Discursive Dimensions of Deceptive Communication: A Framework for Practical Analysis

John H Powers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter proposes a framework of concepts and principles for analyzing deceptive discursive practices that can occur at four different levels of language: (a) lexical, (b) propositional, (c) speech act, and (d) macrosemantic. Under these four discursive levels, 21 different major types of potentially deceptive practices are identified. In each section, a small number of general theoretical principles are introduced in order to provide an explanation for how the different forms of deception work in actual practice. Under several of the major categories of discursive practices, subordinate forms of deceptive discourse are further identified. The chapter is intended to provide a taxonomy of types of deceptive discourse that may be used to analyze deception in interpersonal, group, and public levels of routine communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Deceptive Communication
EditorsTony Docan-Morgan
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic)9783319963341
ISBN (Print)9783319963334
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2019

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Psychology(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Deceptive discourse
  • Categorical labels
  • Abstraction levels
  • Reference
  • Predication
  • Presupposition
  • Speech act
  • Cooperative principle
  • Implicature
  • Description
  • Taxonomy
  • Narrative
  • Warrant


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