Chapter published in:Applied Linguistics in the Middle East and North Africa: Current practices and future directions
Edited by Atta Gebril
[AILA Applied Linguistics Series 15] 2017
► pp. 11–36
Chapter 2When the president loses his voice, the people capture speech
The chapter examines political speeches as the locus for failure to promote allegiance or to silence ‘dissident’ voices in situations of conflict and resistance. Specifically, it explores how Ben Ali, former president of Tunisia, fails to renew the masses’ ‘loyalty of silence’ during the 2010–2011 uprising even though his last words were conciliatory, promising, and bordering on the apologetic tone. The analysis captures the processes whereby Ben Ali loses his voice of authority and legitimacy even though he spoke, or so he thought, ‘bi-lughat kull t-tūnisiyyīn wa t-tūnisiyyāt’ (in the language of all the Tunisians). It also demonstrates how doing politics as usual, proceeding to an abrupt linguistic shift, and making cosmetic changes to political speeches, in a time of crisis, render a president’s speech voiceless.
Keywords: theory of practice, language and ideology, discourse analysis, diglossia, political discourse in the Arab world, Tunisian Revolution
- When a president loses his presidential bodily hexis
- A note on the data and presentation of data
- When institutional paraphernalia and presidential accoutrements lose their magic
- When the president shifts linguistic codes opportunistically
- Tapestry of linguistic matrices, panoply of voices
- Ben Ali’s Fuṣḥā matrix
- A thwarted linguistic coup
- Did Ben Ali really speak Tunisian Arabic?
Published online: 18 July 2017
Bakhtin, M. M.
Bakhtin, M. M.
Bessis, S., & Belhassen, S.
Bourdieu, P., & Wacquant, L. J. D.