Exploring Obama's and Trump's political discourse through the lens of wordlists, keywords and clusters

  • ISSN
    0524-6881 (print)
    1805-0867 (online)
Type: Article
Using corpus linguistics analysis techniques, this study compares salient lexical and phraseological features of the political discourse of Barrack Obama and Donald Trump to reveal the presidents' individual linguistic styles and preferred discursive themes. For this purpose, the WordSmith Tools software is used to extract frequency wordlists, keyword lists and clusters from two corpora of political speeches, and select the most frequent units for further identification of their patterns of use and function. The findings show that the speakers convey their intent to the listeners relying on their own idiolects. Differences are found in thematic concerns and in the use of those items that figure high in both corpora, building the image of Obama as a serious, objective and organized speaker, and that of Trump, as emotion-driven, subjective and fraternizing.
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