The study has adopted a novel approach to CDA by using linguistic tools such as Systemic Functional Grammar and Pragma-Dialectics, as well as insights from postcolonialism and poststructuralism to explore the impact of power and ideology on language use and social or political practice in the New Caledonian decolonisation process. Not only was linguistic evidence adduced to show how the French dominant powers employ a common destiny rhetoric to manipulate the other groups into accepting that New Caledonia needs to remain closely associated with France, motivated by a neo-imperialist agenda, but the standpoints advanced by the representatives of the main stakeholder groups involved in the plurilogical conflict between the French, Caldoche…show more content… Part of the innovative character of the project is that it does not merely focus on texts produced by the French colonisers or the Caldoche politicians, it also includes the perspective of the formerly colonised and discriminated minority population. The samples selected for the study feature several different genres and registers and include interviews, public letters, a political speech, responses to an online questionnaire and poetry, as expressed in various French registers. Adequate contextualisation of the discourse uttered by the interlocutors is provided to disclose how discursive formations are historically transmitted and to reveal various linguistic patterns in the discourse that may be linked to underlying ideologies or constructions of shared knowledge. It is exactly this realisation of incongruent value systems that ought to propel French political action towards a policy of cultural recognition and a long overdue acknowledgement of the Kanak right to self-determination.
The resulting pragma-functional approach to Critical Discourse Studies analyses discourse as a social practice that contains argumentation, since it aims to have a positive or negative impact on its recipients’ views and behaviour. Due to its perlocutionary character, argumentation is interpreted psychologically