The Pragmatics of Political Discourse: An Analytical Framework and a Comparative Study of Policy Speeches in the United Kingdom and Hong Kong

In: Bandung

Political discourse, situated at the intersection of language, media and politics, involves the participation of pragmatics at different levels. The progress of postcolonialism and globalisation have resulted in emerging themes of research in this aspect that merit further exploration. This study aims to add to the literature a ‘pragmatic framework’ for political discourse analysis, incorporating the recent development of corpus analysis tools. Pragmatic features including reference and co-text were examined in and illustrated by examples from a corpus consisting of policy speeches in the United Kingdom (UK) and Hong Kong (HK) during the period of 1997 and 2017. The study provides a unique integration of three aspects of pragmatic comparison, i.e., a comparison of political language in a previous coloniser (i.e., United Kingdom) and colonised region (i.e., Hong Kong), a cross-cultural juxtaposition through the lenses of translated/interpreted language, and a historical analogy of the policy speeches delivered in the past 21 years. The study, interdisciplinary in nature, contributes to the existing research an analytical framework for the study of pragmatics in political discourse. It also provides new insights into our knowledge of political language in the media.

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