… <i>every time you’ve offered an opinion, you’ve been wrong</i>

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This paper describes the function of some important metadiscoursal devices such as <i>hedges</i>, <i>boosters</i>, <i>attitude markers</i> and <i>transition markers</i> in Obama&#8217;s discourse in the last 2012 presidential debate. Given their relatively high frequency in his political discourse, I expect that these devices are used as productive resources to help the speaker build an effective personal <i>ethos</i> in the dialogical interaction with the electorate, an initial hypothesis already confirmed in the indicative bottom-up analysis part of this article. Also, the argumentative nature of Obama&#8217;s discourse gives even more prominence to the use of such metadiscoursal devices to strategically communicate with the electorate and to create the intended rhetorical effects on it for persuasive ends.


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