Analyzing Political Speeches by Christina Schaffner

By Christina Schaffner

This quantity bargains with political speeches, quite commemorative addresses, from the viewpoint of serious discourse research. Such addresses are characterised as consultant and epideictic, as exemplified by means of an handle fo the Dutch Queen Beatrix to the Knesset in the course of her 1995 country stopover at to Israel. serious attention is given to the position of rhetoric inside of political discourse anlysis.

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Therefore, this type of intertextuality cannot be derived from pre-speech constraints exclusively, such as the character of the whole election campaign or the (inter)dependence on other-party speakers, even though these constraints do determine the orator's actual scope. Additionally, the orator has to prepare a special relationship between the actual text of his speech and future texts written and designed by journalists. Intertextuality, therefore, should be accomplished by a speech text's propensity to apportion at least several passages to new journalistic texts.

Consensus, however, is not an altogether unproblematic notion. It prohibits, of course, that the Queen's speeches be offensive in any way. She cannot directly criticise government policy, nor controversially address 'national' issues or issues that touch national identity. Yet, even though she is to rise above politics, she can still show her personal involvement by choosing certain themes. In general, however, the Queen's avowed distance from everyday life and everyday politics and the indeterminateness of her words will be perceived as contributions to the preferred consensus.

Kammerer, 1995). Whether or not the objective of legitimation afterwards is successfully met, depends on the behaviour of the audience (the general public) in elections. In this way, the processuality of parliamentary debating is stressed by this orientation towards future purposes: delivering a political public speech will become a kind of play-acting, at least of theatricality (cf. Witteveen, 1992). Here we recognise the grounds of what has become a familiar reproach in certain sections of the media, namely that politics is untruthful.

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