Socio-Political Dimensions of the Speaker’s Cognition in Political Discourse
Keywords: factivity, modality, political discourse, social cognition, political cognition, polarization
The aim of the present paper is demonstrating how factive presupposition and epistemic modality uncover the social and political dimensions of the speaker’s cognition in political discourse. Van Dijk’s discourse-cognition-society triangle has been selected to analyze Hillary Clinton’s political remarks on the Tunisian Revolution. First, based on the discursive analysis, the research findings reveal that factive presupposition and epistemic modality are frequently used and almost evenly distributed in the selected corpus. Second, the analysis of political cognition shows that the speaker’s personal and social values and attitudes are demystified via cognitive frames and mental models relating to democracy and human rights. Third, studying social cognition in the corpus demonstrates that H. Clinton’s personal values and attitudes are selections of the socially shared ideologies and opinions in her epistemic community. It also shows that she perceives the world in terms of ideological poles. The present research analyzes the socio-political dimensions of politicians’ cognition via factive presupposition and epistemic modality from a socio-cognitive perspective.