The Power of Implicature in Addressing Covid19 as a Global Pandemic


  • Ajyal M. Hassan The Higher Academy of Scientific and Human Studies
  • Assist. Prof. Ali Sabah Jameel (Ph.D) University of Anbar, College of Arts



Covid19, South Africa, Nigeria, Grice’s maxims, Brown and Levinson, Off-record


Since Covid19 is a contagious virus when infected, patients should follow the recommended instructions and precautions, the first was to stay isolated from the community as much as possible. (Public Health Agency of Sweden, 2020. Although social distancing has effectively resulted in slowing the virus’s spread, there are enormous challenges posed to societies to convince the public, especially in democratic countries, to stay-at-home at the essential outbreak (Engle et al. 2020; Fowler et al. 2020; Bilgin 2020; Abouk and Heydari 2020; Hale et al. 2020; Studdert and Hall 2020; Gostin and Hodge 2020). This study investigates the implied meanings in the speeches declaring COVID-19 a global pandemic and shedding light on associated ambiguity and implied meaning.

To what extent was the hidden meaning in line with the strength and ambiguity of the Covid-19 epidemic? For the pragmatic analysis, which is qualitative and quantitative, the model is: flouting Grice’s maxims (1975) utilizing the off-record strategies of politeness by Brown and Levinson (1978, 1987), and the data understudy were two political speeches which were: The South African President Ramasopha and the Nigerian President Buharispeeches addressing Covid19 as a global pandemic.  The results reveal the connection between implicature and many other factors that contribute to its existence and which are included in the context.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

  • Ajyal M. Hassan, The Higher Academy of Scientific and Human Studies

    Graduate student

  • Assist. Prof. Ali Sabah Jameel (Ph.D), University of Anbar, College of Arts

    Assistant Professor with a PhD in English Language, Research Supervisor


Abouk, R., & Heydari, B. (2020). The immediate effect of COVID-19 policies on social distancing behavior in the United States. Available at SSRN

Bilgin, N. M. (2020). Tracking COVID-19 spread in Italy with mobility data. Available at SSRN 3585921

Brown, P. & Levinson, S. ([1978] 1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Chaer, A. (2010) Kesantunan Berbahasa. Jakarta: Rineka Cipta

Coulthard, M. (1985) Introduction to Discourse Analysis (2nd ed) London: Longman

Engle, S., Stromme, J., & Zhou, A. (2020). Staying at Home: Mobility Effects of COVID-19. Available at SSRN

Fowler, J. H., Hill, S. J., Obradovich, N., & Levin, R. (2020). The Effect of Stay-at-Home Orders on COVID-19 Cases and Fatalities in the United States. medRxiv.

Gostin, L. O., & Hodge, J. G. (2020). US emergency legal responses to novel coronavirus: Balancing public health and civil liberties. JAMA, 323(12), 1131–1132

Grice, H. Paul (1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & J. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and Semantics, Vol. 3. Speech Acts (pp. 41-58). New York: Academic Press.

Grice, H. Paul (1989). Studies in the way of words. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hale, T., Petherick, A., Phillips, T., & Webster, S. (2020).’Variation in government responses to COVID-19. Blavatnik school of government working paper, 31, 2020-11.

Lakoff, R. (1989). ‘The limits of politeness: Therapeutic and courtroom discourse’. Multilingual-Journal of Cross-Cultural and Interlanguage Communication, 8(2-3), 101-130

Levinson, C. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Marbun, Dumaris E. Silalahi, and Herman Herman (2021) . Telling People to Change Their Behaviour Through Implications: An Implicature Analysis on Covid-19 Public Service Announcements in Indonesia. Elsya: Journal of English Language Studies. Vol. 3, No. 3, October 2021, pp. 215-224

Available online at:

Norwanto (2006) ‘A study cooperative principle in Indonesian political language’, Kajian Linguistik dan Sastra, 18(35), pp. 127–135

Sinaga, A. G. H., Syahrial, S., & Hati, G. M. (2020). Students’ Speaking Anxiety in English Class. Jadila: Journal of Development and Innovation in Language and Literature Education, 1(1), 44–56.

Studdert, D. M., & Hall, M. A. (2020). Disease control, civil liberties, and mass testing–calibrating restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic. New England Journal of Medicine, 383(2), 102–104.

Thao, N. V., & Herman. (2020). An analysis of deixis to song lyrics “My Heart Will Go on” by Celine Dion. Communication and Linguistics Studies, 6(2), 23-26. DOI: 10.11648/j.cls.20200602.12






English linguistics and literature

How to Cite

The Power of Implicature in Addressing Covid19 as a Global Pandemic. (2023). Al-Adab Journal, 145, 29-42.

Publication Dates

Similar Articles

1-10 of 83

You may also start an advanced similarity search for this article.