A construção de sentido em três discursos políticos: coesão e relações retóricas


  • Fátima Oliveira
  • Fátima Silva
  • Purificação Silvano
  • António Leal
  • Luís Filipe Cunha
  • Idalina Ferreira


This paper reports the analysis of the processes of meaning construction in three speeches of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa that were produced in a short period of time, although in different contexts. These speeches reproduce genres that circulate in the domain of political discourse and, in their analysis, we make their conditions of production and their global plan explicit. In addition, the most frequent cohesion mechanisms, the rhetorical relations associated with those same mechanisms and their contribution to the textual organization and  meaning construction are identified. In general, our analysis shows that, although with different production contexts, the three speeches use to a large extent the same textualization mechanisms to ensure cohesion, with an emphasis on lexical reiteration, direct anaphor and structural parallelism. However, discourse markers, which function as cue-words for the inference of rhetorical relations, occur with an apparent low frequency. In their absence, other linguistic units/ structures provide the information needed to establish rhetorical relations. For instance, there is a connection between structural parallelism and discourse markers, as the former is more frequent when the latter are less used. Our analysis not only led to the identification of a set of rhetorical relations (at the content level and structure level) that are relevant to the construction of the text meaning, but also to the conclusion that, typically, the same rhetorical relation can rely on different mechanisms of cohesion and, conversely, the same cohesion mechanism can trigger different rhetorical relations.