A Pragmatic Study of Topoi in Trump's Tweets

Pragmatics, topoi, Trump, political speech, immigration


  • Salih Mahdi Adai Al-Mamoory
    University of Babylon, College of Education for Human Sciences, English Department, Iraq
  • Abdul-Ameer Abbass University of Babylon, College of Education for Human Sciences, English Department, Iraq
May 13, 2023


Standard arguments that usually draw on the premises, which are taken for granted and adequate to accept the end, are called topoi. This strategy is closely associated with the process of rejecting immigration by American politicians. American politicians use the strategy of topoi extensively to criticize each other on the one hand and to convince public opinion and the audience of their opinions on the other hand. In particular, former US President Donald Trump employed the strategy of topoi in an unconventional and intense manner, in various ways and methods, in order to disparage, criticize, and attack his political opponents for the purposes of winning the vote in the US presidential elections. He focused his attention on the issue of immigration and the immigrants, and the negatives resulting from the mismanagement of the immigration file by his political opponents, as he made it a pretext to overthrow the opponents. To achieve this, one time, he uses speech acts; another time, he uses the implicature and another time, he uses figures of speech. All these employments are under the general name of pragmatics. In this consideration, the study tries to shed light on this strategy employed by Trump by exploring the implicit motivations behind employing it. For this purpose, the study develops an eclectic model that integrates two approaches. The first one is Searle (1979), on which the study relies on the pragmatic analysis, and the second is Reisigl and Wadak (2001), on which the study relies on the analysis of topoi as a discursive strategy.