Linking Word Use and Personality Characteristics: A Contrastive Study into Parliamentary Communications of Labour Leaders Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer

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Over the past thirty years, Russian linguistic studies have noted terminological heterogeneity in the concepts of “jazykovaja lichnost” and “kommunikativnaja lichnost”, literally “linguistic personality” and “communicative personality”, however, in the field of political communication, due to the inextricable connection of political discourse with the socio-cultural, historical, or political context that constructs it, their differentiation was observed rather than interchangeability. This research seeks to characterise “kommunikativnaja lichnost”, a key concept in linguopersonology. The evidence base is parliamentary speeches of Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer, previous and current leaders of the Labor Party of Great Britain. The results of a qualitative analysis have been verified through the Sketch Engine content analysis program, and they demonstrate how a politician’s rhetoric can change depending on situational factors - in this case, the foreign political situation and domestic political processes. The overarching theme of the politicians’ communications is the termination of the UK’s membership in the European Union and the protracted coronavirus pandemic, which is the root of all social and economic ills. The words frequently used by Corbyn and Starmer are predetermined by the communicative behaviours of the politicians. The article attempts to determine the ‘communicative personality’ of Corbin and Starman using the leadership typology proposed by Harold Lasswell. This work thus contributes to the development of linguopersonology provisions and raises the necessity to develop types of the ‘communicative personality’ of a politician. Given the analysis results, the article suggests interpreting the Russian concept ‘kommunikativnaja lichnost’ as ‘linking word use and personality characteristics’.

About the authors

Denis S. Mukhortov

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University)

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8174-7055

PhD, Associate Professor of the English Department № 1, International Relations School

76, Vernadsky Prospekt, Moscow, Russia Federation, 119454

Elizaveta A. Zhovner

Moscow State Institute of International Relations (University)

ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0656-5307

PhD Candidate at the English Department № 1, International Relations School

76, Vernadsky Prospekt, Moscow, Russia Federation, 119454


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Copyright (c) 2023 Mukhortov D.S., Zhovner E.A.

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