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Working paper

American and Russian 'Victory' Discourse: A Conflict of Cultures

Linguistics. WP BRP. НИУ ВШЭ, 2013. No. WP BRP 03/LNG/2013.
This article focuses on the presidential rhetoric of Russian and American leaders at the end of their latest campaigns, taking their victory speeches given immediately after winning their respective elections as examples. The comparative cross-cultural research presented in this study includes cognitive, corpus, and rhetorical approaches and is carried out within the framework of critical discourse analysis. The interconnection between language, culture and politics is evident through metaphors used by national leaders. The metaphor THE RUSSIAN NATION IS AT WAR reconstructed in President Putin’s victory speech is quite different from the metaphor THE AMERICAN NATION IS ONE FAMILY found in President Obama’s victory speech. Archetypal metaphors found in both speeches reflect public values that turn out to be highly contrastive and explain some cultural and political differences between the great powers.