Volume 27, Issue 4
  • ISSN 1018-2101
  • E-ISSN: 2406-4238


This paper examines the question of politeness in political interviews, looking particularly at the use of loaded questions. Comparison is made between the two principal paradigms of politeness, Locher and Watts (2005) and Brown and Levinson (1987) . The paper focuses on the interviewing style of Steven Sackur (HARDtalk, BBC) who employs loaded questions in his political interviews in keeping with the analysis of Walton (1991) who argues that loaded questions can function as a ‘reasonable’ means to constrain the response of an interviewee and in turn further discourse. Sackur employs loaded questions selectively to convey and reinforce a presupposition to which an interviewee is not committed. In so doing, he is able to constrain the contribution of his interviewee. Loaded questions are a linguistic means of (im)politeness used strategically by Sackur to further the discourse of his interviews.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): (im)politeness; loaded questions; political interviews
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