The ‘vehicle’ of deixis in Trump’s tweets: does it hold the load?

Abstract

Politicians, through political discourse, filter messages laden with ideologies and political agendas. The fact that this discourse type portrays political thinking through deploying different strategies of communication renders the current paper’s main foci manifold. For instance, it studies tweets of the US President Donald Trump in the year 2019. The tool adopted in this small-scale study is deixis precisely the pronominal system (I, you, we and they). The latter helps uncover cognitive mechanisms, ideological drives, attitudes etc, in the president’s discourse. These objectives are approached through both quantitative and qualitative analyses, while implementing van Dijk’s socio-cognitive approach’s discourse stage of analysis [1995]. Interestingly, results show that the highest frequency of occurrence is linked to the first pronoun singular ‘I’, the pronouns ‘we’ and ‘you’ are rated second. The last one in the list is the pronoun ‘they’. Results also show that the writer relates ‘non-ego’ to his ego in Rauh’s words [1983]. Moreover, the pronoun ‘we’ has been used both inclusively and exclusively depending on the president’s agenda and aims. The pronoun ‘you’ has been proven to have ‘a dual use as in the previous case. As for the pronoun ‘they’ it has been used to talk not only about those in the periphery zone but also about those who are appreciated.

Keywords: Attitudes, Discourse, Political, ideological, pronominal, socio-cognitive

Article Review Status: Published

Pages: 19-33 (Download PDF)

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