Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume 11. Number1 March 2020 Pp.331-375
Pragmatics of Political Blame in British and Iraqi Parliaments
Ammar Ghalib Saleem
Department of English, College of Languages
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
Rihab Abduljaleel Saeed Alattar
Department of English, College of Languages
University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
This research is a pragmatic study of political blame in British and Iraqi Parliaments. It aims to unfold the similarities and/or differences in terms of the pragmatic and pragma-rhetorical strategies used by British and Iraqi politicians when they exchange blame in both offensive and defensive situations. A statistical analysis is conducted to quantitatively support the findings of the pragmatic analysis. The analyses conducted have yielded different results among blame is a process composed of two stages. Each stage is distinct for its pragmatic components and pragma-rhetorical strategies. British and Iraqi MPs at the blame stage tend to utilize impoliteness as their main strategy. However, British and Iraqi MPs perform differently at the blame avoidance stage in that British MPs employ politeness as their main defense strategy, whereas Iraqi MPs exploit impoliteness. Besides, British and Iraqi MPs at the blame stage tend to violate the maxim of quality by fabricating their statements. At the blame avoidance stage, the maxim of relevance was the most violated one through the strategy of evasion. As for pragma-rhetorical strategies, British and Iraqi politicians at the blame stage exploit the pragma-rhetorical strategy of number-game to support their credibility. At the blame avoidance stage, British politicians primarily utilize hyperbole, whereas Iraqi politicians deploy shifting blame.
Keywords: blame avoidance, British and Iraqi parliaments, impoliteness, political blame, politeness
Cite as: Saleem, A. G., & Alattar, R. A. S. (2020). Pragmatics of Political Blame in British and Iraqi Parliaments. Arab World English Journal, 11 (1) 331-375.
Alasko, C. (2011). Beyond Blame: Freeing Yourself from the Most Toxic Form of Emotional Bullsh*t. New York: Tarcher/Penguin.
Archer, D., Aijmer, K. & Wichmann, A. (2012). Pragmatics: An Advanced Resource Book for Students. London: Routledge.
Bach, K. (n.d.). Pragmatics and the Philosophy of Language. The Handbook of Pragmatics, 463–487. doi: 10.1002/9780470756959.ch21
Bates, S., Kerr, P., Byrne, C., & Stanley, L. (2012). Questions to the Prime Minister: A comparative study of PMQs from Thatcher to Cameron. Parliamentary Affairs, 67(2), 253-280.
Bayley, P. (2004). The whys and wherefores of analyzing parliamentary discourse. Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Parliamentary Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture, 1–44. https://doi.org/10.1075/dapsac.10.01bay
Bevan, S., & John, P. (2015). Policy Representation by Party Leaders and Followers: What Drives UK Prime Minister’s Questions? Government and Opposition, 51(1), 59–83.
Bitzer, L. F. (1968). Philosophy and Rhetoric. The Rhetorical Situation, 1, 1-14.
Brown, P., & Levinson, S. C. (1987). Politeness: Some Universals in Language Usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bull, P., & Wells, P. (2012). Adversarial discourse in Prime Minister’s Questions. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 30–48.
Cano Mora, L. (2006). “How to Make a Mountain out of a Molehill”: A Corpus Based Pragmatic and Conversational Analysis Study of Hyperbole in Interaction. (Unpublished Doctoral Thesis). Valencia: University of Valencia Press.
Culpeper, J. (1996) Towards an Anatomy of Impoliteness. Journal of Pragmatics, 25(3), 349–367.
Dattner, B. (2011). Credit and Blame at Work: How Better Assessment Can Improve Individual, Team and Organizational Success. New York: Free Press.
Dijk, T. A. V. (2008). Contextualization in Parliamentary Discourse: Aznar, Iraq and the Pragmatics of Lying. Discourse and Power, 237–261.
Dijk, V. (2000). Parliamentary Discourse. Racism at the Top. Parliamentary Discourses on Ethnic Issues in Six European States, 45–78.
Duff, P. A. (2010). Research Approaches in Applied Linguistics (2nd ed). Oxford Handbooks Online.
Eelen, G. (2001). A Critique of Politeness Theories. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.
Ekman, P. (2009). Telling Lies: Clues to Deceit in the Marketplace, Politics, and Marriage. New York: Norton.
Fraser, B. (2010). Pragmatic Competence: The Case of Hedging. New Approaches to Hedging, 15-34.
Foley, W. A. (1997) Anthropological Linguistics: An Introduction. Oxford: Blackwell.
