ERIC Number: ED203398
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-May
Reference Count: 0
Systematic Analysis of Political Messages: The State of the Presidency.
Hart, Roderick P.
Part of a larger investigation of the rhetorical character of the presidencies of Harry Truman through Jimmy Carter, this report concentrates on the presidents' linguistic styles and their semantic choices. The first half of the report discusses the background of the study and the development of a computerized language analysis technique--DICTION--and describes the selection of 266 rhetorical samples from the seven presidents and a comparison sample of 389 speeches delivered by corporation executives, social activists, political candidates, and religious leaders. In the second half of the report, the personal aspects of each president's linguistic style are first summarized, then analyzed developmentally through their years in office and situationally according to their political party, topic, and audience. Preliminary findings reported are that (1) presidential discourse is a somewhat unique rhetorical entity, (2) individual presidents vary considerably from one another on the dimensions studied, and (3) some presidents alter their linguistic styles to accommodate changes in time or rhetorical circumstances, while the linguistic style of others is more habitual. Comparisons of the data are presented in four tables. (AEA)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Presidential Messages
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association (Minneapolis, MN, May 21-25, 1981).