The Role of Language Game in German Political Discourse (on Case of “Political Ash Wednesday”)

Introduction. The article is devoted to the role of the language game in the communication strategies used by German politicians within the framework of the “political Ash Wednesday” (on the example of the Christian Social Union in Bavaria, 2018, 2019 and 2020). The purpose of the study was to determine the communicative strategies for which the CSU politicians use the language game in their speeches on the “political Ash Wednesday”. The scientific novelty of the work lies in the fact that this genre of German political discourse has practically not been studied either from the point of view of political science or from the point of view of political linguistics, despite the fact that it has an already established tradition. The relevance of the work is due to the need to close this gap in the study of political discourse in Germany and at least partially describe this genre. Methodology and sources. To study the phenomenon of language play, a field method was used, in which the authors of the article analyzed the political situation in Germany in 2017- 2019, and also described communicative strategies and tactics. By the method of continuous sampling from the texts of the speeches of the leaders of the CS (M. Zeider, M. Blume, A. Scheer, M. Weber), cases of language play were selected, classified by language levels and analyzed in context. Results and discussion. It was found that the language game serves to implement various communicative strategies: discrediting and self-praise strategies, manipulative and formation of an emotional mood strategies, self-defense and agitation strategies. Since on the “Political Ash Wednesday” the main speakers’ intentions are to preserve the image of their party and disrupt the image of competing parties, in the politicians’ speeches the language game was most often used as part of the discrediting strategy (ridiculing opponents, made them look bad) and self-praise (emphasizing the positive qualities members of the same party or the successes achieved by the CSU). Conclusion. The use of language games during performances allows operators to influence the mass addressee by creating the necessary emotional background. The techniques of the language game determine the implementation of communicative strategies and tactics aimed at maintaining one's own image and diminishing the influence of opponents. An important factor for understanding the techniques of the language game is knowledge of the cultural background and the realities of the country.

Authors: Mariya A. Yelizaryeva, Aleksandra P. Kryachkova

Direction: Linguistics

Keywords: “political ash wednesday", Germany, Christian social union, political discourse, language game, communicative strategies, communicative tactics

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