PERSUASION IN POLITICAL DISCOURSE: BARAK OBAMA’S PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHES AGAINST ISIS

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Abstract


The current study was concerned with the use of persuasion by President Obama, the former US president, as a discursive strategy in his two speeches delivered on 7/Aug/2014 and 10/Sep/2014 regarding ISIS. Analysis of these speeches was done by the application of Searle’s typology theory (1978), and pronoun analysis. That is, assertive, directive, commissive, expressive, and declarative speech acts, first person singular and plural pronouns (inclusiveness and exclusiveness), and agency. The findings of the study revealed that assertives were the most frequent speech act utilized in both speeches. Considering the function of assertives, this study showed that President Obama’s major intention was to justify the airstrikes launched by the US army on ISIS’s zones in Iraq. Besides, first person plural pronoun analysis in terms of inclusiveness/exclusiveness showed that President Obama’s stance was a conservative one according to which American people’s justification of his assertions concerning ISIS could be the cornerstone of any further military action that would be undertaken by the US army against ISIS. These analyses held the same result regarding the importance of persuasion as a pivotal axis in his aforementioned speeches. As to the issue of agency, the results held that President Obama took a conservative stance relying upon the will of American civilians and submitting his agency to Americans’ ideals and power as shown by his total 34 commissives undertaken in these two speeches.

About the authors

MINOO ALEMI

Islamic Azad University

Email: Minooalemi2000@yahoo.com
Shariati St., 1949663311, Tehran, Iran
Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics at Islamic Azad University, West Tehran Branch, and a post-doctoral associate at Sharif University of Technology (SUT), Iran. She is the associate editor of Applied Pragmatics (John Benjamins) and sits on the editorial/review boards of many journals, including British Journal of Educational Technology, BRAIN, LIBRI, and Scientia Iranica. Her areas of interest include discourse analysis, interlanguage pragmatics, materials development, and robot-assisted language education

ASHKAN LATIFI

Sharif University of Technology

Email: ashkan.latify@gmail.com
Azadi Ave., 11365-11155, Tehran, Iran
holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from Sharif University of Technology and is currently an MA student of Sociology at Bu-Ali Sina University. His areas of interest are neuropsychology, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, and sociolinguistics

ARASH NEMATZADEH

Sharif University of Technology

Email: arash67nematzadeh@gmail.com
Azadi Ave., 11365-11155, Tehran, Iran
holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from Sharif University of Technology. His areas of interest are sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, interlanguage pragmatics, and materials development

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Copyright (c) 2018 ALEMI M., LATIFI A., NEMATZADEH A.

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