Volume 2, Issue 3
  • ISSN 2210-4119
  • E-ISSN: 2210-4127
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The paper explores the structures and functions of follow-up questions in White House press briefings from the perspectives of both text linguistics and cognitive discourse analysis. On the one hand, I investigate the characteristic types of cohesion in follow-ups at the lexicogrammatical level in the terminological framework of Functional Grammar. On the other hand, the focus is on contextual framing, which results in the presentation of a biased world view. Special emphasis is put on metacommunication, since the interviewers frequently use metalinguistic prefaces to their follow-up questions (e.g. Can I follow on that?). The highly interactive and dialogic genre of press briefings, in which the press secretary acts as the mouthpiece of the administration, is closely related to the institutional talk of news interviews. Since these briefings form an integral part of US-American political culture, their transcripts are freely available in a comprehensive online archive. Hence, on this empirical basis, follow-up questions will be conceptualized as a process-oriented dialogic strategy of critical information retrieval at the micro level of conversational contributions.


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