Expressive Speech Acts in Political Discourse: An Integrative Approach Perspective

Proceedings of The 3rd International Conference on New Trends in Social Sciences

Year: 2022



Expressive Speech Acts in Political Discourse: An Integrative Approach Perspective

Lyubov Gurevich



The last half century has witnessed a drastic aggravation of the political rhetoric modality. Political communication tends to become more and more aggressive, and many politicians’ speech acts prove to be negatively charged utterances, incorporating vulgarisms, invectives and bellicose rhetoric. They are characterized by overabundance of emotionally estimative items and are based on deliberate violation of political etiquette principles. Expressive speech acts have become an integrative part of such a called political theater in which the strategical tool of political propaganda has been replaced by a stand-up show technology of political rivals downgrading and overthrow.

The generalized theorizing is supported by the example of a case study of invectives in political discourse. This analysis is aimed at distinguishing “agonal” signs (a deliberate use of invectives in speech) and pragmatic borrowings (undeliberate use of invectives) in their functioning, their pragma-semantic characteristics and discursive markers, which helps us in identification of both types of political discourse linguistic items. This analysis discloses vulnerable zones in the political communication pattern, which condition the use of invectives in politicians’ speeches.

This research represents an integrative approach combining the Critical Discourse Analysis, the Political Discourse Semiotics Theory, the Role Theory, the Communication Theory, and others, in order to discover the actual reasons and consequences of these changes in the society in general, and in political discourse in particular.

keywords: invectives, “agonal” signs, pragmatic borrowings, vulnerable zones of communication, political theater.