On the Pragmatic Functions of Vague Language in Political Discourse: A Study on Vague Language in Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address

Siying Qin


This study employs discourse analysis to examine the pragmatic functions of vague language in Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address. By interpreting hedging, abstract concepts and generalizations in the address, the author explores how vague language is strategically utilized by political leaders to achieve his political purposes, such as establishing unity and inclusivity, alluding to past grievances, and promising change, eliciting emotional reactions, allowing flexibility, and calling attention to threats. The findings of this analysis enhance our comprehension of the inaugural address given by the former US president, while also providing valuable insights into the language strategies utilized by politicians in political discourses.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/eltls.v5n4p118


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