Critical Discourse Analysis of Hedges and Boosters in Iranian TV Election Debates of Presidential Candidates


1 PhD in Applied Linguistics from Shahid Chamran University of Ahvaz. Ahvaz, Iran

2 PhD Candidate of Applied Linguistics, Faculty of Foreign Languages, Islamic Azad University, Isfahan (Khorasgan) Branch, Isfahan, Iran


To win the attention of the audience, presidential candidates rely on their own rhetorical methods. Hedges and boosters as metadiscourse markers have been the focus of many studies as the communicative strategies enabling speakers to soften the force of utterances or moderate their assertive force. TV news was used as the corpus of this study, whereas most of the previous studies have focused on examining newspaper presidential debates. The purpose of this study was to examine the role of hedges and boosters in TV election debates of the two presidential candidates - a principalist and a reformist. Three televised debates made by Hassan Ruhani and Bagher Ghalibaf were identified and classified based on the framework proposed by Jalilifar and Alavi-Nia (2012) and Alavi-Nia and Jalilifar (2013). Then, qualitative and quantitative methods were applied to identify the frequency and the function of the hedges and boosters. The results of the analyses and chi-square tests revealed that, in spite of some similarities, there were great differences in the use of hedges and boosters between the candidates. In other words, they had different tendencies toward using these techniques, and eventually Dr. Ruhani could win the battle due to using such metadiscourse devices.


Volume 3, Issue 1
Winter and Spring 2015
Pages 31-40
  • Receive Date: 09 November 2017
  • Revise Date: 14 December 2017
  • Accept Date: 29 December 2017