Taalkundig-stilistische analyse: de casus Wilders / Pechtold | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236



This article focuses on a form of stylistic investigation named ‘linguistic stylistics’. This form of stylistics does not involve experiments; rather, it is made plausible, on the basis of linguistic analysis, that stylistic choices create particular effects. Linguistic-stylistic research boasts a rich tradition in the Anglo-Saxon world. To this day, however, Dutch discourse studies have barely adopted this form of text analysis. The main objective of this article is to argue and demonstrate that a linguistic-stylistic approach is fruitful for analysing Dutch discourse. A detailed analysis of the speeches held by the Dutch politicians Geert Wilders (PVV, the Dutch Party for Freedom) and Alexander Pechtold (D66, Democrats ‘66) in parliament during the General Political Debates of 2008 and 2009 serves as an example. It is argued that in the Lower Chamber politicians need to adopt a certain stance towards two heterogeneous, functionally distinct types of audiences: their fellow politicians and ‘the public at large’. Analysis of media opinions shows that in their speeches Geert Wilders and Alexander Pechtold gave the impression of adopting different stances towards these two types of audiences. Wilders came across as a ‘political outsider’ who kept himself aloof from his colleagues in The Hague, and as a politician who as a ‘man of the people’ was close to society. Alexander Pechtold came across as an ‘insider’ in the Dutch Parliament who kept a certain distance from society. It is argued that numerous stylistic devices are likely to contribute to these general impressions – including stylistic devices that to this day have received scant attention in the analysis of political discourse.


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