Exploring Rhetorical-Discursive Moves in Hassan Rouhani’s Inaugural Speech: A Eulogy for Moderation

Document Type: Research Paper

Authors

Shahrekord University, Iran

Abstract

Before a president practically begins his four-year term of office in Iran, a formal inaugural ceremony is held in the parliament. Being attended by national dignitaries and representatives from other countries, the inauguration of Iran's seventh president, Hasan Rouhani, was spectacular in several respects. The current study aimed at investigating the generic structure and rhetorical moves that ran through the president’s inaugural discourse. Then, a critical discourse analysis (CDA) approach, drawing upon Fairclough’s three dimensional approach (2010), was adopted to explore the socio-cultural, religious, and political values underlying different rhetorical moves he employed in his inaugural address. The results demonstrated that Rouhani constructed his inaugural address on a succession of 9 generic moves using an interdiscursive mix of generic (i.e., inaugural, report, informational) and discoursal (i.e., religious, constitutional, and revolutionary) structures to reach out to different sectors of Iranian population. The predominant inaugural genre was then manifested largely through intertextuality and interdiscursivity, drawing upon other related (sub-) genres.

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