Year of Publication

2016

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Linguistic Theory and Typology (MALTT)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Arts and Sciences

Department

Linguistics

First Advisor

Dr. Edward R. Barrett

Abstract

This study examines how two media sources—one Russian and one Ukrainian—portray Russia and Ukraine before, during, and after the EuroMaidan crisis in Ukraine. Russian-language texts posted between January 2013 and December 2015 on the sites Ukranews.com (a Ukrainian news outlet) and TASS.ru (Russian) were organized in a corpus of over 20,000,000 words. This study analyzes the nouns “Россия” (“Russia”) and “Украина” (“Ukraine”) according to the verbal predicates that attach to either noun. The results demonstrate predictable variation in the agency of the two entities in response to cultural events and contexts.

The analysis of the corpus data operationalizes a combined model of agency using Halliday and Matheissen’s (2004) classification of processes, shaped by the animacy of the actor, and Dik’s (1989) States of Affairs Matrix, which prioritizes the actor’s physical effect in space and time. In this study, predicates of “Russia” and “Ukraine” are given numeric scores based on the models. Then, a new method of checking the validity of these models is tested by examining other entities that take the same predicates as Russia and Ukraine. Measurements from discrete time periods reveal how the agency of both entities changed before, during, and after EuroMaidan.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.13023/ETD.2016.355

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