Order! Order!: an investigation into the phraseology of question time in the Australian and New Zealand houses of representatives (2013)
Type of ContentTheses / Dissertations
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics
Question Time is a distinctive daily parliamentary routine. Its aim is to hold Ministers of the State accountable for the actions and decisions of the Government. However, in many Parliaments, including the New Zealand and Australian Federal Houses of Representatives, it is more of a theatrical performance where parties try their best to score political points. As any performance, Question Time is governed by certain rules and regulations outlined in an official document Standing Orders. As there is not much action, Standing Orders mainly describe language norms and specify „unparliamentary language‟. This research looks at and analyses the use of formulaic vocabulary used by MPs in the year preceding general elections in New Zealand and Australia. The formulaic language includes phrasal lexical items and formulae for asking / answering questions, for raising points of order and the Speakers‟ idiolectal phrasal vocabulary for quelling disorder in the Chambers and regulating the work of the House. The framework developed for this research consisted of the following steps: an ethnographic study of Question Time as a communicative performance which included the development of a database containing all the empirical material; a xii linguistic study of Question Time including genrelect study, parliamentary formulae study and disorder analysis before the elections. As a result this research has shown that Question Time is a communicative performance event in New Zealand and Australia with significant cultural, historic and linguistic differences in spite of the common origins of the two Parliaments. It has identified 60 Question Time genre-specific phrasal lexical items that MPs use in the two Parliaments, studied their structure and meaning (where necessary). It has also looked at the strategies the MPs employ for creating disorder in the House, and the ways of quelling disorder by the Speakers of the two Parliaments.
Keywordsparliament; Question Time; genrelect study; idiolect
RightsCopyright Irina Loginova
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