A comparative study of Obama's closing statements in the 2012 US presidential debates: lessons learned from a systemic-functional analysis

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-157
Journal / PublicationLanguage and Semiotic Studies 语言与符号学研究
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2016


In this paper, we present a comparative study of Obama’s closing statements in the presidential debates, in particular, the first and third debates with Mitt Romney in 2012. Obama was considered to have done poorly in the first debate, but very well in the third debate. A systemic-functional analysis of Obama’s closing statements in these two debates reveals the lexicogrammatical and rhetorical choices which contribute to the functional and aesthetic value of Obama’s debate performance.

Research Area(s)

  • systemic-functional linguistics, political discourse, debate performance, theme analysis

Citation Format(s)