection of Salmond's version of Scottish national identity through analysis of the linguistic features used in his speeches. Specific linguistic features such as personal pronouns, conceptual metaphors, topics and humour and irony are regarded to primarily contribute to Salmond's discursive construction of national identity. The application of these linguistic elements in his speeches is considered to be strategic, as they are employed to not only project his positive and appealing vision of an independent Scotland, but also to persuade the nation of this vision in an attempt to convince them to vote in favour of independence and thus achieve his goal. The linguistic features prevalent in Salmond's speeches will be analysed through the use of a mixed method approach combining quantitative Corpus Linguistics and qualitative Critical Discourse Analysis methods to evaluate how these different linguistic features contribute towards the construction of Scottish national identity by Salmond following his aim of gaining independence.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Nationalism