Discursive (re)construction of “witchcraft” as a community and “witch” as an identity in the eighteenth-century Hungarian witchcraft trial records

Petyko, Marton (2017) Discursive (re)construction of “witchcraft” as a community and “witch” as an identity in the eighteenth-century Hungarian witchcraft trial records. Journal of Historical Pragmatics, 18 (2). pp. 214-234. ISSN 1566-5852

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Abstract

This paper provides a qualitative historical (socio)pragmatic analysis of records of three eighteenth-century Hungarian witchcraft trials using a socio-cognitive model of discursive community and identity construction. I aim to describe how the general social and legal context of witchcraft became situated and interpreted in the actual witchcraft trial records from the delegated officials’ perspective. I argue that in the analysed records, the officials did not simply apply a codified definition of “witchcraft”, but they discursively (re)constructed “witchcraft” as a community and “witch” as the defendants’ identity. Thus, from the officials’ perspective, discursive community and identity construction established a relationship between the general context of witchcraft and the actual witchcraft trials. In order to reconstruct this process, I investigate the linguistic constructs by which the delegated officials actively created “witchcraft” and the defendants’ “witch” identity as mental constructs.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Journal of Historical Pragmatics
Uncontrolled Keywords:
/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/1200/1203
Subjects:
ID Code:
75913
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
09 Aug 2016 09:42
Refereed?:
Yes
Published?:
Published
Last Modified:
01 Jan 2020 09:24