The linguistic means of expressing ideology and power in political discourse (Using the examples of speeches delivered by Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Giorgi Margvelashvili)

Critical discourse analysis which is based on interdisciplinary research, views language as one of the ways of social practice. It also examines the ideological and power implications expressed through linguistic forms [Fairclough, 1995, 2010]. More specifically, critical discourse analysis examines the strategies of expressing social relations, identities, ideologies, and power in society, or, in other words, the specifics of linguistic expressions of ideology and the features of their interpretation in written and oral discourse [Fairclough, 1989, 2001; 2012].

According to Fairclough, political ideology is realized and transformed into the discourse, which makes power a social category[Fairclough, 2010]. Moreover, according to this theory, power is one of the key components of language communicative activities both socially and culturally.

To explore the socio-linguistic issues concerning critical discourse, Fairclough proposes a socially-oriented, three-dimensional model that corresponds to three interrelated factors of the discourse on the one hand, and a specific act of communication, on the other. They are: (1) the object of analysis (the text and specificity of its formal expression studied by means of descriptive methodology); (2) text interpretation issues, which include interrelationships between the text and interaction and interpretation of facts; and (3) sociocultural practices, which include the explanation of discourse, its social implications, and social effects. The process of explanation must relate to historical, social, and cultural contexts. This requires exploration of the above-mentioned problems in a specific socio-cultural dimension. The three dimensions of analysis explain the linguist's choice of the textual fabric of the text and its relationship together with the interpretation of a particular social event.

The type of relation between discourse and ideological structures is of great interest to scholars. For example, some of them study the linguistic arsenal employed by politicians discussing the discourse of (anti)terrorism. [Sarfo E. & Agyeiwaa Krampa E. 2013]. Ehineni [Ehineni, 2014] explores the role and power of modal verbs in Nigerian political manifestations concluding that a linguistic category such as a modal verb can serve as an important tool.Relying on the categories of critical discourse analysis and functional linguistics, Vakili Latif Sh. [Vakili 2016] explores the reflection of an event in different media.

There is a good tradition of studying political discourse in Georgia. For example, Rusieshvili-Cartledge explores the features of Georgian female politicians' speeches from the standpoints of linguistics and intercultural pragmatics [Rusieshvili-Cartledge, 2017]; another interesting issue discussed in Georgia is systemic language norms and contextual variations from the point of view of the theory of politeness [Rusieshvili and Dolidze, 2014] as well as in terms of gender and identity expression [Rusieshvili-Cartledge and Totibadze, 2018]. Politicians' speeches are also studied from the point of view of argumentation and persuasion [Keburia, 2018].

Based on the model described by Fairclough, this article deals with the linguistic analysis of official speeches of 2 Georgian presidents, in particular, of the congratulatory speeches delivered by Zviad Gamsakhurdia and Giorgi Margvelashvili(1 hourand 15 minutes, 8500 words), the first and fourth presidents of Georgia at the New Year’s Eve and military tattoos on May 26, inaugural address delivered by Giorgi Margvelashvili, speeches made by Gamsakhurdia in exile. While analyzing these data, particular attention is paid to the linguistic markers through which both presidents express and justify their approaches to certain events and ideology, and gain or maintain public support.

As noted above, according to Fairclough, the critical analysis comprises three interrelated layers: description, interpretation, and explanation. It is understood that, according to Fairclough, the first step is a textual analysis based on a description of the relationship between linguistic forms, their meaning and social relations, the syntactic form of the sentence and its modality. More specifically, this type of exploration occurs at the following levels of the text analysis: lexical, grammatical, and text structures. The second dimension of analysis, discourse analysis, involves the phases of the emergence, interpretation, distribution, and perception of a particular discourse. The third stage of analysis - social analysis is based on the description of the expression of ideological power in language. From the above, it can be said that text analysis is based on the study of language structures in discursive-social practice, which in turn involves the stages of text creation, perception and reproduction[Fairclough, 2001:108]. 

The interpretive level reflects coherent and formal features of the text, temporal-spatial and syntactic directions [Fairclough 2001: 108]. The final, highest level of analysis reflects the structure of the text and its thematic interpretation. At the same level, the purpose of the text, its theme, and the linguistic features utilized to achieve the purpose are discussed.When analyzing speeches by Gamsakhurdia, the 10-question model provided by Fairclough (1996) is utilized. This 10-question model is employed while analyzing texts at their lexical, grammatical, and textual levels. Also, the analysis is focused on the relationships between linguistic markers of ideology and power.  Particular attention is paid to socio-cultural discursive practices and demands of society. 

