Linguistic features of persuasion in parliamentary debates: the case of the 2014 constituent assembly in Tanzania

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University of Dar es Salaam
This study examined parliamentary debates by parliamentarians from two opposing camps on the structure of the union of Tanganyika and Zanzibar in the 2014 Constituent Assembly in Tanzania. The objective of the study was to analyse debates on the structure of the union in order to find out the ways through which linguistic features of persuasion are employed by politicians in favour of the in-group views and in disfavour of the out-group views of the union structure and the possible social-political effects these persuasive linguistic features are likely to pose on the public. The study worked on video recordings of the debates about the structure of the union by parliamentarians, and through Focus Group Discussions (FGD) collected views from the general public. Texts were analysed by using two of the three dimensions of Faircloghian's TODA (text and discursive dimensions), while the opinions from the FGD were analysed in the third dimension of social practice. Findings show that parliamentarians negatively described out-group opinions, and used ethos to positively describe in-group opinions as far as structure of the union is concerned. Members of the Ukawa camp discursively employed more alternative expressions or words referring to the in-group and out-group, as well as ethos more convincingly to make their arguments more logical as compared to the Tanzania Kwanza camp. This suggests that they had better argumentation skills to articulate their arguments in favour of their preferred three-government union structure. However, the study found out that persuasion can hardly be effective in contexts where the government in power holds different opinions from those of the persuader. Being an area of scholary importance, persuasion can be studied from a number of discourse domains apart from political domain such as advertisement, job or career interviews, fund raising and business. Studies covering these domains from persuasive use of language are limited in Tanzania to date.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF P130.52.T34R87)
Language and languages, Public relations, Lingustics minorities, Political aspects, Interference ( Linguistics )
Rutechura, F (2018) Linguistic features of persuasion in parliamentary debates: the case of the 2014 constituent assembly in Tanzania.Doctoral dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam, Dar es Salaam.