Social Distancing, Community Quarantine and Bullets: A Critical Discourse Analysis of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s Speeches on the War against COVID-19 Pandemic
Keywords:critical discourse analysis, transitivity system, COVID-19, social distancing, community quarantine
Purpose: Language is essential in creating ideologies and power as a means of delivering a politician’s agenda. Building such power, this study explored the transitivity processes and how they constructed ideological frame used in the first seven speeches of the Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on the precautionary measures of the government during the COVID-19 crisis.
Approach/Methodology/Design: Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were applied in this study. The corpus of the study was downloaded from the website of the Presidential Communications Operations Office of the Philippine government. These consist of his first seven (7) public speeches and addresses with the 15,749 total number of words.
Findings: Guided by Halliday and Matthiessen’s (2004; 2014) transitivity system, it was revealed that Duterte has a total 1,371 processes with a preponderance use of material, relational, and mental processes showing that the president’s concrete action, clarity of description and emotional appeal effectively delivered his agenda as a political leader in order to win the present crisis. These resulted in building a connection with his audience in presenting specific guidelines in addressing the health-related issues including social distancing, community and home quarantine, government assistance, public support and a number of warnings. Likewise, the result shows that language certainly serves as a tool in shaping philosophical foundations to serve both the speaker and the listeners in achieving their goals.
Practical Implications: Presenting a discourse analysis of presidential speeches in a time of crisis, COVID-19.
Originality/value: Public discourses on the precautionary measures of the government in fighting COVID-19 prove that Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s Speeches power, ideologies and policies are constructed and delivered through transitivity system of Halliday and Matthiessen.
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