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.
Language and Intercultural Communication 01/2014; 14(1):41-58. DOI:10.1080/14708477.2013.866123 · 0.65 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The important role of person pro-forms in establishing interpersonal relations has long been recognized. During interaction, person pro-forms act as indexicals whose referents are determined by the context in which they are used. This study focuses on the pragmatic functions of first and second-person proforms in earnings calls, now the primary channel for oral financial reporting in the corporate world. Earnings calls consist of presentations by company executives followed by question-and-answer sessions with financial analysts who participate via teleconferencing. A contrastive case study based on the earnings call of an Italian company and a US company was undertaken to provide insights into how person pro-forms are used in ICT-mediated financial discourse when English is used as a common language. Text analysis software was used to descriptively analyze person pro-forms. In addition, the two datasets were manually examined to identify pragmatic functions that could shed light on interpersonal relations and participant roles. Overall, person pro-form usage was closely aligned with the distinct objectives of the participants as either “information seekers” or “information providers.” However, some interesting differences suggest that the Italian executives had a more interpersonal approach to the interaction compared to the American executives. This could be influenced by the importance of relationships in the Italian culture, but could also reflect strategic choices to achieve professional goals. The findings can be used to help both corporate professionals and students of management and finance acquire a better understanding of the pragmatics of person pro-forms, and thus become more effective communicators in intercultural contexts.Intercultural Pragmatics 11/2014; 11(4):521-545. DOI:10.1515/ip-2014-0023 · 0.90 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This article presents the results of a study that was conducted based on the analysis of Russian-speaking emigrant blogs. The study aimed at determining the set of group belongings (Turner et al., 1987 and Baumeister and Leary, 1995) through the analysis of the deictic references “we”, “you”, “they” and their forms. The novelty of this approach consists in directing our attention to the emigrants’ relationship with their context of origin. The results show the bloggers of our study desire to ensure and strengthen their belonging to the large Russian group. The stories in the posts and the negotiations that emigrants conduct in the comments section reveal an “insecure” identity (Tajfel, 1974), as opposed to the “secure” and at times hostile attitude of Russian commentators living in Russia.Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 10/2013; 95:136-145. DOI:10.1016/j.sbspro.2013.10.632