The Indexicality Principle and the Discourse Construction of France’s National Image: Instantiated by Emmanuel Macron’s Inauguration Speech

Chunrong Wang


The Indexicality Principle is a principle within sociocultural linguistic framework for analyzing identity within linguistic interaction. In interactive communication people consciously or unconsciously sense the relationship between self and others and thus build relating identities through linguistic resources. In a political speech a political leader often builds his identity or identities of others in the interests of his own country, and therefore they are, to a large extent, representative of the national identity or image. This paper takes the newly-elected president of France Emmanuel Macron's 2017 inauguration speech as the data to expound how he employs particular words as linguistic resources to build France's national image. The current study finds out that Macron, by means of overt reference, presupposition and implicature and stance-marking, has successfully constructed France's national image as a strong, solid, clairvoyant and innovative model country that affirms its values and principles of democracy and republic and holds fast to its core cultural values ‘Liberty, equality and fraternity’.


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