Antithesis as Leverage in Russian Political Discourse

Document Type : Research Article


1 Kazan Federal University

2 Masaryk University


In this article, the questions of speech impact in political discourse are analyzed. It is an accepted fact that political discourse is, unsurprisingly, a discourse made for politicians. The main function of the political text is the function of speech impact. Linguists that study political discourse are interested in how exactly language tools are used by the author to express different political statements. The subjects of study are, in this case, those language tools that can be used to influence the conversationalist. Antithesis is, as commonly known, a figure of speech, which is built on contrast of comparable concepts. In terms of creation, antithesis can be represented by two words or two groups of words that are related to each other by the lexical and contextual antonymy. The article is focused on how modern Russian politicians are using antithesis in their speeches. The main method of this research is the conceptual analysis, which can produce detailed analysis of text fragments, where antithesis is used, and analyze the dependency of meanings of the words that create antithesis itself in terms of context. In a study, the continuous sampling and linguistic observation and description methods were used. The article analyzes speeches of such prominent Russian politicians as V.V. Putin, S.V. Lavrov and V.V. Zhirinovsky. Particular emphasis in this study has been placed on the antithesis usage by politicians. Certain conclusions related to the usage of antithesis in Russian political discourse have been made. Antithesis is a powerful persuasive tool in the political discourse. The main features of current research and the collected factual material can be interesting to the specialists in the discourse field and also can be used while creating training courses for communication and special courses for researching of political discourse specificity in the modern Russian society.