Evaluative Language in Political Speeches: A Case Study of Iranian and American Presidents’ Speeches

Farhad Mazlum, Sanaz Afshin


The study of evaluative language of political speeches is a fresh area of investigation in the field of stylistics. This study aimed at exploring and investigating evaluative instances in the speeches by Hassan Rouhani—Iran’s president— and Barak Obama at UN assembly in 2014. To this end, Martin and White’s Appraisal system of meaning was adopted to examine the mechanisms through which Obama and Rouhani express their feelings towards different people and issues. Additionally, in this study it was intended to represent how each politician ‘positions’ himself vis-à-vis different inter/national phenomena. The findings suggested that both presidents preferred to apply more adjectives and nominalizations than verbs and adverbs to express their emotion. Also the results of the study suggested that Rouhani opted for greater use of authorial and non-authorial affect in his speech than Obama. In both speeches, the flexible nature of the different emotional markers let the speakers frame them to the current social, economic, political situation of the world. One applied them to mention the threats and horrors all around the globe and the other employed them to make confidence and sympathize with other nations. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijl.v8i4.9398

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International Journal of Linguistics  ISSN 1948-5425  Email: ijl@macrothink.org

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