Winnie the Pooh Analysis

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American political speeches in the twenty-first century are perhaps more frequently analyzed than any other body of language in modern American English. With the growing popularity and use of the major news media and the Internet, the general public currently has an utterly unprecedented level of access to reports, transcripts and even videos of every word that passes through a public speaker's lips. The public scrutiny, however, is generally turned towards the meaningful content of these speeches rather than the manner of their expression. Nevertheless a great volume of information is conveyed by these political figures, not only at the semantic level, but also on the levels of syntax, morphology and even phonetics. Through analysis of a body of speeches delivered by the current national candidates while campaigning for the presidential primary elections, this study will identify some of the common characteristics of preprepared political speeches and highlight the differences between the linguistic features commonly present in Democratic speeches as opposed to those of Republican ones. There are several readily recognizable techniques employed by all politicians, regardless of platform or ideology, when delivering speeches. Repetition is one of the most obvious of these. While attempting to emphasize a particular point, the speaker will often use nested parallel clauses and repeat words or whole phrases within a single sentence: "...if you're looking for a leader who has been tested in times of crisis; a leader who's ready to lead right now; a leader who's achieved results - results that some people thought were impossible --a leader who believes that there is no problem too difficult for American solutions and a free, American spirit. I believe I am that leader." (Giuliani, December 2007) This feature is also commonly found in poetry and song. Like rhyme, repetition can make a sentence or phrase "catchy," or more memorable, creating a rhythm for the words which can stick with the listener as much or more than the actual words spoken do. Often this repetition will extend beyond just a single thought, and a word or phrase will be repeated several times throughout the entire address, as is the case with the phrase, "Let us be the generation..." in Barrack Obama's Announcement Speech (Obama, February 2007). Obama's recurring phrase also exemplifies another frequently used rhetorical device. Political speeches, especially those delivered at party conventions or other collections of listeners who share the platform or party of the speaker, are generally delivered in the first-person plural, rather than singular: "Now, what can we do?...We can turn around and say let's have a health care program that establishes equality" (Gravel, March 2007). Late Modern English does not differentiate between the inclusive, "you and I," and the exclusive, "me and someone else," sense of the second-person in its pronouns; so a listener hearing "we" or "us" is free to interpret the usage as inclusive even if it is not: "We believe that every single human being is a child of God - we are all part of the human family" (Romney, December 2007). This inclusivity fosters a sense that the candidate is speaking for the listener as well as himself and presupposes the listener's agreement with the ideas espoused in a way that subtly brooks no argument. Third-person plural pronouns, sometimes without clear antecedents, are often used in conjunction with this unclear "we" to further implant the idea of inclusivity: "And because they view our government with contempt - they treat it with contempt" (Clinton, April 2007). By setting up what is literally an "us versus them" situation, the speaker can readily generate sympathy from a receptive audience: "Their policies and actions have encouraged more illegals [sic] to cross our borders where they have taken our jobs, burdened our communities, threatened our security, and trampled our laws" (Tancredo, April...
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