THE ROLE OF CONNECTORS IN THE CO-CONSTRUCTION OF IDENTITY IMAGES: THE USE OF THE MAS IN ELECTORAL DEBATES
ABSTRACT: This study is part of a broader research whose purpose is to investigate whether the establishment of discourse relations and its marking through connectors have implications for the co-construction of identity images. Looking for additional evidence for this research and adopting contributions from the Modular Approach to Discourse Analysis, this paper studies the connector mas employed by candidates for public office in two electoral debates, one municipal and the other presidential. The objective is to verify to what extent mas, in signaling the discursive maneuvers performed by the candidates, is an important piece in the game through which they (de)construct identity images. Analysis revealed that the 55 occurrences of the connector signaled two groups of discursive maneuvers. By using the mas through which the candidate signals maneuvers of attack to the opponent (mas for hetero-attack), he tries to construct an unfavorable image of the other and a favorable one of himself. But by using the mas through which the candidate signals maneuvers in which he attacks himself (mas for self-attack), he tries to attribute to himself values such as humility and modesty, as well as anticipate future criticism from the adversary.