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Degrees of Anthropocentrism in Accounts of Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions

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An investigation of language use in news stories about collisions involving vehicles and nonhuman animals in the wild reveals that reports of bird-airplane collisions tend to focus on the safety of the humans involved, even to the point of constructing the bird as a projectile, rather than a victim. Reports of land vehicles and boats colliding with larger nonhuman animals tend to demonstrate a greater concern for nonhuman participants, attributing greater responsibility to humans for the collisions, although they are more dangerous to humans. Although similar patterns are found in news reports in several languages and in several English-speaking countries, anthropocentrism alone does not fully explain the patterns in journalists’ choice of expressions and structures in these news stories.

Affiliations: 1: Ball State University, Email:


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