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academic commentary on political discourse

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July 2015

Pausing and Tone Units

The definition of a tone unit is a “a stretch of speech uttered under a single … intonational contour” (Du Bois 1992). The key to this definition is a ‘single intonational contour’. Thus the decision as to where to split a string of words based on tone units depends primarily on the change in tone. Pausing and lengthening of syllables can also be used as cues for the termination of the unit although these are secondary.
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Tabloid Journalism?

Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour leader candidate, raised an interesting question of what is tabloid journalism’ while being interviewing by Krishnan Guru-Murthy on Channel 4 News recently. The comment reaches to the heart of political interviewing: who has the right to set questions and what constitutes appropriate answers?

Corbyn is asked by Guru-Murthy (Int) why he had called Hamas and Hezbollah ‘friends’ in a recent speech.

Int: why did you call Hamas and Hezbollah your friends?

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PMQs watch

PMQs was a relatively quiet affair on Wednesday apart for the outburst from “Jurassic Park” (aka Dennis Skinner). Harriet Harman asked a few questions on the issue of radicalisation and the aftermath of the Tunisian attacks before moving on to the issue of airport capacity. Continue reading “PMQs watch”

BES Conference Presentation – 30th June 2015

We presented the following presentation at the BESRES conference at Coventry University yesterday. The talk was well received and generated some useful discussion. Thank you to all who attended our talk and to the conference organisers for putting on the event.

Conference slides are here: BES Conference 2015 – slides

Continue reading “BES Conference Presentation – 30th June 2015”

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