Donald Trump’s Denial Speeches of the 2020 United States Presidential Election’s Results: A Critical Discourse Analysis Perspective

Mohammad Saedeen, Naser N. AlBzour


The primary concern of the present study is to provide a critical discourse analysis of Donald Trump’s denial speeches of the 2020 United States presidential election’s results. Using Van Dijk’s framework of critical discourse analysis, this study investigates the linguistic features in five speeches of Donald Trump delivered after announcing the results of the US presidential election. The data analysis is conducted focusing on the use of 25 discursive devices presented by Van Dijk (2006), which represent the micro-level of text analysis to reveal the ideologies of positive self-representation and negative other-representation which represent the macro-level of text analysis. The findings of the study show that Trump made use of the majority of the discursive devices, with a special emphasis on using the following: lexicalization, evidentiality, example/illustration, number game, polarization, actor description, hyperbole, categorization, victimization, and authority. Furthermore, the analysis at the macro-level shows that Donald Trump used the ideologies of positive self-representation and negative other-representation, but he relied more on using negative other-representation. The findings also show that Trump used these discursive devices to justify his denial of the election results and gain the empathy of American people by showing a positive image of himself and his supporters while portraying others negatively by emphasizing their bad deeds during the election.


Actor Description, Authority, Categorization, Critical Discourse Analysis, Discursive Devices, Evidentiality, Illustration, Hyperbole, Ideologies, Lexicalization, Number Game, Polarization, Victimization

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