Volume 33, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238



Little attention has been given to the role of metadiscoursal devices in non-academic discourses with an overtly persuasive component such as political discourse. We address this gap by analysing the presence and function of evidentials and boosters in the 2016 campaign debates on the United Kingdom European Union membership referendum (also known as the Brexit referendum). In this vein, our objectives are first, to analyse the evidentials and boosters most frequently used in these debates and relate them to the speakers’ goals, and second, to contrast the use of these devices with the results of the referendum. Data were quantitatively analysed with METOOL, a tool specifically developed to detect metadiscoursal strategies. The results showed how the strategies identified here tended to work in combination towards the representation of a credible self, challenging opposing views on the same issue. Finally, conclusions were drawn.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): boosters; Brexit referendum; campaign debates; evidential devices; political discourse
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