Leading Through Leadership Language: Analysing Mr. Imran Khan’s Spoken Political Discourse


Faisal Irfan
Hariharan N Krishnasamy

Politicians within any system often depend on language to assert power and persuade and convince people of their ideologies. This suggests that language plays an important role, particularly in politics. Such language underscores the importance of using appropriate and non-threatening word choices to reflect one's intention for fostering better networking and relationships. However, not much is known about how political leaders use language. This paper considers the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Mr. Imran Khan's, spoken political discourse. More specifically, it reports the study that explores the language used during his leadership, both locally and internationally. Four spoken texts were carefully selected and analyzed based on the theoretical framework of Fairclough's threedimensional model: description, interpretation, and explanation, including word choice, repetition, persuasive strategies, referential strategies, and positive and negative self-presentation. The findings reveal that Mr. Imran employed linguistic and rhetorical approaches to demonstrate his leadership in Pakistan and abroad, as reflected in the spoken discourse. His persuasive and strong rhetoric informed the world of his standpoints, whereas, in some instances, he used irony that displays emotional sentiment when making critiques. He also used inclusive pronouns rather excessively to persuade the world communities on how to manage ecological and global issues. The paper demonstrates that a political leader such as Mr. Imran tends to relate to others through persuasive rhetoric and linguistic features to convince and reach out to national and international audiences. The study contributes to a deeper understanding of leadership language and its persuasiveness and how these should be enhanced for better understanding, especially among future scriptwriters, language learners of English, and political science students.


Keywords:Fairclough's dimensional model, Leadership language, Pakistan, Political discourse, Spoken discourse

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