Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level, According To Study


From Lincoln’sfamous fourscore and seven years ago to Roosevelt’siconic line the only thing to fear is fear itself, the White House has been inhabited by some pretty eloquent orators over the centuries. However, the present crop of presidential hopeful appear to fall well below the mark set by some of their predecessors, according to a new examine thatsuggests that the linguistic intricacy used in campaign speeches is comparable to the reading level of a middle school student( grades 6 to 8, coveringages 11 to 14 ).

To conduct the study, researchers from the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University analyzed transcripts of recent speeches by five presidential candidates, and used a readability model to assess their lexical contents and grammatical structure. According to the sophistication of the vocabulary and syntactic organization of these address, the researchers were able to ascribe each speech a reading level corresponding to a particular grade within the American education system.

Assessing the proclamation of candidacy speeches made by Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz, such studies authors found that Clinton and Trump use the least advanced vocabulary, comparable to a grade 8 level, while Sanders utilized the most complex nomenclature, speaking at a grade 10 to grade 11 standard. Grammatically, Trumps address was the most basic, with a linguistic structure similar to what one would expect from a grade 5 student.

Although Clintons choice of words was among the most rudimentary during her proclamation of candidacy, she was also found to have the highest level of standard deviation, which exposes the degree to which candidates change their vocabulary between speeches. This flexibility may indicate a higher capacity to tailor the linguistic intricacy of her discourse in accordance with her changing audiences.

The study authors also compared the lexical intricacy of present nominees with a selection of past presidentsand found that, on the whole, Ronald Reagan use the most advanced words while Donald Trumps vocabulary was the least developed. Grammatically, Lincolns addresses were the most sophisticated, reaching a grade 11 level, while George W. Bushs speeches were the most primitive.

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