Person Deixis as Biased Political Pronouns in George W. Bush’s Speeches on Iraqi War II

https://doi.org/10.36892/ijlls.v2i1.112

Authors

  • Thouraya Zheni Higher Institute of Accounting and Enterprise Management, Manouba University, Tunisia

Keywords:

biased discourse, misrepresentation, manipulation, person deixis, political pronouns, socio-cultural approach

Abstract

Misrepresentation and manipulation in discourse can be weapons of mass deception. As politicians rely on language as their tool of trade, language users may opt for a language game to achieve their political ends. This is, in fact, the objective of the present study that focuses on the manipulation of person deixis in political discourse. The current research paper sheds light on the perception of Arabs and Muslims from a western perspective. More specifically, the speeches of George W. Bush, delivered between March 2003 and June 2004, and related to Iraqi War II, are analyzed within Fairclough's socio-cultural approach to CDA. The results of this study show that the use of political pronouns in G. W Bush's speeches reflects a WE\THEY dichotomy that divides the referents into pro-US and anti-US groups. The selection of pronouns distorts the truth and misrepresents the referents by allocating negative\pejorative words to them and categorizing them as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. This research analyzes political pronouns in discourse within the framework of CDA and explains how person deixis is used in a language game to deceive public opinion.

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Author Biography

Thouraya Zheni, Higher Institute of Accounting and Enterprise Management, Manouba University, Tunisia

Dr. Thouraya Zheni is a Tunisian teacher of English. She worked at the Higher Institute of Applied Languages and Computer Science of Beja (Jendouba University), the Higher Institute of Documentation, and the Higher Institute of Accounting and Enterprise Management, Manouba University, Tunisia. In KSA, she taught English at the College of Business Administration, Qassim University and the English Language Centre, Taibah University. She obtained her M.A and PhD degrees from the Faculty of Letters, Arts and Humanities, Manouba University, Tunisia. She published a book entitled ‘Factive Presupposition and Epistemic Modality in Political Discourse: Hillary Clinton’s Discourse on Tunisia’s Democratic Transition’. She has three published articles by Canadian and US journals, entitled ‘Socio-Political Dimensions of the Speaker’s Cognition in Political Discourse’ (IJHSS), ‘Factive vs. Ideological Knowledge in Political Discourse’ (IJEL) and "Cognitive Frames in Media Discourse: The Guardian Coverage of the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Europe (2015-2019)" (AWEJ). Her research interests include English Linguistics, Pragmatics, Critical Discourse Analysis and Political Discourse.

Published

2020-03-18

How to Cite

Zheni, T. (2020). Person Deixis as Biased Political Pronouns in George W. Bush’s Speeches on Iraqi War II. International Journal of Language and Literary Studies, 2(1), 155–171. https://doi.org/10.36892/ijlls.v2i1.112

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Section

Articles