Masaryk university faculty of education

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Bush’s speech

  1. Syntax

Bush’s speech has 2,995 words, 187 sentences with 16 words average per sentence. In comparison with the previous speeches in the corpus, Bush’s speech is poignant and bold. His syntax is simple, with coordinated sentence structure, active voice and lacking complex grammatical features. The majority of sentences follow a traditional word order, starting with a subject, often expressed by a pronoun, following with a verb, object and complement or adverbial. In case of complex sentences, the structure is either coordinated or subordinated with simple conjunctions such as but, yet, so or as and an occasional non-finite clause.

Our war on terror begins with Al Qaida, but it does not end there.

As for topicalization, Bush completely skips steps that failed, focusing on our plan with 24%, we are good with 21%, they are bad with 18% and appeal to American values with 19%. He uses ultimatum as well as declaration of war, though not on a specific country but on terror in general.

Chart 8.32

Bush does not organize his speech chronologically but rather emotively. First, he focuses on all the good things that have happened since the attack, then he thanks all parties involved in the response. Then he states the issue, accuses the guilty party, the Taliban and gives a detailed account of their actions. An ultimatum follows, interestingly not only to the terrorists, but to the entire world.

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