Edited by Anita Fetzer and Elda Weizman
[Pragmatics & Beyond New Series 307] 2019
► pp. 73–101
Quoting ordinary people in Prime Minister’s Questions
Prime Minister’s Questions is the central British parliamentary institution. Every week Members of Parliament have the opportunity to pose questions to the Prime Minister, frequently utilising quotations from various sources, e.g. allies from the quoter’s political party, political opponents, experts, or ordinary people. The focus of this contribution is on the strategic use of quotations from ordinary people in the interchanges between the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition. The data comprise 240 question-response sequences. In the sequences analysed, quotations make up 9% of the total word count for Cameron-Miliband and 10% for Cameron-Corbyn: 2% of the quotations are sourced by ordinary people in the Cameron-Miliband data, and 31% in the Cameron-Corbyn data. Corbyn’s systematic use of quotations from ordinary people was novel, foregrounding their political issues and assigning them the status of an object of discourse in the media thus making the government accountable to them.
- 2.1Linguistic formatting
- 2.2Discursive functions
- 3.Ordinary people and ordinariness
- 4.The representation of ordinary people and ordinary-life experience by non-ordinary politicians
Cited by 5 other publications
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