They Want To Eradicate the Nation: A Cross-Linguistic Study of the Attitudinal Language of Presidential Campaign Speeches in the USA and Iran

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz

2 Farhangian University of Ahvaz


Politicians adopt a variety of linguistic strategies in their speeches to connect with their audience. To name one, appraisal, as a system of interpersonal meaning, is concerned with evaluation where resources are used for negotiating social relationships. Despite their significance in shaping texts, there have hardly been any extensive inventories of appraisal tools contrasting electoral speeches. The current study examined the evaluative strategies used by presidential candidates during the American 2008 and Iranian 2009 national polls. To this end, we applied qualitative and quantitative analyses and the results revealed significant differences among the winners and losers of each group. While affect and judgment were substantially utilized by the winners in both American and Iranian contexts, appreciation resources were context-sensitive. Differences in the kind and nature of attitudinal markers revealed their different political, social, economic and international statuses at election time.


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