The term return in the Palestinian discourse on the Right of Return

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The term return is used in the English texts of contemporary Palestinian political authors writing on the Right of Return of Palestinians to their homes and homeland. The first part of this article is dedicated to a semantic analysis of return as a radial category with a core meaning and extensions. The meanings of return in these texts as used in the discourse of Palestinian maximalists versus pragmatists are then discussed. It is shown that: (1) different meanings of return are selected according to whether the writer is a maximalist or a pragmatist, and (2) a reality that harmonizes with these meanings is narratively constructed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)629-644
Number of pages16
JournalDiscourse and Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2008


  • Israel
  • Maximalist
  • Palestine
  • Pragmatist
  • Return
  • Right of Return

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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