Collocation and Discursive Construction of Covid-19 in WHO Director General’s Discourse: A Corpus-based Study

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Baramee Kheovichai


This research investigated the discursive construction of Covid-19 in WHO director general’s discourse through the lens of corpus linguistics and critical discourse analysis. 255 speeches of the WHO director general were collected, forming a 234,149-words corpus. Collocations of ‘Covid-19’ were generated and analyzed in terms of the semantic categories and the representation of Covid-19. The results indicated that Covid-19 was discursively represented as posing severe multifaceted threats to the world. Furthermore, the discursive construction of Covid-19 was found to promote the image of WHO as an active and ethical organization. Thus, discourse was used not only for informational purposes, but it was also manipulated for self-promotion and legitimation.


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Author Biography

Baramee Kheovichai, English Department, Faculty of Arts, Silpakorn University, Thailand

A lecturer of English at the Faculty of Arts, Silpakorn University. He holds a Ph.D. in English Language and Applied Linguistics from the University of Birmingham, Areas of research interests include corpus linguistics, critical discourse analysis, metaphor, and applied linguistics.


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