This study provides empirical evidence for the predictions of genre theorists concerning two genres of political speech: inaugural addresses and state addresses (state of the union and state of the city speeches). Using a combination of computer-aided textual analysis and regression analysis, we analyzed 132 speeches from US presidents and NYC mayors to see whether nine dependent variables varied according to genre. The results of our regressions indicated significant differences between the genres: inaugural addresses are more inspirational and unifying than state speeches and state speeches use more policy-related language and language concerned with the past than inaugurals. This paper was presented at the NYSCA Conference in October, 2017.

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