Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


This paper combines quantitative and qualitative analyses in a corpus-based study of how and for what purposes politicians, in the context of the Spanish Parliament, use the impersonal pronoun ‘one’. I begin by contrasting how is used in parliamentary debate versus non-political language. After reviewing traditional definitions of the semantic range and general behavior of this pronoun, I argue that a more accurate account that the one provided by standard grammars is needed for us to better understand how the peculiar characteristics of a parliament affect intentionality in the use of impersonal pronouns. In particular, it is argued that is utilized by politicians to serve principally two purposes: 1) avoidance of bluntness - a means of preserving professional etiquette, and 2) avoidance of self- praise - demonstrative of humility. Both purposes serve the larger objective of preserving professional face.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Corpus linguistics; Deixis; Discourse pragmatics; Parliamentary talk
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