Speech Features

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  • Speeches
    • EME- 1500-1700
      • Context: The divine right of the Monarchy
      • Context: Religious beliefs
      • Context: Very status-conscious with set ideas on class.
        • The only people likely to be making speeches are already powerful.
      • Context: The audience would be very narrow- only those in the immediate vicinity unless it was written down.
        • Often this meant the audience would just be upper-class, educated men.
          • This leads to field-specific and high-register lexis.
      • Context: Women seen as inferior and weak.
    • PDE- 2000- present
      • Context: Now speeches can be broadcast live to anywhere and anyone.
        • Language is likely to be more inclusive and accessible- not just for educated men.
        • Context: More progressive ideas on race, gender, class.
        • Become less formal over time. More humour.
    • Occasions
      • Tragedies- to pay respect.
      • Court: EME- put to death. Sentenced for crimes.(pleading innocence or accepting)
      • Political- Persuade. Apologise.
      • Motivational. EME- before a battle. Social justice movement.
      • Informative. Political manifesto.
      • Ceremonial- Royal celebration. Political win.
    • Features
      • Parallelism, repetition, antithesis, triadic structure (often cumulating with most important).
      • EME- long multi-clausal  sentences. PDE- short sentences for effect.
      • Exophoric references.
      • 1st person pronouns- singular for responsibility, authority; plural for inclusivity.
        • 2nd person pronouns- involve the audience, persuading or attacking.
      • Rhetorical questions or hypophora.
      • Emotive language, metaphors and hyperbole.
      • Meant to be read aloud- alliteration, rhyme, rhythm.
      • Often neatly structured because they are pre-prepared.
      • Formal opening 'ladies and gentlemen'- tells the audience it's starting to get their attention.


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