Metadiscourse analysis of new year’s addresses of the Russian President

DOI 10.51955/2312-1327_2023_1_166

Olga A. Boginskaya

Abstract. Political discourse is not only an information environment, but also an interactive space which necessitates the study of metadiscourse as an effective rhetorical strategy. The purpose is to study metadiscourse categories in the genre of the President’s New Year’s address as one of the genres of political discourse. To achieve this goal, the metadiscourse categories used by the Russian president are identified and their communicative functions are determined; the frequency of markers within the metadiscourse categories is determined. New Year’s addresses posted on the official website of the President of Russia were used as research materials. The taxonomy of metadiscourse markers proposed by K. Hyland was adopted as the methodological basis. The study identified five types of metadiscourse markers (boosters, hedges, attitude markers, self-mentions and engagement markers) used by the President in order to construct an effective dialogue with an audience. In the discursive space of the New Year’s address, these metadiscourse markers serve the following communicative functions: showing confidence in the truth of a proposition, manifesting solidarity with an audience, mitigating categoricalness, showing emotions, engaging the addressee in a dialogue, accepting personal responsibility for the utterances produced. The predominance of boosters and attitude markers that increase the illocutionary force, demonstrating the addresser’s confidence in the truth of the propositions, and explicating the speaker’s affective stance, indicate Putin’s desire to construct an image of a self-confident leader and establish an emotional connection with the audience. The results obtained indicate the need to study metadiscourse categories as crucial elements of political communication. Intercultural, intracultural or diachronic studies of metadiscourse in the New Year’s addresses of the presidents seem promising.

Key words: President’s New Year’s address, political discourse, metadiscourse, hedging, boosting, self-reference, attitude marker.

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