This paper contributes to the recent body of work which combines Critical Discourse Analysis with the methodological framework of Corpus Linguistics to analyse Syria’s relations with other countries, in particular Lebanon, in the Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s speeches and interviews from July 2000 when Al-Assad came to power to December 2016. It shows how this combination of approaches can play an important role in demonstrating how Al-Assad makes use of language to affect the text receivers’ points of view. Following Wodak (2009) Discourse Historical Approach (DHA), I divided the data, which is in Arabic, into two main corpora, based on the historical background of Syrian-Lebanese relations, covering the periods (i) 2000-2010, characterised by the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon (2000-2004) and their subsequent withdrawal (2005-2010), and (ii) 2011-2016, characterised by the Syrian uprisings which have begun in 2011. The analysis reveals that Lebanon is portrayed as a subordinate state and that the Syrian regime intervenes in the Lebanese internal affairs, even though Al-Assad frequently denied such a claim.
Ahmad S Haider
Bashar Al-Assad, Lebanon, Presidential Speeches, Syria, the Arab Spring