This study investigated conceptual metaphors and language simplification – two discursive strategies exploited in the political communication on Twitter. On the one hand, transposing concepts from a non-political source domain to a political target domain is effective as (1) it shapes our understanding of the topics discussed in politics and (2) it activates frames. On the other hand, language simplicity may be an indicator of the trustworthiness and genuineness in politics, especially for populists that distance themselves from the political elite. The analyses were performed on a corpus of 3,200 randomly selected tweets, published from 2009 to 2021 by eight Italian political actors that are active and popular on Twitter and that have had key roles in the government, in the parliament, or in the parties they represent. Discussing politics on Twitter in layman’s language brings the politicians closer to the voters. Furthermore, a ‘simply-put’ tweet is more likely to be echoed by followers or traditional media.

Discussing Politics on Twitter: Some evidence from Linguistics

CLAUDIA ROBERTA COMBEI
2022

Abstract

This study investigated conceptual metaphors and language simplification – two discursive strategies exploited in the political communication on Twitter. On the one hand, transposing concepts from a non-political source domain to a political target domain is effective as (1) it shapes our understanding of the topics discussed in politics and (2) it activates frames. On the other hand, language simplicity may be an indicator of the trustworthiness and genuineness in politics, especially for populists that distance themselves from the political elite. The analyses were performed on a corpus of 3,200 randomly selected tweets, published from 2009 to 2021 by eight Italian political actors that are active and popular on Twitter and that have had key roles in the government, in the parliament, or in the parties they represent. Discussing politics on Twitter in layman’s language brings the politicians closer to the voters. Furthermore, a ‘simply-put’ tweet is more likely to be echoed by followers or traditional media.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11571/1460086
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