DIVULGING POWER OF WORDS - PERSONAL PRONOUNS AND SPEECH ACTS IN POLITICAL SPEECHES

Hossein Alinezhad, Majid Nemati

DOI Number
https://doi.org/10.22190/JTESAP1902211A
First page
211
Last page
224

Abstract


Language forms an inseparable part of everyday life. Among its several uses, its role in politics is not negligible. If not the most, politicians are ranked among professional users of language. Through this, they not only communicate, but also persuade people, evoke emotions, and pave the way for their own success and superiority of their parties. To achieve this goal, men of politics use various linguistic and pragmatic properties of language. Personal pronouns, as a linguistic tool which possess an important pragmatic function, are of utmost interest to politicians. In fact, they utilise personal pronouns dexterously and frequently. Contrary to the simplicity of syntactic use, the pragmatics of personal pronouns is not always easy to grasp. Therefore, in order to be fully comprehended, they must be scrutinised in the context of use. This is of vital importance in the political sphere. The present research aimed at investigating the differences in the use of the first personal pronouns (FPPs) and their concurrence with the different types of speech acts. To this end, the researchers analysed 24 speeches by the United Nations representatives of China, the UAE, the UK, and the USA, which were addressed to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) from 2012 to 2017. The results revealed that among five classes of the FPPs,”"Exclusive We” (982 samples), and "I As an Individual" (7 samples) were the most and the least frequently used ones. In addition, "Commissives" with 818 samples and "Declartives" with 120 samples held the first and the last rank among the speech act types utilised by the four politicians. Finally, the concurrence of "Exclusive We" with" Commissives" was the highest one among all other samples.

Keywords

personal pronouns, first personal pronouns, speech acts, political speech

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References


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/JTESAP1902211A

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