The pragmatics of coronavirus: an analysis of presidential speech acts and the representation of the force

Thumbnail Image
Official URL
Full text at PDC
Publication Date
Advisors (or tutors)
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Google Scholar
Research Projects
Organizational Units
Journal Issue
Since Austin (1962) proposed his Speech Act Theory, the actions carried out by speakers in their utterances have been a central unit of study in the field of Pragmatics. One century later, humanity is facing a global pandemic and those in power transmit their citizens the undertaken measures in their official reports. Particularly, the Spanish and American (U.S.A) governments have been chosen, five speeches uttered along the global pandemic have been selected from each president. Hence, this paper examines the actions contained in the utterance of these official speeches by the government. The taxonomy provided by John Searle (1975) has been chosen as the analytical method since he provides a classification according to the different kinds of illocutionary acts that may be performed. Furthermore, the representation of the virus named as Covid-19 will be analysed in detail in order to find out how speakers position themselves in relation to it; for that purpose, the framework of Discursive Strategies regarding the representation of Social Actors (Wodak and Meyer, 2001) has been selected in order to develop the present study.