A Dysphemism Behind the COVID-19 Phenomenon


This research aimed to study the types and purposes of dysphemisms in Mandarin online news platforms Guoji Ribao and Hao Bao. Ten news articles, dating from August to September 2021, were collected. The collected data were analyzed through data reduction, data presentation, conclusion drawing, and data verification. In the data analysis, the study was based on the Allan and Burridge dysphemism theory, and in describing the meaning of each dysphemism sentences, a lexical semantics approach was used. The results showed that Guoji Ribao and Hao Bao applies dysphemism in their news content and most of them are found as words inserted into sentences. Based on the findings, dysphemism is classified into three types: the use of dysphemism to address a person or a group of people, certain conditions, and certain activities. Each classified data showed different purposes. The purpose of using dysphemism is to demean a person or a group of people for the bad deeds they have committed, to demean someone of a lower position, to give negative nicknames, to give terrifying impressions to a situation, to give negative impression toward an activity and to compare two unequal things.

Keywords: dysphemism, Guoji Ribao, Hao Bao, phenomenon, COVID-19.

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