Exploring Nuances in American Republican Discourse: A SFL-driven Basic Content Analysis of G. Bush and D. Trump as Case Studies
Keywords:American Nationalism, SFL (Systemic Functional Linguistics), intertextuality, Group Essentialization, socio-cognitive approach
This exploratory study uses a Functional-Semantic approach to language with the aim to foreground the contrasting ideological, discursive, thematic and political discourse features that mark D. Trump and George Bush's nationalistic discourse. Using a Nvivo12-facilitated CDA-oriented Basic Content Analysis (BCA), I examine 5 purposively sampled public addresses delivered by George W. Bush and Donald Trump (5 for each case) during their respective presidencies. The key findings of this lexicometric analysis disclosed subtle variations and significant intertextual connections in these two nationalistic discourse genre chains. Both discourse makers deployed certain socio-cognitive elements consistent with their discursive purposes and addressee mental models. George Bush’s sample attests to a ‘conservative Jeffersonian internationalist discourse’ that is marked by a call for Americans to think of themselves as one people, whose members are equal, rather than being in conflict with an out-group America-internally. Indeed, Donald Trump's discourse subscribes to hardline Jacksonian stream, introducing an ideological and political nationalism, characterized by heightened polarization, conspiracy theories and group essentialization. This research has broader implications for political communication, informing discussions on how language shapes political ideologies and societies. The revealed intertextual links support previous research on the intertextuality and ideological encoding of nationalistic narratives in American political discourse.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2023 International Journal of Linguistics and Translation Studies
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.