Expressive means in Margaret Thatcher’s speech

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Contemporary linguistics and stylistics provide no ambiguous interpretation of the «expressivity» concept and all of its definitions intersect with the concepts of «emotionality», «imagery», «intensity», «expressiveness», etc. Currently, deliberate attention is focused on the study of expressivity issue in both domestic and foreign linguistics, however, despite the rich theoretical material; there are no clear concepts and terms. Many contradictions are found in the very definition of expressivity: a number of scientists associate expressivity with both the functional side of the language and the semantics of words, while others describe it in terms of linguistic stylistics and lexicology. In the context of these problematic issues, the aim of the article was to develop an integrated approach to the conceptual interpretation of «expressivity», «means of expressivity», as well as to provide a clear demarcation between the first of the concepts and the term of «emotionality».

In this article, based on the analysis of literary sources, the following tasks has been implemented: we considered approaches to the interpretation of the «expressivity» concept, after which, during a contextual and stylistic analysis, we identified the key expressive means on the basis of four speeches announced by the famous British politician, Margaret Thatcher, which allowed to identify lexical and syntactic means creating expressiveness in the statements of the mentioned politician. The main research method in this article was a descriptive analysis, as well as a component analysis, which provides for the consideration of connotative interpretation focused on the speech units used by Margaret Thatcher in public.

In the framework of this article, the most memorable speeches of the politician were analyzed in order to understand how she managed to manipulate the audience. In addition, the lexical and syntactic features of Margaret Thatcher’s linguistic image, as one of the most famous politicians, and, no less important, speakers, are revealed. In particular, anaphoras, epiphoras, rhetorical constructions, parentheses, emotionally marked vocabulary, metaphors, comparative figures of speech and elements of citation are highlighted, which allowed the policy-maker to attract the attention of the audience, increase her credibility, discredit opponents, etc.


About the authors

A. D. Gadzhieva

Lomonosov Moscow State University

Author for correspondence.
ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9272-0114

postgraduate student, Department of English Linguistics, Philological Faculty


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