Denomination as commitment.
The public debate on how to name the camps discovered in Bosnia.
Langage et société n° 93, September 2000, p. 33-69
When, in the summer of 1992, the press announced the discovery of Serbian camps in Bosnia, a public debate broke out as to the nature of the camps and how to refer to them. This article presents the debate by analyzing the speeches of various people who spoke publicly on the subject. After studying the context of events leading to the "discovery of the camps", we look at the way the speakers named them and at the metadiscursive uses these names took on. The analysis exposes the argumentative power of a name such as “concentration camps”, which we see as using a formula coined by the Nazis. In the end, naming emerges both as a tool and a sign of the commentator's personal involvement in the public debate.
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