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Speaker Involvement in Political Interviews

Jana Kozubíková Šandová

This book offers a pragma-semantic analysis of linguistic means expressing speaker involvement in the genre of political interview. The research is based on an analysis of 40 interviews with British and American politicians. The aim of this work is to confirm or reject the claim that the genre of political interview is detached and impersonal as is typical of any other type of formal interaction. The study also investigates whether female politicians are more indeterminate in their expression than male politicians, and whether the expression of males is matter-of-fact and more precise. The book provides new insights into the genre of political interview and contributes to the study of speaker involvement and means of its expression.
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6 Boosting and Hedging

Extract



6.1 Introduction

As indicated above, this chapter will explain the basic distinction between boosting and hedging. It has already been mentioned that the degree of speaker involvement relates to modifying the illocutionary force of speech acts. In this connection Urbanová (2003) states that “the interpretative character of meaning […] is reflected in the modification of the illocutionary force […]. Meaning in conversation is dynamic in the sense that new shades of meaning constantly come into existence through contextual clues and speaker-hearer interaction, simultaneously reflecting idiosyncrasies and predilections on the part of the speaker” (2003:66, emphasis added). The illocutionary force of utterances is modified due to the incidence of two “counteracting, yet co-existing tendencies influencing the relative weight of the message, namely attenuation and accentuation” (Urbanová 2003:66, my emphasis).

6.2 Boosting

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