On Some Features of the Adversarial Function in Debates between US Presidential Contenders: Research into the Rhetoric of Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Donald Trump. Article 1

Abstract


An analysis of presidential debates clearly brings into sharper focus the adversarial function of political discourse. Its manifestations may be an efficient tool for studying the stylistic behaviour of each presidential contender individually and all presidential contenders collectively. The adversarial function is understood as a politician’s use of signs of explicit verbal aggression in order to fight rivals, bash them, and estrange himself or herself from their views. The study, besides singling out confrontation markers of the contenders, claims that the debates show negative trends in the language culture of modern politicians. The predominant relativism, which American English has long been known for, is being replaced by blatant straightforwardness affecting the choice of words, communicative strategies and tactics, and the well-known etiquette rules. This signals the emergence of a new generation of US politicians who will sure affect the local politics and geopolitical arena in the years to come.


About the authors

Denis Sergeyevich Mukhortov

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
Email: dennismoukhortov@mail.ru
1/51, Leninskiye Gory, Moscow, Russia, 119234

References

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