Palin and Bidens linguistic approaches during vice presidential debate revealedOctober 4th, 2008 - 3:57 pm ICT by ANI
Washington, October 4 (ANI): Analysing how the U.S. vice presidential candidates delivered their ideas during the October 2 debate, a linguist at Saint Joseph’’s University in Philadelphia has come to the conclusion that Republican Sarah Palin was using her Alaskan dialect and informal pronunciation to connect to a particular demographic.
Dr. Elaine Shenk, assistant professor of Spanish, also observed that Democrat Joe Biden spoke more formally, believably, to appeal to academics and intellectuals.
Palin was not unaware of what she was doing. When youre in a debate of that importance, youre very conscious of the way you speak, and Palin was playing on her
reputation as a regular hockey mom. She used language to communicate that shes not a part of the Washington elite, she said.
She further said that Palin, who used such phrases as you betcha or darn right in her speech, was very mindful of the effect her speech would have on the public, and that she was trying to appeal to Americans who are tired of the bureaucracy and the insider world of Washington.
Elaine pointed out that in a one-on-one conversation or debate, two people often accommodate the patterns, dialect or lexicon of the other person to arrive at a more common ground, so that they may be perceived as participating on a level playing field.
However, she said, during the vice presidential debate, each candidate remained solid in their own speech patterns, unwilling to bend to the style of his or her opponent.
Biden used language as a way to separate himself, a way of saying I am different from you (Palin), and thus that Barack Obama is different than John McCain, she said.
Elaines analysis shows that Bidens style of speaking reinforced his literal message that Barack Obama and John McCain were fundamentally different on certain issues.
She also said that when Palin entered the stage and immediately asked if she could address Biden as Joe, she was establishing herself as casual and almost ordinary.
Biden, on the other hand, never addressed his rival as Sarah or Mrs. Palin. He insisted on addressing her as Governor, which stayed consistent with his formal speaking style. (ANI)
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