Languages Across Cultures
The candidates in the vice presidential debate showed some linguistic similarity to their running mates. The following graphs show the statistically significant differences between the two vice presidential candidates. The tentative language results mirror those from the first presidential debate. Like Clinton, Kaine used tentative language more than Paine or Trump did.
Kaine used more simple syntax than did Pence during the debate. A previous analysis of candidates' debates during the 2012 election showed just the opposite effect - that the Republican candidates used more simple syntax and the Democratic candidates used more complex syntax. Complex or simple syntax provides a clue to the speaker's route to persuasion: more complex language indicates a central route, and less complex indicates a peripheral route. The central route to persuasion involves more cognitively demanding processing of the message, whereas the peripheral route is easier to follow.
Finally, we evaluated the candidates' use of honest language, generated by Slatcher et al. (2007). They note that more honest language is associated with increased usage of first person pronouns, references to other people, and exclusion words (except, but). In the VP debate, Kaine used more honest language than did Pence.
Languages Across Cultures at the
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