Ausgabe 90/2021 - Abstracts


Corona-Diskurse in und über Österreich

Hg. v. Lars Bülow, Anne Diehr, Daniel Pfurtscheller & Sebastian Thome

Die Ausgabe 88/2021 der WLG steht als vollständiges Heft (PDF) oder in Form der einzelnen Beiträge (s.u.) zur Verfügung.


Lars Bülow/Anne Diehr/Daniel Pfurtscheller/Sebastian Thome

Einführung in das Themenheft.


Vom Fahren bei schlechter Sicht, Beschleunigen, Abbremsen und Stillstehen auf dem Pannenstreifen – Beobachtungen zur Leitmetapher der Automobilität im österreichischen Mediendiskurs über die Covid-19-Krise

Martin Reisigl

The explorative Critical Discourse Study deals with the conceptual metaphor of automobility in the discourse on the Covid 19 crisis. It focuses on Austrian discourse fragments from the press and television. The car metaphor seems to be productive for four reasons: (1) It is habitually a prominent collective symbol in everyday language use. (2) It illustrates complex causal relationships in a simple way. (3) It helps to warn of dangers and negative developments. (4) The metaphor is also obvious because the excessive global traffic is a cause of the pandemic. Thus, it is important to show the common roots of the pandemic and the mobility crisis. The connection is based on the global capitalist system. As long as this inherent link of the crises is not adequately reflected and addressed in public discourses, collective learning processes moving towards more sustainable lifestyles and economy are difficult.

Schlagwörter: Kritische Diskursanalyse, Ökolinguistik, Covid-19-Krise, Autometapher, Argumentation


(In-)Transparenz in der politischen Kommunikation der österreichischen Bundesregierung in ausgewählten Pressekonferenzen zur Corona-Ampel

Anne Diehr/Rita Stiglbauer

Transparency in the sense of a comprehensible, consistent and clear communication of all relevant information on an issue is considered an ideal of political communication, which is also repeatedly propagated by political actors. In this paper, we examine the political communication of the Austrian Federal Government in the context of the Corona discourse with regard to linguistic means of transparent or non-transparent communication. The text corpus consists of transcribed media conferences (i.e. the press statements and the subsequent question parts by journalists) which took place in the course of the introduction of the so-called »Corona-Ampel« in September 2020. Our proposed operationalization of the notion of transparency shows possibilities for a discourse-linguistic analysis of linguistic means for transparent or non-transparent communication.

Schlagwörter: Transparenz, Intransparenz, Politische Kommunikation, Diskurslinguistik


Virale Räume und Zeitschichten des Umbruchs. Eine exemplarische Analyse von Raum-Zeit-Konstruktionen zum ›zweiten Lockdown‹ auf

Christian Bendl

This article focusses on spatial and temporal features in the reporting of the so called ›second lockdown‹ in 2020 in Austria at the online plattform (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation). Space and time, in their discursive forms, are tightly bound to the dynamic construction of ›society‹. Exemplarily highlighted contextualizations show that values (ideologies) of control, regulation and emotion are placed in public discourses via spatial and temporal features. The main actors are politicians and some experts with overall the same positioning towards the virus, whereas other voices get negative values or are simply not heard.

Schlagwörter: Diskurslinguistik, Linguistische Raumanalyse, Raum-Zeit, Historizität, Massenmedien


Diskreditierung in der Krise. Rhetorische Angriffe auf die Vertrauenswürdigkeit der österreichischen Regierung

Dinah K. Leschzyk

Even though the corona discourse emerged just in 2020 it addresses a question that has always been crucial in political communication: Who is trustworthy and who is not. This article deals with rhetorical techniques applied by former Austrian Vice-chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache to undermine the credibility of the government during COVID-19-pandemic. The analysis is based on Facebook posts published through the politician’s official account during the first year of the pandemic. Strache, who is not in charge during the crisis, attacks the government, claiming it is spreading panic and misinformation to manipulate the population. The linguistic analysis will be led by the key concepts trustworthiness, credibility and trust, operationalized on a theoretical background.

