Language Grammar

Analyzing Political Speeches by Christina Schaffner

By Christina Schaffner

This quantity offers with political speeches, rather commemorative addresses, from the viewpoint of serious discourse research. Such addresses are characterised as consultant and epideictic, as exemplified via an handle fo the Dutch Queen Beatrix to the Knesset in the course of her 1995 nation stopover at to Israel. severe attention is given to the function of rhetoric inside of political discourse anlysis.

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1986) Relational propositions in discourse. Discourse Processes 9, 57-79. Sauer, C. (forthcoming) Der Blick nach Rückwärts. 'Befreiung' und 'Selbstbefreiung' in zwei deutschen Gedenkreden (von Weizsäcker 1985, Jenninger 1988). R. (1976) The classification of illocutionary acts. Language in Society 5, 1-24. Verhey, E. (1995) De zin van Beatrix. Wat Hare Majesteit kreeg voorgezegd en wat zij zelf wilde zeggen (Beatrix' sentence. What Her Majesty was told to say and what she wanted to say herself).

For the purpose of an analysis of political rhetoric, selecting just one text out of this wide rangeas usually happens in academic settings would be quite unsatisfactory, because we would only be able to conclude something about, for example, the 'subtle' quality of that text, knowing that the category of 'subtlety' itself is rather problematic. e. on a reconstruction of the (political) intertextuality. Regarding the intertextual complexity of certain constellations, Fairclough (1995a: 15) distinguishes between sequential, embedded and mixed intertextuality.

Important political decisions will be taken at the end of an elaborate procedure: different rounds of deliberation are already passed before public debate in parliament can take place. This is, in fact, paradoxical, since speeches apt to influence decision making are given in confined, internal parliamentary bodies. At the time of public debate, the decision has already been made. (At any rate this applies to the continental European system of parliamentary decision making). Most decisions in the Dutch parliament are made in parliamentary parties; public speeches can usually be characterised as additional explanations or clarifications for the general public of decisions already made, they are no longer relevant for decision making itself.

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