A pragmatic analysis of the use of person deixis in political discourse
ABSTRACT Previous research into the persuasive functions of first-person plural deictic pronominals has not adequately accounted for the complex pragmatic process involved in the resolution of such pronouns and the consequent effects of such complexity on the persuasive functions of indexicals. The present paper addresses this gap by means of an analytic framework that introduces the concept of ‘discourse spaces’ and demonstrates its interrelationships with participant structures, participant roles, linguistic indicators, and deixis. Through analysis of one interlocutor's responses in a televised political speech event, it is demonstrated that the relationships that hold among these concepts and elements are crucial to the analysis of vague deixis, and the consequent potential persuasive functions of such usage. It further demonstrates that a speaker's power of persuasion is greatly determined by an ability to shift in and out of various roles within and across ‘discourse spaces’. This study synthesizes and extends findings from the various theoretical and methodological approaches of political discourse analysis, studies on the resolution of referring expressions, and theories concerning the different ‘realities’ evoked in social interaction and language.
- SourceAvailable from: Anna IvanovaRevista Signos 08/2014; 47(85):245-266. DOI:10.4067/S0718-09342014000200005
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Based on videotaped data from two televized Taipei mayoral debates from 1998, this study examines, both qualitatively and quantitatively, how the use of the second-person singular pronoun ni 'you' by three Taiwanese politicians reflects their attitudes and relations toward other participants as well as their perceptions of the interactive goals of the speech activity. My analysis has found that compared with the first debate, the frequency of ni in the second debate increased from 63 to 221. More importantly, the functions of ni in these two debates are very different. In the first debate, more than 60 percent of the occurrences of ni are used by the three debaters either to address the audience/voters or to refer to an indefinite person (i.e., the impersonal ni), thereby establishing solidarity with the audience or voters. In contrast, more than 80 percent of the occurrences of ni in the second debate (which took place only four days before the election) are used when debaters address their opponents directly to challenge or attack them. I suggest that the different uses of ni in the two debates signal that the interactive goal of the debate has changed from establishing or reinforcing solidarity with the audience to expressing antagonism and confrontation vis-a`-vis one's opponent. In addition, the different uses of ni among the three mayoral candidates also reflect their distinct communicative styles, e.g., casual or formal.Text - Interdisciplinary Journal for the Study of Discourse 01/2002; 22(1):29-55. DOI:10.1515/text.2002.004
- Belgian Journal of Linguistics 01/1998; DOI:10.1075/bjl.11.03dij