A Typical Politician vs. a Lunatic Businessman: Different Language Styles of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump


  •  Yuqing Zhao    
  •  Ting Wu    
  •  Huiyu Zhang    

Abstract

The victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 US election shocked the media and the public around the world. In an attempt to understand the linguistic differences between Clinton and Trump that might explain the unexpected result, both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in the research to analyze their particular language features in the speeches and different strategies employed in their debates. The quantitative result showed that Trump’s language was not as rich as Clinton’s. And in terms of the qualitative analysis, it was found that Clinton tended to use the pronoun you more than Trump and that both of them were inclined to make frequent use of we in their campaign speeches. As for debate strategies, Trump, compared with Clinton, was more likely to interrupt and repeat for the purpose of showing power and leaving the audience a stronger impression. The research offers insights into Trump’s and Clinton’s linguistic features and debate strategies that might account for Trump’s victory in the election.



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