Marginalizing Commitment: Syntactic Euphemisms In Political Speeches Cover Image

Marginalizacija obavezivanja: Sintaksički eufemizmi u političkim govorima
Marginalizing Commitment: Syntactic Euphemisms In Political Speeches

Author(s): Biljana Mišić Ilić, Milica Radulović
Subject(s): Literary Texts
Published by: Универзитет у Нишу
Keywords: syntactic euphemisms; marginalizing commitment; discursive strategies; CDA

Summary/Abstract: In discourse, speakers/writers can use various linguistic devices to marginalize their or somebody else’s commitment to the expressed proposition in order to be exonerated from the responsibility that a more directly, explicitly expressed agency and/or commitment to the proposition would imply. The paper focuses on syntactic euphemisms, broadly taken as whole sentences formulated with few or no negative connotations, or, more particularly, as syntactic structures that can be employed to avoid the burden of responsibility for decisions and actions that can turn out to be wrong and damaging. The paper illustrates the discourse strategy of marginalizing commitment by means of syntactic euphemisms using examples from American and Serbian presidential candidates’ speeches. The analysis includes both the linguistic aspects and the critical discourse analysis point of view, trying to expose this discourse practice as a way of hiding or at least playing down potentially unpleasant or harmful facts and truths.

  • Issue Year: 12/2014
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 25-41
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: English