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Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication

Ed. by Piller, Ingrid

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Volume 27, Issue 3


‘So let's talk. Let's chat. Let's start a dialog’: An analysis of the conversation metaphor employed in Clinton's and Obama's YouTube campaign clips

Steve Duman / Miriam A. Locher
Published Online: 2008-09-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/MULTI.2008.011


This paper examines how two American presidential candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, make use of a Video exchange is conversation metaphor on YouTube, a channel of communication that allows the exchange of video clips on the Internet. It is argued that the politicians exploit the metaphor for its connotations of creating involvement and closeness and its potential as a persuasive strategy. They are, however, also restricted by the Video exchange is conversation metaphor: since the metaphor entails alternating speaker roles, the willingness of the addressee to engage in the exchange and to personally bond, the candidates have to construct a viewer identity and a candidate identity that matches the framework of the metaphor. In addition, the influence of the medium YouTube on the linguistic presentation is discussed in a close reading of the video clips, its main restrictions being currency (topicality and coherence), as well as asynchronicity, which results in a pseudo-dialogic character of the exchange.

About the article

Published Online: 2008-09-01

Published in Print: 2008-08-01

Citation Information: Multilingua - Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, Volume 27, Issue 3, Pages 193–230, ISSN (Online) 1613-3684, ISSN (Print) 0167-8507, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/MULTI.2008.011.

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