Schlagwörter: Corona-Diskurs, Krisenkommunikation, Strache, Glaubwürdigkeit, Vertrauen


Zeichen der Zeitenwende. Astrologische Sinnkonstruktion vor und während COVID-19

Heike Ortner

The article illustrates the sense-making concerning COVID-19 in videos by Austrian personalities in the field of astrology. First, theoretical foundations of the analysis, the design of the material and multimodal discourseanalysis are described. The empirical part is divided into three sections: 1) the classification of different types of accounts used to explain the pandemic; 2) the exemplification of strategies to establish epistemic and deontic stance and authority; 3) the breakdown of concepts built by the astrologers. The causes of the pandemic are clear-cut: planetary constellations around the year 2020. The astrologers show little doubt about the validity of their claims yet open up a broad range of interpretations. The concepts frame the pandemic as a challenge and as a chance to change the trajectory of the human fate. The virus itself and its threat to health are hardly picked up as a topic of discourse.

Schlagwörter: Diskursanalyse, COVID-19, Astrologie, epistemische Autorität, Begründen, Konzeptualisierungen


»Wir sind für euch da. #gemeinsamschaffenwirdas«. Flugblätter-Narrative und Social-Media-Kommunikation des Lebensmittelhandels während des ersten COVID-19-Lockdowns in Österreich

Lisa Krammer

The article aims to describe how six Austrian retail grocery companies publicly responded to the COVID 19 pandemic via leaflets and Instagram postings. The study corpus includes 68 leaflets and 443 Instagram postings from the respective companies. Data material covers a period from early March to early May 2020, which corresponds to the duration of the first lockdown in Austria (from mid-April on, restrictions were slowly lifted). From a discourse and media linguistic perspective, textual and graphical communication, an increasing use of hashtags signifying solidarity (#togetherforoneanother, #Austriastandsstogether) and the temporaldistribution of pandemic-related themes are examined. While the companies explicitly address the pandemic at the beginning of the lockdown (16th March 2020) via Instagram postings, reference to the pandemic in leaflets starts at the beginning of April. Regarding lexis, an increasing number of (inclusive) lexemes such as “together” and “we” can be observed, as well as an accumulation of expressions of gratitude (to employees, suppliers, customers) from retail grocery companies. Hashtags and icons like open hands or hearts are not only used via Instagram postings, but also in printed leaflets.

Schlagwörter: COVID-19-Pandemie, Diskursanalyse, Werbung, Lebensmittelhandel, Soziale Medien


Corona is here! Zeichen der Pandemie in der Wiener Stadtlandschaft. Eine diskursanalytische Skizze

Nadja Kerschhofer-Puhalo

This article investigates how the COVID-19 pandemic becomes visible in the urban landscape of Vienna in public or commercial signage, posters, graffiti, stickers, and others. I argue that these signs are part of a pandemic inter-discourse (Link 2018). Linking specialised discourses about the virus and its effects with aspects of daily life, they contribute to the discursive construction of knowledge about the virus and the pandemic crisis. Using elements of linguistic landscape studies and visual ethnography, social semiotics, and geosemiotics, I present a thematic-chronological reconstruction of discourses visible in public signage from a corpus of pandemic signs collected in Vienna from March 2020 to June 2021. Besides an abundance of regulative messages (e.g. about masks, physical distance, closure of facilities), pandemic signs refer to discourses on crisis, solidarity and sustainability, scepticism and protest, the role of social and cultural institutions, family violence, social isolation and vague notions of time. Changes in the urban interaction order due to physical distancing and new forms of transgressive practices and grassroots signs develop.

Schlagwörter: Linguistic Landscape, Diskursanalyse, Raum, Interdiskurs, Wissen, Multimodalität, Sozialsemiotik, Geosemiotik, Graffiti, Street Art, Werbung


Geht Österreich in ›Karantäne‹ oder ›Kwarantäne‹? Ergebnisse einer Umfrage

Barbara Soukup

On the basis of a large-scale online survey carried out during Austria’s ‘first lockdown’ in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, this article discusses variation in pronunciation of the word Quarantäne (‘quarantine’) in standard Austrian German, focusing on the variants [k-] vs. [kv-] in the onset. Results show a clear societal preference for [k-], while also exhibiting a pattern of intergenerational variation whereby young speakers predominantly indicate their preference for [k-] and older speakers for [kv-]. Survey findings are contextualized with a content-based analysis of societal discourses from an online forum discussion centering on the issue, which show considerable polarization as well as no awareness of the intergenerational pattern. The study outcome is related to issues of codification (notably pertaining to the Österreichisches Wörterbuch) as well as general variationist sociolinguistic theorizing, especially Labov’s indicator-marker-stereotype taxonomy and its implications.

Schlagwörter: Soziolinguistik, Variation, Aussprache, Standarddeutsch, Österreich