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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton 2022

Framing in American and British Governmental Discourse about Covid-19

Doris Schönefeld


The paper at hand reports on a qualitative analysis of framing effects in British and American governmental announcements on the Covid-19 pandemic made by the British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, and the then President of the USA, Donald Trump. As a pilot study for a larger project it is intended to explore the framing potential of metaphor in this particular discourse about Covid-19. The metaphorical expressions were extracted from scripted public announcements by Trump and Johnson, and were collected and analyzed for both politicians separately. The focus was on the choice of metaphors in the texts about the pandemic and the effects these can bring about in the audience, e.g., via the inferences they allow for. The commonalities and subtle differences in the politicians’ verbal usage the investigation revealed provide us with a solid basis for the analyses intended in the follow-up project.

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