Four qualities of today’s people. Reflections of a linguist in the COVID-19 pandemic

We are pleased to publish the contribution of María Auxiliadora Barrios Rodríguez, linguist at the Departamento de Lengua Española y Teoría de la Literatura of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.

The contribution is Barrio’s response to the request of Maria Giulia Marini, Director of Innovation of the Health Area of ISTUD Foundation, to the linguists of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage to start a reflection to understand how to manage, from a linguistic point of view, the COVID-19 emergency and a possible communication campaign: a health literacy, therefore, that could be understood in all the languages of the world.

According to Barrio, the universality of the Natural Semantic Metalanguage makes it suitable to talk about the COVID-19 emergency, a global problem for which universal solutions are also being proposed. Barrio describes the qualities that many people are demonstrating (responsibility, freedom, dedication and hope) by defining them through primitive semantics, giving them a possible scenario that accompanies people with these qualities, concluding with advice and reflections, and summarising it all with slogans.

Anna Wierzbicka has already shared with us seven essential messages for the times we are facing. We thank María Auxiliadora Barrios Rodríguez for her contribution.

The English version of the contribution can be freely downloaded here.

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