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Discourse Analysis of Opening Speeches at Shangri La

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Published: Thu, 07 Sep 2017

INTRODUCTION

Rationale

Under the growing trend towards globalization, English is known as the most preferable language used in every field of man’s life. No one can deny the usefulness of this language in enhancing international communication among individuals, organizations, as well as nations in this fast-changing world. Not surprisingly, English is a tool for countries all over the world to participate fully in the international network.

Giving speech play an important role in any kind of forums, especially in summit conferences like Shangri-La Dialogue. A good speech will show the intentions, feelings, emotions, expectation and even the criticism of the speaker to his audiences. Thus, in order to have an effective and successful speech Shangri-La Dialogue, the speakers have to provide clear and relevant messages. In addition, their intellect, understanding, political stance and consistency need to be performed when the speakers give speech. Besides, the speaker’s attitude also plays an essential part in making the address more effectively, vividly and persuasively. Not only that the goal of persuasion, the messages are more persuasively and powerfully delivered.

I realize that there are so many interesting things that need to be studied in speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues. There has been no research so far in Vietnam, to my knowledge, offering a discourse analysis of speeches in Shangri-La dialogues. From these factors, I have decided to choose “Adiscourse analysis of opening speeches at Shangri-La dialogues” as the topic of my M.A thesis because of its importance and significance. This thesis is carried out with the hope that the research will be a contribution to present linguistic knowledge and provide Vietnamese learners of English, especially students in the press and diplomatic fields with some useful information about the linguistic features of speeches in political forums.

Aims and objectives

  • Aims of the study

The study aims to investigate the discourse features of opening speeches at Shangri-La dialogues in terms of their discourse topics, cohesive devices and stylistic devices.

  • Objectives

This paper is designed to aim at the following objectives:

– To examine the discourse features of opening speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues in terms of their discourse topics, cohesive devices and stylistic devices.

– To study the significant effect of discourse features on opening speeches ( the contents of speech, the intention and attitude of the lecturer…)

– To discuss about the results of the findings so that a generalization of the language can be made.

– To suggest some implications for teaching English to Vietnamese learners especially students of the diplomacy and press fields.

Scope of the Study

Within a limited scope of an M.A thesis, this research will focus on studying the discourse topics, the cohesive devices and the stylistic devices of opening speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues.

Research questions

In order to achieve the above – mentioned aims and objectives, the research will seek to the answers for the following questions:

– What are the discourse features of opening speeches at Shangri-La dialogues in terms of their discourse topics?

– What are the discourse features of opening speeches at Shangri-La dialogues in terms of their cohesive devices?

– What are the discourse features of opening speeches at Shangri-La dialogues in terms of their stylistic devices?

Organization of the study

The study is organized into five chapters as follows.

Chapter 1, Introduction presents the rationale, the aims and objectives, the research questions to solve, the scope and the organization of the research.

Chapter 2, Literature Review and Theoretical Background consists of two parts. The first part is a review of previous studies related to this thesis. The second one is concerned with theoretical concepts of terms : discourse topics, cohesive devices and stylistic devices.

Chapter 3, Methods and Procedures concerns itself with the research method, procedure of data collection, description of samples, data analysis and research procedures.

Chapter 4, Findings and Discussion discusses the main purpose of conducting this study. It focuses on answering the research questions about the discourse topics, cohesive devices, and stylistic devices of opening speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues. It presents the results and discusses the findings of the study.

Chapter 5, Conclusion and Recommendation draws conclusions and suggests some implications basing on the results in previous chapter.

LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND

Literature Review

Discourse Analysis (DA) is a modern linguistic discipline that covers a wide variety of different fields. Discourse analysis examines language in use both written texts of all kinds and spoken data from conversation to highly institutionalized forms of talk. Analysis of discourse looks not only at the basic level of what is said, but takes into consideration the contexts which it is used. Thus, discourse analysis not only study language use “beyond the sentence boundar”, but also analyze ‘naturally occurring’ language use. It means that discourse analysis is one of the aspects which attract the interest of many linguists and researchers all over the world. Under the heading of discourse analysis, there have been a lot of studies dealing with a wide range of its subfields such as coherence, cohesion, context, conversation analysis, information structure, speech act theory and theme-rhyme. Up to present, many foreign scholars including Halliday and Hasan [30], Brown and Yule [18], Cook [21], Hatch [31], Nunan [33]… have made great contributions to the field in different approaches and methods. These publications focused on one or another aspect of discourse analysis theory which gave us an overall picture of theoretical background to examine how language is in use.

In Vietnam, many linguists have made great contributions to the study of discourse analysis. Tran Ngoc Them [10] has investigated in detail cohesion in Vietnamese texts with “Hệ thống liên kết văn bản Tiếng Việt and Văn bản và Liên kết trong Tiếng Việt“. Nguyen Duc Dan [4] and Nguyen Thien Giap [5] studied discourse analysis from a pragmatic view. Diep Quang Ban [2] has given an overall view of text and utterance especially above the sentence level. Nguyen Hoa with “Nghiên cứu diá»…n ngôn về chính trị – xã há»™i” [6] and more recently Nguyen Hoa with “Phân tích diá»…n ngôn phê bình” [8].

Besides, there have been a number of master theses dealing with political speeches including:

Le Thi Hoang Van [32] made an investigation into Linguistic Features of Antithesis in Political Speeches in English and Vietnamese. In this research, she investigated argumentation power of antithesis and stylistic features of rhetorical devices in antithesis in English political speeches and Vietnamese political speeches.

Pham Khac Thu [36] did a research on Modality Markers Used in Political Speeches by US Presidents. The author investigated a wide range of modal expressions used in all the inaugural speeches of the US presidents.

Nguyen Thi Hanh [35] investigated into the structure of Theme – Rheme in English and Vietnamese political speeches. The study focuses on the structure of Theme – Rheme in English and Vietnamese political speeches in terms of characteristics, semantic and pragmatic aspects.

Nguyen Uy Dung [34] carried out an investigation into Stylistic Devices in Political Speeches by US Presidents. The study highlighted the use of Stylistic Devices in political speeches by US Presidents. Most of them studied the discourse or a small aspect of political speeches being well-prepared in written texts by the politicians.

All study above gave me a useful brief knowledge about discourse and help me have an overview of language definition, language development and its branches in general, and language characteristics in details as well. Beside that, I also recognized that there are some fields which others theses do not deal with. I, myself, would like to contribute my little more effort into them. To the best of my knowledge, up to now, there is little evidence that any research on discourse analysis of opening speeches in dialogues about political issues has been done. Thus, “A discourse analysis of Opening speeches at Shangri-La dialogues” would be conducted with the aim of contributing a minor part to the overall picture of this field.

Theoretical background

The study will make use of a theoretical framework based on these following fundamental concepts.

2.2.1. Concepts of Discourse

2.2.2. Concepts of Discourse Analysis

2.2.3. Discourse topic

a. Topic framework

b. Presupposition pools

c. Sentential topic and the presupposition pool

2.2.4. Cohesion and Coherence

a. Cohesion

b. Coherence

2.2.5. Stylistic Devices

a. Definition of Stylistic Devices

c. Notion of Common Stylistic Devices in speech

b. Function of Stylistic Devices

2.2.6. An overview of a speech

3. METHOD AND PROCEDURE

Research Design

Descriptive method seems to be the most popular tool in doing any linguistic research since linguistics is by nature a descriptive science and the analytic method is typically used to clarify and justify their features. As mentioned above, the aim of this study was to describe and analyze speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues. Descriptive and qualitative methods were used to give a detailed description of their discourse topics, cohesive devices and stylistic devices of speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues. Quantitative information was also collected to show the frequency of the discourse features of speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues along with qualitative information about the discourse features of a speech.