Zviad Gamsakhurdia

As stated above, the main purpose of politicians’ speeches is to persuade the population that their standpoints are valid and, therefore, to gain their support. This applies to official speeches or greetings made by politicians.The same applies to Presidents’ inaugural as well as any of their official addresses. In order to explore the way president's speeches served the very purpose and identify the linguistic markers employed, in this article, the speeches made by Gamsakhurdia on New Year’s Eve and celebrating Georgia's independence were analyzed.

It is clear that these keywords are connected with the ideology of the first president of Georgia.The study identified the following keywords frequently used by Gamsakhurdia: National Liberation Movement / Independence / Freedom; Georgia / Homeland / Fatherland; Freedom; Past / history; Christianity / Christ / Barabbas / Ilia the Righteous.

Gamsakhurdia uses these core words as a backbone to his speeches and expresses his ideology based on them.

As it is known, Zviad Gamsakhurdia became the President of Georgia in 1990-1992 which was a particularly difficult and unsettled period for the country. At that time Georgia declared independence and embarked on building a free and independent state. This is one of the major topics emerging in Zviad Gamsakhurdia's speeches.As well as this, he puts emphasis on justifying the need, importance and necessity of independence for a country and presents it as the only right path for the state to follow;Besides, Gamsakhurdia emphasises the leading role of the national liberation movement in this painful process of liberating the homeland. The president is well-received and appreciated by his followers and he also responds effectively. It is particularly important to note that in that period of recent history the Georgian population was less experienced politically. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the demand for freedom was the major demand from society. Gamsakhurdia, one of the leaders of the National Liberation Movement, was looked at more as the Savior and the messiah than as a skilled politician. Therefore, my experience agrees with the opinion that Zviad Gamsakhurdia, at the request of his followers which represented the majority of the country, created a script for a religious story in which the Savior dies, and his followers experience persecution and oppression.[Internet Resource 1].

Below there is an attempt to explore how Gamsakhurdia realizes his linguistic ideological approach, based on the Fairclough model and 10 questions suggested by the scholar to analyze discourse at the lexical, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and textual levels.

The major goals of Gamsakhurdia are as follows: 1. To explain the ideology of the National Liberation movement and 2.  Persuade the population of Georgia that the road selected by the Movement is the only right one and therefore gain power over it.

In more detail, at the lexical and semantic level, the major goals of Gamsakhurdia can be achieved in several ways:1. by providing relevant and meaningful semantic context by repeating lexical units and assigning them the status of a stylistic centre of the expression. For example, several important themes are highlighted in Gamsakhurdia's address: Georgia's historic struggle for freedom, the importance of devotion to it, the triad provided by Ilia the Righteous, and finally, the role of Georgia's national liberation movement in this process. 2. By the abundant use of archaic elements, which gives his speech a sought for and fashionable-for-the-period aspiring, religious tone. This tendency is evident both at the lexical-semantic and at the syntactic levels of the language. For example, “Brothers and Sisters! The Georgian nation, by the commandment of Christ, has been moving along a painful and thorny path of its history, and I want to remind you of the parable found in the Gospel of John, for this parable is applicable to our present day, our yesterday, our freedom, our independence, which is so deprived, so defeated ..." [Internet Resource2]or “Brothers, we stand face to face with Satan, the serpent. Either we will defeat it, strengthened with St. George's help, or this cosmic dragon will absorb our historic destiny and trample us down. This beast - the antichrist appears in front of us and tells us: Here's the national movement, and with the mask and cover of the national movement, the Antichrist is close, Barabbas is close and anathema threatens us."

In these passages, linguistic strategies expressing equality and unity characteristic of Gamsakhurdia’s speeches are also worth noting: (1) forms of address (friends, brothers and sisters). In this way, Gamsakhurdia emphasizes the equality and unity of his and his followers. Sometimes this address form is replaced by the equivalent form “Children of our motherland”, which also implies the unity of the homeland; (2) It also refers to the unity and equality between the president and the people in his use of certain pragmatic doctrinal intentions. For example, the active and frequent use of the so-called inclusive pronoun "we" ("and we need to realize today what choices we have"); (3) The emphatic use of the pronoun "we": "And when history brought Great Ilia to us, we chose a cut-throat over him; we rejected Ilia and we shot him dead." [Internet Resource3].

At the syntactic-stylistic level of the language, Gamsakhurdia's overused repetitions and parallel constructions are also extremely interesting, making him a great orator: “Here is the time for our liberation ... Here's why we deserved this punishment, brothers ... Here's the reason for our disaster, here's the reason why we were defeated on May 26"[Internet Resource4].

