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英语文体学学期论文范文

  英语文体学学期论文范文-Stylistic Analysis of Brack Obama’s Victory Speech

  Abstract: Public speech is an art. It presents the features of formal written language while exhibiting characteristics of the spoken. Barack Obama ,an excellent speaker, addressed his victory speech on NOV 5, 2008 in Chicago. This speech, which is very convincing, is considered a classic. This paper analysis the speech from four aspects: content, grammatical features, lexical features and semantic features. Through the essay, we can have a better understanding of the public speech.

  Key Words: Obama, victory speech; stylistic analysis

  On NOV 5,2008,Barack Obama was elected the 44th president of America, becoming the first national leader in American history. On the evening, Obama addressed his victory speech in Chicago.

  The theme of Obama’s victory speech is “change is coming to America” in response to the special period of US. Form the perspective of stylistics, the speech can be analyzed form four aspects: content, grammatical features, lexical features and semantic features.

  1.Introduction of the content

  In terms of the main idea of the speech, it can be divided into five parts, including:celebration(para.1-5),thanks(para.6-10),challenge(para.30-32).Those parts are developed naturally and connected with each other coherently, which serves for the unity of the theme.

  2.Grammatical features

  2.1Variation in sentence length

  There are 83 sentences and 2067 words in Obama’s Victoty Speech. The length of sentences varies with the change emotional state of mind of the Obama. The average length is 25 words per sentence, which show the trait of formal written language. But Obama does not use too much long sentence to confuse the audience. Short sentences, which are easier to remember and to understand also server to deliver his massage clearly.

  2.2Different sentence types

  In this speech, composite sentences are very common, while simple sentences just account for a little part. Obama rarely uses “s” structure. Instead, he applied “of”, that and “who” to put the modifier part behind. By using postposition structure, he makes the content more precise and adds a sense of elegance and gravity to the speech.

  Besides, all the sentences in the speech are statement without a few questions. Because the aim of speech is to deliver the massage of “yes we can”, he utilizes affirmative tone to emphasize his and American people’s confidence. The application of command also helps to enhance the interaction of the addresser and the addresses.

  3 lexical features

  3.1Diction

  As Obama’s victory speech has been meticulously prepares, every word has been carefully chosen to express the accurate meaning. It is clearly that Obama avoids using too much big words in order to make his speech easy to understand and popular. However, as a political speech, abstract words are indispensable. Therefore, we can find “democracy”, ”enormity”, ”mortgage”, ”humanity” and “determination” this kind of words. These words which may increase the difficulty to understand to some extend. can make the speech very formal and compelling.

  Furthermore, there are less than 100 adjectives in this 2,067-word speech. Apparently, Obama uses adjectives as few as possible to keep his stand objective and fair. But those he uses clearly express his emotions: like ‘thriving”, “hopeful”, “steep”, “long” and so on.

  3.2Various personal pronoun

  When delivering his speech, Obama uses various personal pronouns to address the audience.

  Obama uses first person frequently. “We”, “our”, and “us” contribute to involve the audience, making them feel that they are on equal terms with the president. Thus it is easier for the speaker to win the support of the listeners, who immediately feel close to the speaker when hearing the expression “we” ,“our”, and “us” contribute to involve the audience, making them feel that they are on equal terms with the president. Thus it is easier for the speaker to win the support of the listens, who immediately feel close to the speaker when hearing the expression “we” or “our”. Obama involves all the audience and makes them feel that they are the ones whom he is speaking to . In this speech, he changes personal pronoun from time to time. By the conversion of personal pronouns, he manage to make the speech flexible and rousing.

  4. Semantic features

  To make the speech an impressive one instead of a political cliché, a variety of figures of speech are used, which includes phonetic stylistic devices, lexical stylistic devices and syntactical stylistic devices.

  4.1 phonetic stylistic devices

  In order to make the speech sound fluent, a lot of alliterations are applied, For example, in the sentence “Let us resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our politics for so long. “Partisanship” and “pettiness” “poisoned” and “politics” have the same consonants, which sound rhythmical and harmonious and clearly embodies the determination of the president. The frequent use of alliteration makes the narration brief but precise, which can easily draw the attention of the audience and show the speaker’s opinion powerfully.

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