Exploring Simile in Political Speeches through Corpus Techniques
The use of rhetorical devices practiced in antiquity in Aristotle’s time and reached to the present through Renaissance (Goodnight, 2014). These devices impart color to the meanings. The focus remains here on rhetorical devices as it has been the burgeoning interest of researchers. This paper tends to delve similes used by political leaders in their speeches. The present study probes into similes that are used by political leaders in their speeches. Firstly, similes are explored, and their structures are analyzed. Secondly, linking words (as and like) are taken as node words and each side of them is taken for structural analysis to find out phrases. Thirdly, this study explores the frequencies of linking words, as or like and structures at right and left collocates/context. Later, functions of the structural categories were analyzed. Structural categories including, noun phrase (NP) + node word + noun phrase and verb phrase (VP) + node word + NP. The corpus contains twenty speeches delivered by politicians in 20th century. The corpus of 74,470 words was built. We tagged whole data through TagAnt (Anthony, 2015). Later node words, like and as are analyzed through AntConc (Anthony, 2018). We selected only those occurrences where linking words as and like are served as simile. Findings reveal that NP + node word + NP and VP + node word + VP frequently occurred in selected corpus. In these two phrases, NP received high frequencies. Similarly, as occurred frequently than like. It was also kept under consideration that NP found both in right and left contexts of the node words while VP was found only in left contexts. The utmost use of these smiles revealed their functional features where they are used to convey different meanings.