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Addressee orientation in political speeches: tracing the dialogical 'other' in argumentative monologue

Schroeter, M. ORCID: (2014) Addressee orientation in political speeches: tracing the dialogical 'other' in argumentative monologue. Journal of Language and Politics, 13 (2). 289 -312. ISSN 1569-2159 (special issue: Cognitive Perspectives on Political Discourse, ed. by Pascal Fischer and Christoph Schubert )

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1075/jlp.13.2.05sch


This article suggests that the addressees as the dialogical ‘other’ loom large in monological political speeches. However, political speeches are produced under conditions of addressee heterogeneity, i.e. the speakers do not actually know who they will be talking to. It will be argued that the addressees are nevertheless a crucial element in speakers’ context models, that speakers orientate towards imagined addressees and that certain aspects – what possible addressees may do, think or believe and that they are a part of an imagined community – are particularly relevant from the speakers’ point of view. An analysis of addressee orientation in political speeches aims at reconstructing speakers’ conceptualisations of possible addressees. The analysis reveals patterns of addressee orientation which suggest that the addressees are framed in terms of presumed nearness (i.e. agreement) or distance (i.e. disagreement) to the speakers. Both presumed agreement and disagreement will be discussed in terms of how the speakers aim to impose their default perspectives on the addressees. The analysis is based on examples from a substantial corpus of German chancellors’ political speeches from 1951-2001.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Literature and Languages > Languages and Cultures > German
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
ID Code:30486
Publisher:John Benjamins

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