‘We all have a role to play’: A comparative analysis of political speech acts on the COVID19 crisis in the South Pacific: Speech acts in crisis political discourse in the South Pacific

Sky Marsen, Zakia Ali-Chand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article compares government communication on the COVID19 crisis in three countries: Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. It analyses six speeches made by each country’s leader, from March to June 2020, using speech act theory and discourse analysis. The study aimed to compare the discursive strategies used, to discuss these in relation to their respective socio-political contexts, and to examine the application of speech act theory to political crisis management, which is currently underexplored. To achieve these objectives, the research used an eclectic combination of crisis communication theory and speech act theory, examining how speech acts were used in crisis ‘base response’ strategies, such as ‘instructing’ and ‘adjusting’ information. The study found some notable differences in the degree of assertiveness, hesitation, and sympathy, which relate to differences in the political ideology of each government. It also found some similarities, especially in inclusion techniques and using media briefings as a promotional tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalCommunication Research and Practice
Volume8
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • COVID19
  • Crisis
  • discourse
  • political speeches
  • pragmatics
  • South Pacific
  • speech acts
  • strategic communication

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