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Leadership, credibility and persuasion

A view from three public policy discourses

Iga Lehman, Łukasz Sułkowski and Piotr Cap


This short paper makes a tentative attempt to capture the most salient of persuasion strategies engaged in the construction of leadership in three different yet apparently interrelated domains of public life and public policy, political communication, management/business discourse, and academic communication. It explores the cognitive underpinnings, as well as linguistic realizations, of such concepts/phenomena/mechanisms as consistency-building, source-tagging, forced conceptualizations by metaphor, and discursive neutralization of the cheater detection module in the discourse addressee. A preliminary conclusion from the analysis of these mechanisms is that the three discourses under investigation reveal striking conceptual similarities with regard to the main strategies of credibility-building and enactment of leadership. At the same time, they reveal differences at the linguistic level, i.e. regarding the types of lexical choices applied to realize a given strategy.

Shaping identities in interaction by cognitive meanings

The variable usage of usted (es) as second-person object in Spanish

María José Serrano


This is not an address forms research. The purpose of this paper is to study the variation of the Spanish singular and plural second-person object usted (es) (SPU object) by means of the cognitive properties of salience and informativeness. Each variant of the second-person object constitutes a meaningful possibility used by speakers to define their particular position in relation to the communicative situation where they participate, tightly connected to their communicative purposes during interaction. The quantitative and qualitative analysis of SPU object variation in a corpus of Contemporary Spanish (Corpus Interaccional del Español) show that variants are unevenly distributed across textual genres and socioprofessional affiliations of speakers and contribute to shape communicative styles based on the continuum of objectivity-subjectivity.

Claude Delmas and Geneviève Girard-Gillet