"We were cocked & loaded to retaliate": An APPRAISAL-based study of dichotomies in Trump's tweets about Iran

Mohammad Makki, Andrew Ross

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The diplomatic relationship between the USA and Iran has long been fraught and is characterised by various conflicts and the implementation of economic sanctions. It can be argued that the relationship became even more hostile after Donald Trump was elected president of the US. Trump’s sentiments towards Iran were made public through his behavior on Twitter, both before and after he took over the Presidency. These sentiments have been a mix of negative and sometimes positive views and opinions. This study uses a corpus of Trump’s tweets that explicitly mention ‘Iran’ as the basis of a linguistic analysis and applies to it the analytical framework of appraisal from Systemic Functional Linguistics. More specifically, this study focuses on how he established an Us vs. Them dichotomy. While the analysis shows that Iran has been generally portrayed negatively by Trump, there were several tweets where the Iranian government was appraised positively, too. More interestingly, in those tweets, he seemed to target Obama and democrats and represent them negatively while Iran was assessed in
positive terms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Language Aggression and Conflict
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes

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