Word War: A critical discourse analysis of the UN general assembly’s annual debate, 2017

2018 IJRSLL – Volume 7 Issue 4


Rezvani Sichani, Behnam*
University of Isfahan, Iran (b.rezvani@fgn.ui.ac.ir)

Rezvani, Ehsan
Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Islamic Azad University, Iran (rezvani_ehsan_1982@yahoo.com)

Moinzadeh, Ahmad
University of Isfahan, Iran (moin@fgn.ui.ac.ir)


The use of Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) to unmask ideologies behind words and sentences has become trendy in language studies. The present study seeks to investigate the speeches delivered by two prominent presidents, Hassan Rouhani and Donald Trump, to the United Nations (UN) general assembly, 2017. To do so, Fairclough’s (1995, 2013) Model was employed. More specifically, this study focused on the morphological aspect of the two presidents’ talks. This being so, the vocabulary section of Fairclough’s (1995, 2013) Model was utilized as a theoretical framework in this study. The frequency of words was counted and different types of words and their ideological sides were analytically examined. Considering the context of both cases, the linguistic elements of these ideologically bounded talks were described. The results suggest that the two presidents adopted the same linguistics style for their UN persuasive arguments that were adopted in their presidential campaigns and debates. The results also depict that when two political figures hold a set of ideas and values which position them so far from each other, this contrast would lead to marked differences in their discourse too. The findings of this study would be a very a good addition to both language and CDA literature due to the fact that the use of linguistic features in political utterances is as high as ever.

Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA); Rouhani; Trump; Fairclough’s Model; United Nations


DOI: https://doi.org/10.5861/ijrsll.2018.2004

*Corresponding Author