Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 15. Number 1, March 2024                                             Pp.56-76

A Metapragmatic Analysis of Iraqi and American Political Legal Discourse

English Department, College of Education for Human Sciences, University of Babylon, Iraq
English Department, College of Education, Alqadisiyah University, Iraq

Corresponding Author:

English Department, College of Education for Human Sciences
University of Babylon/Iraq


Metapragmatics is a relatively new field of study that attracts the attention of many scholars in linguistics; it refers to the use of language about language use. In trials of political figures, such as Saddam Hussein and William Clinton, Iraqi and American legal discourses have not been addressed that much, if ever, metapragmatically; thus, the study aims to analyze these discourses metapragmatically. This paper attempts to answer central questions about identifying the metapragmatic expressions, explaining their functions, and describing the layers of metapragmatic monitoring of the detected metapragmatic expressions in the Iraqi and American legal discourse. Accordingly, the objectives are to identify the metapragmatic expressions detected by specific indicators and investigate their functions and role in monitoring the Iraqi and American broadcast political court discourses. Some extracts of the two figures mentioned above are analyzed according to a developed model encompassing Caffi’s (2016) model, Hubler and Bublitz’s (2007) metapragmatic parameters, and Culpuper and Haugh’s (2014) metapragmatic awareness indicators, and forms. The current study is hoped to be helpful for those researchers interested in the fields of pragmatics, politics, and applied linguistics. Since metapragmatics deals with the pragmatic meaning of language, this study highlights the importance of metapragmatic expressions in promoting productive interaction and organizing communication within the court, regardless of the language used. Further investigation of metapragmatics is recommended while analyzing political, literary, religious, social, and media discourse to understand the functions of the metapragmatic utterances used in different settings.
Keywords: Caffi’s (2016) model, indexicality, Iraqi political-legal discourse, metacommunication, metapragmatics,
metapragmatic awareness, metapragmatic parameters, reflexivity

Cite as:

Naait,S.A.& Alshimmary, I.M. (2024). A Metapragmatic Analysis of Iraqi and American Political Legal Discourse.  Arab World English Journal, 15(1): 56-76.  DOI:


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Prof. Saleema Abdulzahra Naait at the English Department, College of Education, Alqadisiyah University. She is a Ph.D. candidate in linguistics, Babylon University/ College of Education for Human Sciences. Her interest in pragmatics led her to choose metapragmatics for her dissertation. She has published numerous papers on phonetics, stylistics, CDA, pragmatics, and cognitive linguistics. ORCID:

Prof. Iman Iman Mingher Alshemmery (Ph.D,  English Department, Babylon University, College of Education for Human Sciences. She has supervised numerous postgraduate students, MA and Ph.D. in various fields of linguistics, including critical stylistics, CDA, and pragmatics. She has also published numerous papers on these topics. ORCID: