Power and Politics of Language Use: A Survey of Hedging Devices in Political Interviews

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

1 Associate Professor Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz

2 M. A., TEFL Shahid Chamran University, Ahvaz

Abstract

One tactful strategy in political rhetoric is hedging which is associated with vagueness and innuendos. Despite the studies that address hedging in academic discourse and conversation analysis, studies that investigate hedges in relation to political power, face, and politeness are tremendously few. To this aim, four political interviews were selected from CNN and BBC websites on the basis of the diversity of topics and the popularity of the interviewees and analyzed following a combination of the existing taxonomies of hedges. The results of this analysis revealed an inverse relationship between the frequency of downtoners and the degree of political power. The use of hedges in political interviews also contributes to the implementation of positive as well as negative politeness strategies.

Keywords