• ISSN: 2382-6282 (Print); 2972-3108 (Online)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Lang. Lit. Linguist.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jason Miin-Hwa Lim
    • Managing Editor:  Jennifer X. Zeng
    • Indexed by:   CNKI, Google Scholar, Crossref,
    • E-mail: ijlll_Editor@126.com
IJLLL 2024 Vol.10(2): 131-136
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2024.10.2.499

A Comparative Study of Chinese and American Political Speech on COVID-19 from the Perspective of Speech Act Theory

Zezong Tang and Yi Zhang*
School of Foreign Studies, Northwestern Polytechnical University, China
Email: yizhang@nwpu.edu.cn (Y.Z.)
*Corresponding author

Manuscript received October 6, 2023; revised November 17, 2023; accepted December 28, 2023; published March 15, 2024

Abstract—As crucial instruments of power, political speeches significantly impact individuals’ political lives. Utilizing Austin’s Speech Act theory as a theoretical framework, this study comparatively analyzes the initial speeches given by the presidents of China and the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to uncover the manner in which both presidents convey their political attitudes through illocutionary acts and investigate the value disparities embedded within their speech acts. The results indicate that the Chinese political address related to COVID-19 includes a greater frequency of directive and representative speech, accentuating the significance of summation and guidance while mirroring China’s status as a socialist nation that prioritizes its citizens. Conversely, the American discourse features more expressive and directive language, underlining the role of speech in modulating public emotions and articulating the speaker’s personal political agenda. This research substantiates and illustrates the practicality of employing Speech Act Theory in political discourse analysis, aiming to enlighten future research within the realm of discourse investigation.

Keywords—political discourse, speech act theory, COVID-19


Cite:Zezong Tang and Yi Zhang, "A Comparative Study of Chinese and American Political Speech on COVID-19 from the Perspective of Speech Act Theory," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 131-136, 2024.

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