Data collection and data analysis

Data Collection

The data of the study appeared in the form of transcripts of Shangri-La dialogues on the Internet which are based on the criteria defined. They were selected mainly from the following website on August, 2015:

https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri-s-la-s-dialogue/speeches

https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/sld12-43d9

https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2013-c890

http://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2011-4eac

https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2010-0a26

https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2009-99ea

https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2008-2906

http://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-diaogue-2007-d1ee

https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2006-f1a5

https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2014

Data Analysis

In this study, more than 14 samples of speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues selected for the analysis are in the form of written texts in the sources provided. After collecting these samples of answer, they are analyzed in terms of their discourse topics, cohesive devices and stylistic devices.

All samples are shown in the following table:

Order

Date of Opening Dialogues

Speaker

Length

1st

30 May 2003

Lee Kun Yew

41:32

2nd

30 May 2003

Lee Kun Yew

37:26

3rd

4 June 2004

Goh Chok Tong

40:35

4th

3 June 2005

Lee Hsien Loong

32:45

5th

2 June 2006

Lee Hsien Loong

37:12

6th

1 June 2007

Lee Hsien Loong

45:23

7th

30 May 2008

Lee Hsien Loong

28:50

8th

29 May 2009

Kevin Rudd

36:48

9th

4 June 2010

Lee Myung-Bak

43:15

10th

3 June 2011

John Chipman

30:22

11th

1 June 2012

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

26:18

12th

31 May 2013

Nguyen Tan Dung

25:00

13th

30 May 2014

John Chipman

50:17

14th

29 May 2015

Lee Hsien Loong

38:16

Research procedures

The research was conducted with the procedures as follows:

– Identifying the research topic to study by reviewing the previous studies thoroughly.

– Collecting documents related to the research in the library and other sources from the Internet.

– Collecting samples of speeches used in Shangri-La dialogues from the Internet.

– Presenting, describing and analyzing the data in order to find out discourse feature of speeches.

– Suggesting some implications for language users and further research.

The study will be carried out following these steps:

Time

Work

Place

April-Sept, 2015

Working on proposal literature review

Đaklak

Sept-Nov, 2015

Data collection + initial analysis

Đaklak

Nov-Dec, 2015

Analysis

Đaklak

Jan, 2016

Update literature review

Đaklak

Feb-May, 2016

Writing up

Đaklak

June, 2016

Completing first draft

Đaklak

July, 2016

Updating first draft

Đaklak

July, 2016

Finishing writing MA thesis

Đaklak

Aug, 2016

Presenting MA thesis

Đaklak

Reliability and Validity

In terms of reliability, the source selected to be analyzed is derived from the Internet in English.

Regarding validity, this study meets all required criteria. In order to answer the two formulated research questions, the observation and investigation techniques have been chosen to be the main instruments for data collection. The samples are taken from famous English political speeches by a large number of prominent representatives of each nation.

REFERENCES

In Vietnamese

[1] Diệp Quang Ban (1999), Văn bản và liên kết trong tiếng Việt, NXB Giáo dục,

Hà Ná»™i.

[2] Diệp Quang Ban (2003), Giao tiếp, văn bản, mạch lạc, liên kết, NXB Khoa học

Xã há»™i.

[3] Diệp Quang Ban (2009), Giao tiếp, diá»…n ngôn và cấu tạo của văn bản, Nxb

Giáo dục.

[4] Nguyá»…n Đức Dân (1998), Ngữ dụng học, Nxb Giáo dục, Hà Ná»™i.

[5] Nguyá»…n Thiện Giáp (2000), Dụng học Việt ngữ, Nxb Đại học Quốc gia Hà Ná»™i.

[6] Nguyá»…n Hoà (1999), Nghiên cứu diá»…n ngôn về chính trị – xã há»™i trên tÆ° liệu báo

chí tiếng Anh và tiếng Việt hiện đại, Luận án tiến sỹ Ngữ văn.