From a stylistic point of view, the whole cascade of biblical comparisons and metaphors encoded in Gamsakhurdia's words are also extremely interesting: "And we were here as murdered beasts, beaten by enemies!". Archaic lexical-syntactic constructions are utilized and make the speeches enticing(“defeated by enemies; Jesus Christ our Savior”, etc.).

Fairclough (1996) pays particular attention to the type of relationship between text and discourse. In this sense, it can be said that the main backbone of Gamsakhurdia's discourse is religious-philological discourse, which, as it has already been mentioned, was the demand of the era in which he had to work and live.Thus, the first president expresses his attitude towards Georgia’s statehood letting his followers observe integrity and coherence of the country’s past and future rooted in the integrity of religion and history.

Giorgi Margvelashvili

The picture changes when analyzing speeches delivered by Margvelashvili. I have analyzed the following speeches by the fourth president of Georgia - speeches those made on   May 26, New Year greetings and, in some cases, public speeches delivered at certain events.

It should be noted that under Margvelashvili's presidency, society was more politically experienced and thus less naive. Accordingly, the demand from society is also different from that of Gamsakhurdia's period. More specifically, at this stage of Georgia's development, the main themes of Margvelashvili's speeches are the need for Georgia's territorial integrity, the building of a democratic state and membership of the European and transatlantic space. The keywords of his references are also in line with these issues. These include territorial integrity, independence, freedom / free society / open society / European and transatlantic structures.

On the other hand, the loyal and positive attitude of Georgian society towards the country's history and cultural identity has not changed. Margvelashvili feels this and places great emphasis on cultural and historical realities. (See below).

Interestingly, unlike Gamsakhurdia, in Margvelashvili's words, there is a semantic distinction between the following lexical units, "freedom" and "independence". For example, “But the road from independence to freedom still has to go. A country based on a free society is free and a society is free when every member is free.[Internet Resource5].

Margvelashvili's texts are distinguished by their stylistic simplicity, but even here the text's lexical, semantic and stylistic markers appear. (1) Specifically, antitheses and alliterative structures (Those who regard freedom as the highest value, do not think about who you have defeated today; think of whom you have defended today). (2) Metaphorical Comparisons and Expanded Metaphorical Structures (As the Georgian song's polyphony incorporates many different voices but creates one harmony, so each citizen of Georgia must be heard in the unified harmony of our nation's development – Only in this case will the supreme value be realized in everyday life).(3) Allusions to facts from Georgia’s history and literature (The poet sums it up in the past and future phrase: "It is better to die in pursuit of freedom than be a rich slave"and today, as we celebrate Independence Day, I want to think about those people who fought at the battlefields, or by personal example showed us the meaning of the supreme value). Semantic allusions to important moments in the history of Georgia also attract our attention. The president, to a certain extent, summarizes fundamental moments of Georgian history (“I see the energy that compelled  Rustaveli to write  A Man in the Panther’s Skin” and gave Ekvtime Takaishvili the power to defend his ancestors' treasure at the cost of his sacrifice; The energy that enabled Pirosmani to paint “the Black Lion” and encouraged Dr. Joseph Jordania  to give up his life to save the little girl’s; The energy, which made the artist carve the Khakhuli triptychand strengthened Giorgi Antsukhelidze not to kneel in front of our enemy)[Internet Resource6].

As quoted above, the listeners are reassured that the energy mentioned by G. Margvelashvili will empower Georgia on its rout towards development and survival.

All of these linguistic-textual features singled out and analysed based on the model by Fairclough, assist the politician, in this case, the first and fourth presidents of Georgia, to reveal their political credo, respond to society's needs, pass on their values, and thus gain influence over it.

Obviously, from the perspectives of critical discourse, the analysis of G. Margvelashvili’s speeches demonstrates that the president responds to society's needs and meets its requirements when structuring his speeches. As for the style of his addresses, it is mostly figurative, being related to Georgia’s history and emphasizing cultural identity of the Georgian people.

In summary, the research described in the proposed article aimed at providing linguistic analysis of speeches delivered by Z. Gamsakhurdia and G. Margvelashvili from the perspectives of critical discourse, and identifying those lexical-semantic and figurative linguistic markers that are employed by both presidents in order for them to propose their positions as well as state ideology, substantiate its validity and, therefore, gain and maintain public support.

In both cases, these markers are manifested by means of specific lexical-semantic structures thar represent a central element of the speeches,and figurative lexical-semantic units and tropes that provide metaphorical representation of integrity and connection between Georgia’s past and future. In addition, these linguistic markers serve as a background for the key message of the speech and facilitate their pragmatic decoding and delivery to the listener; being well aware of the demands of their contemporary society, both presidents take them into account when addressing their audience.


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