Safari G. Ntalala


Parliamentary deliberations rely on using language in order to convince or persuade. They involve purposeful and strategic manipulation of language to achieve communication goals. Metadiscourse is crucial to the art of persuasion and may be viewed in two ways: textual and interpersonal metadiscourse. This article focuses on interpersonal metadiscourse which involves interactional and inclusive aspects of the author. This study analysis aspects of interpersonal metadiscourse used in selected Kenyan parliamentary committee reports so as to achieve the genre’s communicative purpose. The findings offer insights into the interplay between parliamentary discourse styles and interpersonal metadiscourse as well as contribute to the pool of knowledge on parliamentary discourse and rhetorical analysis. The framework for analysis was based on Hyland’s (1998, 2005) model of metadiscourse. A descriptive research design was used with corpora being generated from fifteen parliamentary committee reports sampled from the National Assembly, county assemblies and the Senate of Kenya. Findings from the study indicate that diverse aspects of interpersonal metadiscourse including engagement markers, personal markers, hedges, and boosters are melded together; geared at guiding legislators through the reports and influencing their understanding, maintaining contact, providing perspective for interpretation, as well as convincing and persuading. Successful writing depends on how writers establish their stance, conduct interpersonal negotiations with readers and balance their claims through rhetorical choices. In the end, interpersonal metadiscourse in parliamentary reports serves to convey author’s presence, credibility, readers’ engagement, commitment to the message and organizes reports to ease interpretation, evaluation of information given and spark appropriate responses.


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genre, interpersonal metadiscourse, parliamentary discourse, parliamentary committee reports, persuasion

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