Constructing Carcinogen Risk in Scientific Discourse Through Ideological Conflict: A Cognitive Pragmatic Analysis


  • Huda H. Khalil College of Arts, University of Baghdad
  • Nassier A. G. Al-Zubaidi College of Arts, University of Baghdad



axiological proximization, carcinogen, cognitive pragmatics, proximization theory, scientific discourse


With the increasing rates of cancer worldwide, a great deal of scientific discourse is devoted to arguments and statements about cancer and its causes. Scientists from different fields try to seize any available chance to warn people of the risk of consuming and exposing to carcinogens that have, unfortunately, become essential parts of modern life. The present paper attempts to investigate the proximization strategy through which scientists construct carcinogen risk to enhance people’s preventive actions against these carcinogens. The paper targets the construction which depends on producing the conflict between the values of the people themselves and the contrasting values assigned to carcinogens. To achieve this aim, Cap’s (2013) cognitive pragmatic theory of proximization is employed for analysis. The theory is a component of three proximization strategies: spatial, temporal and axiological. Of these three proximization strategies, axiological proximization strategy is applied to a corpus from scientific discourse.  To arrive at more objective results, the analysis procedure is both qualitative and quantitative. Mathematical calculations are performed through corpus linguistics using Anthony’s AntConc (2019) corpus linguistics software. Eventually, the paper has arrive at certain conclusions that reveal the way actors (producers of scientific discourse) utilize axiological proximization strategy to portray carcinogen risk as a means for promoting people to take preventive measures.

Author Biographies

Huda H. Khalil, College of Arts, University of Baghdad

Department of English

Nassier A. G. Al-Zubaidi, College of Arts, University of Baghdad

Department of English


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