Osprey Men-at-Arms 099 - Medieval Heraldry by T. Wise Osprey

By T. Wise Osprey

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Nominalizations, however, do not receive explicit temporal or modal coding and, as such, appear to reference existing, acontextual entities. As a nominalization, then, “threat” is represented as an objectified entity that exists at the present moment. Kress (1995) and Fairclough (2005) explain that nominalizations can take on the roles, functions, and characteristics of nouns. For example, Fairclough notes how the nominal “globalization” assumes agentive capacity in Tony Blair’s discourse through statements such as “globalization has transformed our economies and our working practices” (45).

As explained earlier, the NSS sanctions preventive military action by positioning Bush administration officials as experts who can “read” and “know” the future. This expertise manifests in the speeches primarily through systematic variations in their modal coding. The Cincinnati speech is marked by evidential contrasts in its presentation of alternative visions of the future and by a contrast between the modal coding of the declarations of the Iraqi threat and the coding of the evidentiary statements from which those declarations derive.

The relationship between the NSS and the Iraq War is one of reciprocal legitimation: the NSS provided the justification for going to war and the war provides evidence of the administration’s very real commitment to the doctrine (Burns and Ansin 2004). In his prewar speeches, the President presents a public articulation of the doctrine as he makes his case to the nation for war in Iraq. As such, analysis of these texts can shed light on the role the speeches play within the context of political, conceptual, and linguistic change articulated in the NSS.

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