Volume 13, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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This paper describes ways in which political speakers define and legitimize future policies by construing different policy options in terms of ‘privileged’ and ‘oppositional’ futures. Privileged and oppositional futures are conceptual projections of alternative policy visions occurring in quasi-dialogic chunks of speech, revealing specific evidential, mood, and modality patterns. Privileged future involves the speaker’s preferred, or at least acknowledged vision and is articulated through absolute modality and evidential markers which derive from factual evidence, history, and reason. Oppositional future involves an antagonistic and plainly threatening vision, expressed by probabilistic modality and (usually) the interrogative mood. Following the principle of psychological consistency in belief, oppositional future is normally communicated first, allowing for a swift and strong response from the privileged future expressed in the speaker-preferred vision.


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