Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Voice > Recite the law, oratory

A Pragmatic Analysis of Positive Politeness Strategy in American Presidential Inaugural Addresses

Author LiLiWen
Tutor GaoGuiXiang
School Hebei Normal
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords pragmatics positive politeness strategy American presidential inaugural address (PIA)
CLC H311.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2006
Downloads 937
Quotes 5
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American presidential inaugural address (shorted as PIA) is a very important variety with worldwide influence and long-lasting significance. It attracted the attention of political scientists, historians and many linguists as well. However, the study of PIA is mainly from political and stylistic perspective, and few are conducted from the pragmatic point of view. The present study attempts to study American presidential inaugural address from the politeness theory of pragmatics. Based on the politeness theory put forward by Brown and Levinson, this thesis analyzes the positive politeness strategies employed in the ten PIAs after the Second World War.The main task and purpose of the PIA is to outline the main policies of the new government and win people’s support. However, the prerequisite of winning people’s sympathy and support lies in people’s good relationship with and trust in the government. Therefore almost all the speakers resort to "approached-based" positive politeness strategy quite often which performs this function very well. By "claim common ground", "convey cooperation between hearer (H) and speaker(S)", "fulfill H’s want", the president successfully shortens the distance with the audience. Then his political aims become more easily achieved. This thesis attempts to analyze the application of these strategies specifically.The significance of this study is that it broadens the studying scope of politeness theory and proves the great explanatory power of Brown and Levinson’s face theory theoretically. Practically, it provides a new method to appreciate PIA and can help the learners of public speaking to develop their own public speaking skills as well.

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