[7] Nguyá»…n Hòa (2003), Phân tích diá»…n ngôn: Má»™t số vấn đề lý luận và phÆ°Æ¡ng

pháp, Nxb ĐHQG Hà Ná»™i.

[8] Nguyá»…n Hoà (2006), Phân tích diá»…n ngôn phê bình, Nxb Đại học Quốc gia Hà

Ná»™i.

[9] Nguyá»…n Hòa (2008), Phân tích diá»…n ngôn: Má»™t số vấn đề lý luận và phÆ°Æ¡ng

pháp, Nxb Đại học Quốc gia Hà Ná»™i.

[10] Trần Ngọc Thêm (1998), Hệ thống liên kết văn bản Tiếng Việt, NXB Giáo

dục.

[11] Trần Ngọc Thêm (1985), Hệ thống liên kết văn bản tiếng Việt, Hà Ná»™i: NXB

KHXH.

[12] Trần Ngọc Thêm (2000), Hệ thống liên kết văn bản tiếng Việt, NXB Giáo

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In English

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spoken and written English, (3rd Ed.) England: Pearson Education Limited.

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the Hodder Headline Group

[18] Brown, G. and Yule, G. (1983), Discourse Analysis, Cambridge University

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[19] Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, Fourth Edition, Cambridge

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[20] Coates, J. (1983), The Semantics of Modal Auxiliaries, London/Canberra:

Croom Helm.

[21] Cook, G. (1989), Discourse, Oxford University Press, Oxford.

[22] Crystal, D. (1992), Introducing Linguistics, Penguin, Harlow.

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[25] Erhman, M. (1966), The meanings of the modals in present-day American

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[26] Galperin, I.R. (1977), Stylistics, Moscow: Higher School

[27] Gee, P. (1999), An Introduction to Discourse Analysis: Theory and Method,

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[28] Gee, P., & Green, J. (1998), Discourse analysis, learning, and social practice:

A methodological study, Review of Research in Education.

[29] Goffman, E. (1981), Forms of talk, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania

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[30] Halliday, M.A.K., Hasan, R. (1976), Cohesion in English, London: Longman.

[31] Hatch, E. (1992), Discourse and Language Education, Cambridge University

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[32] Le Thi Hoang Van (2008), An Investigation into Linguistic Features of

Antithesis in Political Speeches in English and Vietnamese, MA Thesis, The

University of Danang.

[33] Nunan, D. (1993), Introducing Discourse Analysis, Penguin Group.

[34] Nguyen Uy Dung (2010), An Investigation into Stylistic Devices in Political

Speeches by US Presidents, MA Thesis, The University of Danang.

[35] Nguyen Thi Hanh (2012) , An investigation into the structure of Theme –

Rheme in English and Vietnamese political speeches, MA Thesis, The University

of Danang.

[36] Pham Khac Thu (2010), An Investigation into Modality Markers Used in

Political Speeches by US Presidents, MA Thesis, The University of Danang.

[37] Widdowson, H.G. (1978), Teaching English as Communication, Oxford.

[38] Widdowson, H.G. (1994), Linguistics, Oxford University Press.

[39] Wright, L. & Hope Jonathan (1996), Stylistics-A Practical Course Book,

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[40] Yule, G. (1996), Pragmatics, Oxford University Press.

[41] Yule, G. (1997), The study of language, Cambridge University Press.

[42] Yule, G. (2006), Oxford practice Grammar Advanced with Answers, Oxford:

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Websites

[43] https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri-s-la-s-dialogue/speeches

[44] https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/sld12-43d9

[45]https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la dialogue-2013-c890

[46]http://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2011-4eac

[47]https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2010-0a26

[48]https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2009-99ea

[49]https://www.iiss.org/en/events/shangri%20la%20dialogue/archive/shangri-la-dialogue-2008-2906


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