An Adaptive Study on the Lexical Choices in the Public Speaking of U.S. President Obama
|School||Central South University|
|Course||Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics|
|Keywords||Adaptation Theory presidential public speaking lexical choice|
Adaptation Theory, introduced systematically by Verschueren in his book Understanding Pragmatics in 2000, provides a fresh perspective from which people can interpret language in use. According to Verschueren, language use is a continuous making of linguistic choices by adapting to various contexts. Based on Adaptation Theory, this thesis makes a tentative analysis of the lexical choices in the public speaking of U.S. President Barack Obama from the following four aspects:language users, the mental world, the social world and the physical world. The whole thesis is made up of four chapters. Chapter 1 gives an overview of public speaking. It first deals with the definition, features and classification of public speaking, and then discusses the specific features of U.S. presidents’public speaking. Chapter 2 reviews previous studies both on public speaking and on U.S. presidents’public speaking. Chapter 3 focuses on the theoretical foundation of the present study. After a brief introduction to Adaptation Theory, the thesis presents the properties of language. Then it concentrates on the contexts in Adaptation Theory. Chapter 4 analyzes the lexical choices of the public speaking made by Barack Obama in detail. The re-analysis is made in four aspects:the adaptation to language users, the adaptation to the mental world, the adaptation to the social world and the adaptation to the physical world. In each part there are a great number of examples of lexical choices.It is pointed out in the thesis that the lexical choices of Obama’s public speaking adapt to different communicative contexts. The present study offers a new way of appreciating U.S. presidents’ public speaking, in the hope of giving some clues for learners to improve their public speaking skills.