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Political Language

1. What is Political Language?

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About this Lecture


In this module, we think about what is political language, focusing in particular on: (i) political language as a means of creating cooperation and achieving consensus; (ii) political language as a means of enforcing power and authority; (iii) political language as an appeal to common, shared values; (iv) political language as a means of distinguishing the in-group from the out-group; (v) the asymmetry of power implicit in political language; (vi) the interest of political language to a range of different disciplines: linguists, political scientists, philosophers of language, moral psychologists, etc.; (vii) political language as language in action; and (viii) the important of both monologic and dialogic forms, as well as of both written and spoken texts.


In this course, Professor Jonathan Charteris-Black (UWE Bristol) explores political language. In the first module, we explore the various definitions of political language, before turning in the second module to think about the different levels at which political language can be analysed, from parts of words (e.g. the suffix –gate) to whole narratives. In the third module, we think about the metaphor of war in political discourse, while in the fourth module we think about the kind of language that emerged and was used during the Covid-19 pandemic. Finally, in the fifth module, we think about the concepts of style and character in relation to various political figures, including Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Greta Thunberg and Dominic Cummings.


Prof. Jonathan Charteris-Black is Professor in Linguistics at UWE Bristol. His recent publications include Metaphors of Brexit: No cherries on the cake? (2019) and Analysing Political Speeches: Rhetoric, Discourse and Metaphor (2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Charteris-Black, J. (2022, April 11). Political Language - What is Political Language? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Charteris-Black, J. "Political Language – What is Political Language?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 11 Apr 2022,

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