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Linguistic features in political speeches: how language can be used to impose certain moral or ethical values on people
2009 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The topic of this essay is the way in which strategies of persuasion in political speeches can be used to impose certain moral or ethical values on people. The aim of the study is to elucidate implicit statements in the language of politics seeing that political speeches are not primarily prosperous because they are correct or true, instead, it may be more dependent on how valid the arguments seem. Two speeches during the American presidential campaign of 2008 are analyzed: one speech by the Democratic president candidate Mr. Barack Obama and one by the Republican candidate Mr. John McCain. The audience is American military veterans and the speeches concern the American forces in Iraq. The method of analysis was to locate expressions where linguistic choices seem to have been made in order to convey certain views. The following rhetorical strategies were analyzed: metaphors, metonymies, analogies, pronouns, the active or passive voice of transitive verbs, sound-bites, three-part lists and contrastive pairs. It is argued in this essay that both speakers use rhetorical strategies to convey their ideas of morality and their views of the war in Iraq. McCain’s main argument is that the war in Iraq is right and should continue while Obama argues that the war in Iraq is wrong. However, war in itself is not wrong, hence the right war ought to be fought somewhere else according to Obama. The conclusion to be drawn from this study is that it is important to be aware of how politicians use rhetorical strategies in order to convince an audience of the rectitude of war.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Social Behaviour Law, linguistics, political speeches, rhetorical strategies, metaphors
Keyword [sv]
Samhälls-, beteendevetenskap, juridik
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-55589ISRN: LTU-CUPP--09/038--SELocal ID: c702438c-9f53-4d78-ad41-6d6202750244OAI: diva2:1028973
Subject / course
Student thesis, at least 15 credits
Educational program
English, bachelor's level
Validerat; 20101217 (root)Available from: 2016-10-04 Created: 2016-10-04Bibliographically approved

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