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DOI: 10.18413/2313-8912-2022-8-2-0-5

Interrogative sentences and their functions in Russian and American political discourse: a comparative analysis

Despite the vast research on questions in linguistics, little is known about their functioning in political discourse. So the paper considers questions, their types and functions in political discourse. We pay attention to polar, embedded and non-canonical questions (rhetorical, tag, declarative, special and echo questions), and study their functions depending on discourse participants’ intentions. We also make a qualitative and quantitative analysis and compare the use of questions by V. Putin (Russia) and J. Biden (USA) in interviews to TV channels and during press conferences in order to identify types of questions asked by both presidents and journalists, their functions and connection of the proposed meaning of questions and their interpretation in 60 fragments of political discourse. The study shows that four types of questions are typical for political discourse of Russia and the USA: polar (10% and 34.5%), rhetorical (60% and 65.5%), special (15% and 0%) and echo questions (15% and 0%). Unlike their proposed meaning, polar questions are structured so that the interviewer can get a preferred response; echo questions are aimed at drawing the attention of journalists and the audience to certain parts or expressing negative emotions; rhetorical questions are used by politicians to make the audience think about specific facts, events or consequences or highlight the role of the country on the world arena. Special questions are asked to get accurate information that coincides with their original connotation. The results obtained are promising for further study of the functioning of questions in the speech of politicians.

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