A corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis of hate speech in German and Polish social media posts





hate speech in German, hate speech in Polish, social media posts, corpus analysis of hate speech, hateful discursive practices


The present paper investigates linguistic data that include hate speech motivated by the alleged or real ethnic or national identity of its addressee in German and Polish Internet-based communication. Focusing on hate speech on Facebook, this paper contributes to the studies of hate speech (e.g. Meibauer, 2013; Meibauer, 2021) in online communication (e.g. Baider & Constantinou, 2020; He et al., 2021; Founta & Specia, 2021) and, in a more general sense, to the vast area of research on the use of aggressive language. Based on a representative corpus, the predominant categories of user-generated hateful statements are teased out relative to their form and stance by means of critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics tools. In the analytical part, we discuss the discursive practices used in the posts, together with the meanings they communicate, followed by a comparative analysis of their frequencies in comparable corpora. Our findings confirm that hate speech is linguistically conditioned by its socio-cultural context. For instance, our contrastive analysis of German and Polish online data indicates that the two nationalities use different discursive practices to express their aversion to the Other, and that Polish comments are more overtly insulting than German comments.


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Author Biographies

Magdalena Jaszczyk-Grzyb, Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań

Magdalena Jaszczyk-Grzyb, assistant professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań. Her research interests are mainly linguistically-oriented studies of hate speech, corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis, didactics and methodology of German as a foreign language, LSP teaching and learning, and teaching languages online. From 2021 she is secretary to the Editorial Board of “Glottodidactica. An International Journal of Applied Linguistics”. In the years 2014–2016 she was employed on a project financed by the European Commission titled RADAR (Regulating Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Racism), which focused on hate speech and strategies for its prevention in selected EU countries. Since 2022 she is the coordinator of the mini-grant "Reconstructing polish online discourse about Ukrainians before and after Russia's invasion in Ukraine. A contrastive analysis from the perspective of corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis (CACDA)", financed by the Centre for Migration Studies in Poznań.

Full report on her academic output at: Instytut Lingwistyki Stosowanej (amu.edu.pl)

Anna Szczepaniak-Kozak, Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań

Anna Szczepaniak-Kozak, PhD, D.Litt, an Associate Professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland, where she teaches methods of research in applied linguistics and academic English. Prof. Kozak’s main research interests are within the field of applied linguistics, particularly interlanguage (acquisitional) pragmatics, foreign/second language instruction, migrant children education and teaching-oriented studies of hate speech. She is the author of four  books, the co-editor of seven monographs, and the author of more than 50 scientific papers. Currently, she is the main coordinator of the MaMLiSE project devoted to teaching school subjects in linguistically heterogeneous classes. The MaMLiSE project aims to expand and improve the existing practices in the area of in-service and continuing education of teachers and to supplement university teacher training with regard to new approaches to multilingualism and social inclusion.

Sylwia Adamczak-Krysztofowicz, Adam Mickiewicz University Poznań

Sylwia Adamczak-Krysztofowicz is professor at the Institute of Applied Linguistics at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań (Poland) and the head of the Department of Intercultural Glottopedagogy (from 2002 till now). Since 2010 she has been the Institute's Deputy director for research and international exchange. Since 2017 she has been the Editor-in-chief for the international scientific journal Glottodidactica. An International Journal of Applied Linguistics. In the years 2014–2016 she was the leader of the Polish team in the RADAR (Regulating Anti-Discrimination and Anti-Racism) project, co-financed by the European Commission, which focused on hate speech and strategies for its prevention in selected EU countries. Since 2020 she has been participating in the project MAMLiSE (Majority and Minority Languages in School Environment: Helping teachers, pupils and parents). In the years 2022 – 2024 she is a leader of the GIP-Project (Germanistische Institutspartnerschaften: „Kultur- und Sprachreflexivität in der internationalen Lehrer*innenbildung im Fach Deutsch als Fremdsprache", co-financed by the DAAD (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst). Prof. Adamczak-Krysztofowicz is the author of three books and 95 articles published in scientific monographs, lexicons or professional journals, the editor of five collective monographs and two issues of the Info DaF journal. Her research interests are: glottodidactics in general, didactics and methodology of German as a foreign language, intercultural glottopedagogy, intercultural communication, text didactics, language andragogy, study tours and Polish-German intensive exchange seminars and programs, hate speech, multiethnicity of schools and multilingualism.



2023-06-30 — Updated on 2023-07-02

How to Cite

Jaszczyk-Grzyb, M., Szczepaniak-Kozak, A., & Adamczak-Krysztofowicz, S. (2023). A corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis of hate speech in German and Polish social media posts. Moderna Språk, 117(1), 44–71. https://doi.org/10.58221/mosp.v117i1.11518



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