Semantic Analysis of Using X-Phemistic Expressions in Saudi Health Minister Speeches during Covid-19 Pandemic
On March 11, 2020, World Health Organization (WHO) declares Covid-19 disease as global pandemic. Accordingly, the style of linguistic or verbal communication between governments and nations has been highly affected. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate resources where X-phemistic expressions come as characteristics of the speeches of Saudi Health Minister during Covid-19 pandemic. Moreover, it examines how Warren's euphemistic strategies (1992) have appeared in the minister’s speeches. The collected data are the eight speeches delivered by Saudi Minister of Health during Covid-19 pandemic. They are analyzed qualitatively using thematic analysis (TA) approach. The results show that Saudi Health Minister manages to deliver the massages about Covid-19 crisis through applying variety of linguistic devices which sound to be euphemistic, dysphemistic, and orthophemistic representations of the pandemic. The employment of each X-phemisms choice is mainly occurred within certain thematic fields. Euphemism is used in presenting unpleasant massages, naming the health crisis, and comforting the public. Dysphemism is applied in one specific theme of describing the virus. Orthophemisms is found in themes of declaring facts about the pandemic, warning the public, and requesting to follow instructions. It is also found that implication, reversal, particularization, metonymy, and metaphors are the most frequently used euphemistic strategies among Warren model (1992). This analysis contributes to the limited examination of pandemic discourse by understanding how X-phemistic expressions and euphemistic strategies are used by Arabic speakers during international crises like Covid-19.
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