This study has been looking for any differences in the use of first-person
pronouns between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and it has also tried to
clarify whether Hillary Clinton uses I-words more frequently than we-words.
The data has been gathered from pre-election speeches, and frequencies,
rankings and referent categories have been analyzed. The study has found that
there are some differences in the use of first-person pronouns between Hillary
Clinton and Bernie Sanders. The singular pronouns show us how they choose to
present themselves to the voter. The plural pronouns show us which referent
categories, or ingroups, the candidates identify themselves with, and if there are
any signs of what Billig calls Banal Nationalism (1995) in their speeches.
Overall, the results show that Hillary Clinton uses I-words and we-words more
frequently than Bernie Sanders does, but opposite to what some online news
sites have suggested, this study show that her frequencies of we-words are
higher than her frequencies of I-words.
Political Discourse, Personal Pronouns, Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Banal Nationalism