Culture and Explicitness of Persuasion: Linguistic Evidence From a 51-Year Corpus-Based Cross-Cultural Comparison of the United Nations General Debate Speeches Across 55 Countries (1970-2020)

Cross-Cultural Research Vol/Iss. 57(2-3) Sage Journals Published In Pages: 166-192
By Shen, Li


This study examines the explicitness of persuasion in cross-cultural communication using a corpus-based register analytical approach. The study compares 2518 speeches from 55 cultures in the East and West from 1970 to 2020 using Multi-Dimensional Analysis (MDA) to identify linguistic features related to persuasion. The results show significant differences between the East and West in terms of the overtness of persuasion, which is generally narrowing over time. The study suggests that political contexts may impact the cross-cultural gap in persuasion explicitness, and offers implications for further research on cultural styles of political persuasion.


Sample Used Coded Data Comment
World Values SurveyOther researchersSelf-expression measurement
United Nations General Debate CorpusResearchers' ownUsed to identify and categorize speech tokens
Morden, 1999Other researchersContextual rankings
Hofstede, 2015Other researchersIndividualism vs. collectivism and uncertainty avoidance index

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