Garcia, D. P. M. (2001). Pragmatics and the 2000 Us elections: issues of politeness and power in political campaign debates. Valencia: Lengua Inglesa, Universitat de València.
Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction Ritual. Essays on Face-to-face Behavior. New York: Pantheon Books.
Goffman, E. (1972). On Face-Work: an Analysis of Ritual Elements in Social Interaction. Communication in Face-to-Face Interaction, 319–346.
Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and Conversation. Speech Acts. doi: 10.1163/9789004368811_003
Gupta, S., Sakamoto, K. & Ortony, A. (2012). Telling it like it isn’t: A comprehensive approach to analyzing verbal deception. In F. Paglieri, L. Tummolini, R. Falcone & M. Micell (eds.), The goals of cognition: Festschrift for Cristiano Castelfranchi (pp. 579-610). London: College Publications.
Hancock, B. (1998). An introduction to Qualitative research. UK: Trent Focus Group.
Hansson, S. (2015). Discursive strategies of blame avoidance in government: A framework for analysis, Discourse & Society, 26, 297-322.
Hood, C. (2011). The Blame Game: Spin, Bureaucracy, and Self-Preservation in Government. Oxford: Princeton University Press.
Ilie, C. (Ed.).(2010). European Parliaments under Scrutiny: Discourse Strategies and Interaction Practices. John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Ilie, C. (2015). Parliamentary Discourse. In K. Tracy, C. Ilie & T. Sandel (eds.), International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction (pp. 1113-1128). Boston: Wiley Blackwell.
Ilie, C. (2017). Parliamentary Debates. The Routledge Handbook of Language and Politics. Taylor and Francis.
Ionescu-Ruxăndoiu, L. (2012). Parliamentary Discourses across Cultures: Interdisciplinary Approaches. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
Coe, J., & Kelly, R. (2009). Prime Minister’s Questions. London: House of Commons Library.
Iraq Constitution (2005).Retrieved from https://www.constituteproject.org/constitution/Iraq_2005.pdf
Lakoff, R. (1975). Language and Woman’s Place. New York: Harper & Row.
Larrazabal, J. M. and Korta, K. (2002). Pragmatics and Rhetoric for Discourse Analysis: Some conceptual remarks. Language and Information: The University of the Basque Country, 1-10.
Leech, G. (1980). Explorations in Semantics and Pragmatics. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Leech, G. (2005). Politeness: Is there an East-West divide. Journal of Foreign Languages, 6, 1-30.
Leech, G. N. (1983). Principles of Pragmatics. New York: Longman.
May, E. (1844) A Treatise on the Law, Privileges, Proceedings and Usage of Parliament. London: Charles Knight & Co.
McCornack, S. (1992) Information Manipulation Theory. Communication Monographs, 59, 1-16.
McQuarrie, E. F. & D. G. Mick (1996). Figures of Rhetoric in Advertising Language, Journal of Consumer Research, 22, 424-438.
Mihas, E. (2005). Non-Literal Language in Political Discourse. LSO Working Papers in Linguistics 5: Proceedings of WIGL 2005: University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 124-39.
Mullany, L., & Stockwell, P. (2010). Introducing English Language: A Resource Book for Students. Nottingham: Routledge.
Sheridan, C. G. (2013). Politeness in Conflict: Identity Management and Politeness Strategies Used During a Conflict (M.A. Thesis). University of Michigan.
Tilly, C. (2008). Credit and Blame. Princeton, NJ and Woodstock: Princeton University Press.
UK Parliament (n.d.). The Official Report of all Parliamentary Debates. Retrieved from https://hansard.parliament.uk
Wiberg, M. (1995). Parliamentary Questioning: Control by Communication? In M. Wiberg (ed.), Parliaments and Majority Rule in Western Europe (pp. 179-222). New York: St Martin’s Press.
Williams, C. (2007). Research methods. Journal of Business and Economics, 5(2), 65-72.
Wodak, R. (2006). Blaming and Denying: Pragmatics. In K. Brown (ed.), Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics, (2nd ed, Vol. 2, pp. 59-64). Oxford: Elsevier.
Zhang, G. (2011). Elasticity of vague language. Intercultural Pragmatics, 8, 571-599.
م. د. محمد عباس محسن. (2010). الاختصاص الرقابي لمجلس النواب في توجيه الأسئلة البرلمانية : دراسة تشريعية
مقارنة. مجلة الكوفة للعلوم القانونية و السياسية مج. 2، ع. 6 ، ص. 90-129.