“Judge <i>us</i> on what <i>we</i> do”

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This chapter examines the referential domain, communicative function and perlocutionary effect of the first person plural pronoun <i>we</i> in dialogic and monologic British political discourse. Its methodological framework is an integrated one, combining interactional sociolinguistics, in particular co-occurrence and conversational inference, with quantitative and qualitative corpus analysis. The first part presents the methodological framework, focussing on the two types of discourse and the genre-specific distribution of self-references expressing collectivity considering the pronoun <i>we</i> and possible juxta-positioning of self and others. Particular attention is given to the construction of more generalized and more particularized types of collectivity. The second part presents the micro-analysis, distinguishing between local contexts in which collectivity is entextualized and others where the referential domains of the indexicals are left underspecified.


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