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The Construction of Otherness Through “Natural Definition”

Linguistic, Cultural and Identity Issues in Missionary Discourse

Paola Puccini    Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Italia    

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abstract

Through his works, Celestino Testore gave an important reflection on the construction of otherness by the “natural definition”. The missionary discourse ends up confirming or invalidating, through the play of representation, the identity of the young protagonists. In order to understand the linguistic and cultural issues of missionary discourse in a given intercultural context, this article is centred on a corpus of 23 missionary narratives for youth. These texts – published in Quebec and edited by l’Apostolat de la Presse – present a classical ethnological approach for which the identification of the Other results in a closed network of meanings that use comparisons based on an ethno-centred perspective. However, in this kind of discourse we can also observe some unexpected signs of interculturality.

Published
Dec. 19, 2022
Accepted
Nov. 21, 2022
Submitted
Oct. 28, 2022
Language
FR

Keywords: Quebec literatureIntercultural communicationDefinitional linguistic activityMissionary discourse

Copyright: © 2022 Paola Puccini. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.