Latin-american socialist discourse analysis


Latin-american socialist discourse analysis is a recent project developed in collaboration with Patricia Zapata, a linguistics professor at the Faculty of Human Sciences at the Universidad Mayor de San Andrés at La Paz Bolivia. The last decades, many political parties, belonging the left-wing wave known as "XXI-th century socialism" (socialismo del siglo XXI), won presidential elections in different countries (e.g., Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela, Correa in Ecuador, Morales in Bolivia, ...). It has been noticed that the masses seduction capbilities of the leaders of such movements, mainly rely on their retorical abilities. Indeed, speech skills are crucial for a politician to captivate his audience to join his/her cause. Therefore, studying the leaders' speech is a crucial step towards understanding their political success. Some studies addressed this task previously, mostly using small discursive samples, with only few speeches. However, using a small and possibly non-representative sample is likely to lead to biased results. To overcome this problem, our work was carried out on a large corpus of 3'049 speeches of 7 well known socialist latin-american politicians, combining Data Mining tools and the linguistic discourse analysis methodology of P. Charaudeau. Using the association of both techniques, we provide a more representative characterization of these major leader’s discursive strategies. In practice we studied the speeches of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Subcomandante Marcos, Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales, Rafael Correa and Nicolas Maduro. The main steps of the study were:

The major results obtained have been published in a book (in spanish) available online. The discourse analysis of Fidel Castro's speeches have also been presented at the Digital Humanities BeNeLux, this study is also available online (in english), as well as the presentation slides. A journal article presenting this work, has been published in the first volume of the DH Benelux Journal.