The Realization of Impoliteness in Arguments between the Democrats and Republicans over the Government Shutdown Issue in the US

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The present research is intended to illustrate how linguistic features of impoliteness are manifested in the debates between two of the main American political parties, Republicans and Democrats, in 2013 government shutdown issue. The research questions sought to analyze the impoliteness strategies each party employed to aggravate or attack the face of the opposing party. The study was conducted by performing qualitative discourse analysis based upon the theoretical framework of Culpeper’s (1996) super strategies and Bousfield’s (2008) off-record impoliteness . The data consisted of the transcripts of the speeches of the two parties’ members all through September, 20, to October, 16, 2013. The study primarily managed to elicit eight major impoliteness strategies in this corpus. The analysis chiefly revealed that both parties used all the strategies in relatively similar frequencies to induce their opponents to act upon their preferences. Challenges , dissociating from the other , sarcasm/mock politeness, and seeking disagreement/avoid agreement were among the most commonly used impoliteness strategies in the debates. In addition, as the Chi-Square test disclosed, the two parties did not differ from one another in a statistically meaningful way in their total use of impoliteness strategies. In conclusion, our study showed that there seems to be a relatively similar pattern of use of impoliteness strategies by these two parties over the aforementioned issue which can be attributed to the demands of political discourse.

About the authors

Minoo Alemi

Islamic Azad University, West Tehran Branch

Associate 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 Simaye Iran St., 1467686831, Tehran, Iran

Ashkan Latifi

Sharif University of Technology

holds an MA in Applied Linguistics from Sharif University of Technology and is currently an MA student of Sociology at Bu-Ali Sina University Azadi Ave., 11365-11155, Tehran, Iran


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Copyright (c) 2019 Alemi M., Latifi A.

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