Follow-ups as speech acts in mediated political discourse

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The importance of the concept of follow-ups in political discourse lies in the fact that it captures a dynamic process of political discourse that is not confined to a specific spatio-temporal location. Follow-ups are a part of three-move sequences, preceded by initiating moves and responses, which often belong to different discourses. The present chapter aims to model illocutionary act sequences by developing the concept of illocutionary effects (Austin [1962] 1975). To share the understandings of things and events in the world, interlocutors import the descriptions and statuses of them into the discourse and negotiate them, which Austin calls expositive acts. An expositive act and a reaction to it constitute a sequence on the discourse level. This model of sequentiality is applied to analyze President Obama’s follow-up in the Presidential Debate in 2012. The present chapter will put forth the claim that the President’s expositive act constitutes a sequence with Mitt Romney’s and the journalists’ expositive acts, which creates an interdiscursive and intersubjective mode of communication


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