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Faculty Mentor

Jeremy Rud

Abstract

How have different media affected the linguistic performativity of the most prominent American politicians throughout history? How have different types of media allowed certain linguistic features to flourish, and others to fail? I address these question’s through a diachronic analysis of three different periods of American history as well as an investigation into effective linguistic features that manifest over the radio, through television, and on social media. In addition, I confront the myth that there is a relationship between reading level of speech determined by the Flesch-Kincaid algorithm and success as an orator. I find relationships between linguistic features unique to the media through which it is presented and conclude on how that affects the overall expertise of the candidate, but find no relationship between Flesch-Kincaid reading level and expertise.

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