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Language, Heart, and Mind

Studies at the intersection of emotion and cognition


Edited By Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk, Valeria Monello and Marco Venuti

A major premise of this book is that language use is critically conditioned by affective content and cognitive factors rather than being a case of objective computation and manipulation of structures. The 21 chapters of this book deals with how language interacts with emotion, and with mind and cognition, from both intralingual and cross-linguistic perspectives. The second major focus is the theoretical framework, best-suited for research relationships between language, cognition, and emotion as well as the effect that emotion has on the conceptualizer who constructs meanings based on language stimuli. Furthermore, the authors investigate how emotion and rational projections of events interact and what their consequences are in the conceptual world, media discourse, and translation.

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17. The Female Voice in Televised Political Debates: A Case Study (Donata Cucchiara)


Donata Cucchiara

Abstract Political discourse is often seen as a male leaders’ domain, relying on a supposed-to- be more effective authoritative style (Baxter, 2006). The main assumption is a stereotyped view on the female verbal behaviour, considered as different from men’s, a difference rooted into gender. According to such a view, to avoid being marginalized, women leaders have to adopt an adversarial style like the male speakers’, they should use a double voicing (Baxter 2014). This paper tries to understand whether women’s language in TV political debates is actually different from men’s. It draws on the principles of Conversational Analysis, on Interactional Sociolinguistics, and on the assumptions of Critical Discourse Analysis. It follows a case study approach to show that there are no gendered styles.

Keywords: Political discourse, Televised political debates, Gender, Conversation analysis, Critical discourse analysis

The focus of our work is on UK General Elections (G.E.) televised debates. They are particularly useful for the purposes of our analysis as they provide an interesting sample of interactive patterns -they include male and female speakers, all of them party leaders, speaking about same issues, in the same context, under same conditions. All parties agreed on the programme format in 2010 and later on in 2015, including some basic rules such as studio audience selection, themes, and role of the journalist/moderator. Politicians stand in a semicircle facing people in the studio, setting eye contact with their interlocutors, and this affects the interaction pattern during the...

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