Within figurative language research, tropes such as metaphor and irony have received the
greatest amount of attention, while other non-literal forms, like hyperbole, have been
relatively ignored as a result of such intensive research effort.
Although hyperbole has been, since antiquity, one of the many figures of speech discussed
within the general framework of rhetoric, the emphasis has been primarily laid on defining
and classifying this trope. In contemporary language research, the paucity of studies
addressing hyperbole is most notable, probably because in other disciplines it has been
considered a classic trope whose study belongs to that of rhetoric. Thus, no serious attention
has been paid to the study of hyperbole in the domains of linguistics, psychology, philosophy
or literary criticism. Most of the empirical work on exaggeration has involved comparisons of
frequency and use in different cultures.
This study focuses on the notion of hyperbole in political speeches, and attempts to offer itself
as a tentative contribution to the field of figurative language and political discourse analysis.
Throughout the study hyperbole will be used synonymously with exaggeration and
The present study aims at finding out how hyperbolic expressions are identified and presented
in English political discourse at linguistic and pragmatic levels.