Fundamentalist & Tolerant Islamic Discourse in John Updike's Terrorist and Jonathan Wright 's Translation the Televangelist: A Corpus-based Critical Discourse Analysis of Semantic Prosody

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-18-2019


Corpus-based critical discourse analysis studies have gained momentum in the last decade. Corpus Linguistics allowed critical discourse analysts to avoid bias in data selection and enlarge their samples for more representative findings. Critical Discourse Analysis, on the other hand, gave depth to corpus linguistic analysis by contextualizing it. The present study combines the two approaches to analyze the semantic prosody of Islamic keywords common to John Updike's Terrorist published in 2006 and Jonathan Wright’s translation The Televangelist published in 2016. The results of corpus-based analysis show that while the semantic prosody of Islamic keywords is negative in Updike’s novel, it is highly positive in the translated novel. The conclusion is that Van Dijk’s proposition of the polarized representation of ‘us’ versus ‘them’ holds for Updike’s fundamentalist Islamic discourse which negatively represents Islam and Muslims. However, Van Dijk’s proposition holds only partially for Wright's tolerant Islamic discourse which positively represents Islam and Muslims without misrepresenting the other.