Pragmatic Annotation of Manipulation in Political Discourse: The Case of Trump-Clinton Presidential Debate


  • Meisam Moghadam Faculty of Science, Fasa University, Fasa
  • Niloofar Jafarpour MA, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.



manipulation, political discourse, speech acts, pragmatic annotation


Within a pragmatic analysis framework, this research investigates manipulation in the political discourse of the 2016 American Presidential Debate by pragmatically annotating and visualising the text in the CATMA tool. The manipulation types that are used to decide about the tag set and its guidelines are in light of Baron’s (2003) and Asya’s (2013) categorization of manipulation. The chosen manipulative language tool in the selected manipulative context to be observed are the direct and indirect manipulative speech acts of Ivanova (1981) and Brusenskaya (2005), which are based on Austin’s typology of speech act theory. This study concerns itself, first, with the notion of manipulation, manipulative speech acts, and selected manipulation types, and then manifests the practical annotation of manipulation to analyse the top-layer hypothesis, that political debates are manipulative and there are certain manipulative criteria to be observed, and finally, the selected manipulative features are supposed to play an obvious role at the pragmatic level in these debates. This research confirms, manifests, and analyses the existence of manipulative evidence in the selected presidential debates.


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Author Biographies

Meisam Moghadam, Faculty of Science, Fasa University, Fasa

Dr. Meisam Moghadam has earned his Ph.D. in TEFL from Shiraz University and is currently the assistant professor at Fasa University, Iran. His areas of interest include language teaching and testing, teacher education, and computational linguistics.


Niloofar Jafarpour, MA, Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany.

Niloofar Jafarpour is graduated from Technical University of Darmstadt, Germany. Her main area of interest is computational linguistics and political discourse analysis.



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How to Cite

Moghadam, M., & Jafarpour, N. (2022). Pragmatic Annotation of Manipulation in Political Discourse: The Case of Trump-Clinton Presidential Debate . Linguistic Forum - A Journal of Linguistics, 4(4), 32–39.