IJLLL 2019 Vol.5(4): 259-262 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2019.5.4.238

Language and Power: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Political Speech

Tianqi Li and Yi Zhang
Abstract—Critical discourse analysis is a linguistic trend developed from the late 1970s to the early 1980s. Its source is critical linguistics. Representatives include mainly anti-mainstream linguistics and sociolinguists in the UK, France, and Germany, such as M. Fourcault, N. Fairchlugh, G. Kress, R. Fowler, and others. It is a socially oriented discourse analysis method based on Halliday's systemic functional linguistics. They see society as an organic whole, and all its components are a reflection of some kind of power.
This paper is devoted to study the interpersonal function of Donald Trump’s and Teresa May’s speeches from the perspective of critical discourse analysis by Systematic-Functional Grammar (SFG) established by M.A.K Halliday. The study reveals that political speakers tend to employ far more modal operators of medium value to realize interpersonal functions for political and power needs.
The critical discourse analysis of political speech not only contributes to the establishment of a different perspective of the discourse analysis but also helps to the cultivation of the critical thinking ability, which can shed light on the further studying and research.

Index Terms—Critical discourse analysis, modality, personal pronoun, political speech.

Tianqi Li and Yi Zhang are with the School of Foreign Studies, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China (e-mail: litianqi1221@ 163.com, 2192941516@ qq.com).

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Cite: Tianqi Li and Yi Zhang, "Language and Power: A Critical Discourse Analysis of the Political Speech," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 259-262, 2019.

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