Volume 9, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
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This paper analyzes the rhetorical formats used by Austrian members of parliament (MPs) to express disagreement with previous speakers during the so-called ‘inaugural speech debates’. During these debates, MPs position themselves publicly as either government or opposition party representatives. Disagreeing with previous debate contributions represents a positioning practice that focuses on the interpersonal plane of interaction. The strict procedural rules of the debates, however, prevent MPs from engaging in genuine conflict talk. MPs rather use four rhetorical formats for signalling conflict with a previous speaker. This paper analyzes these strategies as well as their use by different groups of MPs and discusses their face aggravating/ impoliteness potential. Finally, it relates the results to previous studies of face work in political discourse.


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