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The Role of Intonation in the Realization of the Speaker's Image in British Political Discourse

Student: Anna Romashkova

Supervisor: Elena Freidina

Faculty: School of Foreign Languages

Educational Programme: Foreign Languages and Intercultural Communication (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2019

In this day and age, public speaking plays a vital role in almost every walk of life: from education to politics. That is why more and more linguists are starting to pay their attention not only to the content of a speech but also to its non-verbal and prosodic features. These elements have a strong influence on both how the audience perceives the message of a talk and what kind of image a politician manages to create. The role of a political leader's image cannot be overestimated. Along with the party's manifesto, it has the power to repulse voters and draw them, as well as to demonstrate the politician's leadership abilities. In this respect, we can also mention the duality of a speaker’s image, for it encompasses not only a number of national peculiarities but also some individual features. The audience's evaluation of a speaker and his/her speech is based on a set of factors (including psychological, social, etc.) plus syntactical, lexical and phonetic peculiarities of his/her talk. This paper highlights some characteristic features of modern political public speaking in Britain. In the analytical chapter, the audiovisual materials are analysed and the most frequent rhetorical devices and prosodic means in Jeremy Corbyn’s speech are identified. Special attention is given to revealing the role of those means in shaping the politician’s image. Lastly, J. Corbyn's and T. May's images and speech portraits are analysed and compared and conclusions are drawn. Our research should contribute to the development of theoretical and practical phonetics and the specification of data on rhetorical and phonetic peculiarities of political public speeches.

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