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Auteur: Serhiy POTAPENKO

Cognitive rhetoric of effect: Procedures for analyzing inaugurals' intended impressions

Abstract/Résumé: The presentation relates rhetoric of effect to ethos, i.e. a favorable self-image, which influences the author's activity throughout five stages of rhetorical text-building: invention (looking for arguments), disposition (argument arrangement), elocution (verbal ornamentation), memory and delivery. The cognitive instruments of rhetoric of effect include two types of conceptual structures of sensorimotor origin: image schemas, defined as recurring dynamic patterns of our perceptual interactions and motor programs (Johnson 1987), as well as force dynamics, treated as a fundamental semantic category in the realm of physical force (Talmy 2000). With this in mind, the paper suggests a procedure for cognitive-rhetorical analysis of the effects intended by inaugurals and applies it to the study of the textual implementation of the ideas of freedom celebration in J.F.Kennedy's address (1961) and of freedom defense in G.W.Bush's speech (2005). At the first - inventional - stage of analysis the reconstruction of the 'freedom' concept, based on the dictionary definition of the corresponding word, reveals that the concept rests on the RESTRAINT REMOVAL image schema, representing removal of barrier or absence of some restraint (Johnson 1987). In force-dynamic terms, the internal tendency of RESTRAINT REMOVAL source towards motion underscores the speaker's positive attitude to freedom. The second - dispositional - stage of analysis captures the distribution of the units, denoting RESTRAINT REMOVAL as bedrock of the 'freedom' concept, in the inaugurals' sections addressing the world, the nation, friends, enemies etc. The analysis of word selection at the third - elocutional - phase demonstrates that the difference between the two inaugurals mainly consists in the implicit formation of freedom celebration impression and explicit creation of freedom defense effects. Kennedy's choice of implicit means takes into account the type of addressee. The global audience is appealed to by the verb "let" indicating RESTRAINT REMOVAL; the young nations are addressed by the verb "welcome"; the ideological opponents are represented as target of RESTRAINT REMOVAL by the nine-fold repetition of the verb "let"; the president's dialogue with the Americans rests on the relations of motion, implied by the noun "course" and the verb "summon". In Bush's speech various aspects of freedom defense are reflected by the collocation of the nouns "freedom" and "liberty" with the units denoting the components of RESTRAINT REMOVAL: its source, e.g. force of freedom etc, target, e.g.attain freedom, fire of freedom, call of freedom etc, and ensuing motion, e.g. expansion of freedom, freedom's course, advance of freedom etc.