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Rhetorical devices and audience responses in Norwegian political speeches

Stine Iversen, Peter Bull

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This article reports the first investigation in Norwegian political speeches of 16 different rhetorical devices used to invite collective audience responses. An analysis was conducted of 30 speeches delivered by 20 Norwegian parliamentary candidates during the 2013 Norwegian general election. Results were compared with pre-existing data from American, British and Japanese political speeches. The Norwegian audience responses showed striking similarities with those of the Japanese, although the use of rhetorical devices resembled American and British speeches, with a greater use of implicit over explicit devices. The results were considered in the context of Hofstede’s individualism (IDV) scale. The Norwegian speeches had one instance each of booing and a disgust response from the audience. A novel 17th rhetorical device was proposed, that of repetition/familiarity.

Keywords: political speeches, rhetorical devices, applause, booing, chanting, cheering, individualism, collectivism


Bibliography: Iversen, Stine/Bull, Peter: Rhetorical devices and audience responses in Norwegian political speeches, PCS, 1-2-2016, pp. 97-118.