Document Type : Research article


1 Islamic Azad university of Sabzevar

2 English Department, Mashhhad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Mashhad, Iran


Drawing on recent Political Discourse Analysis (PDA) approaches that map text over relevant context as supported by Van Dijk (2006), in this research, it was tried to follow this research route. The main intention was to look at political discourse via the lenses of PDA to see whether ideologies and power relations of interlocutors in the target setting of this study could have possibly been aligned with linguistic elements-here rhetorical devices and to see to what extent such text-context mapping is recognized as relevant to language tools within the selected datasets. Accordingly, the researcher tried to follow a sample of political talk- live 2008 US presidential debates- among two Republic vs. Democratic campaigns. To do so, some political strategies for argumentation including Van Dijk’s model representing 'Authority', 'Topos or burden', 'Future Representations’, ‘Comparison', 'Consensus', 'Counterfactuals', 'populism’, 'generalizations', and 'number Games' were mapped over some linguistic rhetorical devices such as ‘metaphor’, ‘hyperbole’, ‘irony’, ‘euphemism’, etc. The common discoursal moves in Obama’s vs. McCain's speech statements were compared and contrasted among similar strategies to find any emergent rhetorical devices. Findings indicated that 1) the political candidates had made use of rhetorical and political moves in tandem within the same propositional units, 2) some employed discourse devices were paralleled with the majority of political strategies like repetition and metaphor, and 3) some political strategies had been used to excess like 'comparison’, 'populism' and 'future representation’ respectively.