Co- and Re-Contextualizing Ideologies in Political Discourse: Intersemiotic Mechanisms in Former President Benigno Aquino III’s October 30th Speech

Author: Edward Jay M. Quinto (Mapua University, Manila, The Philippines)
Speaker: Edward Jay M. Quinto
Topic: Language Ideologies
The (SCOPUS / ISI) SOAS GLOCAL CALA 2020 General Session


As political discourse analysis traditionally focused on unearthing ideologies embedded in written and spoken data, very little attention has been paid in ways through which meaning making is made through the convergence or divergence of multiple semiotic resources.

This paper analyzed the ‘intersemiotic mechanisms’ (Royce, 1998) through which ideologies are made salient through the convergence (co-contextualization) or divergence (re-contextualization) of text and image in former Philippine President Benigno S. Aquino III’s October 30th Speech. An analysis of an 1851 word speech and a 27 slide PowerPoint presentation revealed that the president favored particular intersemiotic mechanisms, primarily semiotic cohesion, semiotic mixing, juxtaposition and spatiality, and semiotic metaphor. The analysis also revealed that the intersemiotic mechanisms aided the politician in either reinforcing or layering meaning around a central message: ‘the Disbursement Allocation Program is not pork barrel.’

The researchers argue that meaning, that is, political ideologies, cannot be traced in only one of either of the two texts and images, but in intersections where text and image converge or diverge, making particular political ideologies salient through an intersemiotic methodology.

Through this paper, the researchers hope that more researchers find examining political ideologies in the rich Philippine political scene a burgeoning area of research and that more attention is paid to the ways in which deployment of various semiotic resources, e.g., textual, visual, gestural, etc., illuminates the nuances of political discourse.

Keywords: Intersemiotic mechanisms, co-contextualizing, re-contextualizing, political discourse, former President Benigno S. Aquino III