Edited by Pascal Hohaus
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 96] 2022
► pp. 91–118
Chapter 5COVID-19 neologisms between metaphor and culture
A multilingual corpus-based study
The COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis, which affects all aspects of our lives: health, economy, education, politics, etc. Since the surge of this pandemic crisis, an explosion of new terms was perceived in all languages. The transfer of terms from specialised language into general language and vice versa commenced to occur more frequently and at a great velocity, generating metaphor based neologisms as well as cultural based neologisms. Both metaphor-based terms and culture-based terms were widely spread thanks to its great power as a didactic and cognitive tool as they facilitate the quick comprehension of complex terms.
Generally speaking, English, the lingua franca, is usually the promotor of transfer of terms amongst languages; however, during this pandemic, it is observed that not only English plays a pivotal role in the transfer of those terms between languages, but also, other languages and cultures.
In this case study, we analyse through multilingual corpus in English, Spanish and Arabic, the new terms which were inserted into those languages and their structural base. Our objective is to distinguish metaphor-based terms as well as cultural based terms which appear in the COVID-19 discourse in those languages and the adequacy of their structural formation.
We believe that the borrowing and calques were widely used to transfer terms between languages, which sometimes lead to misleading formations in some languages and cultures.
- Coining neologisms in times of COVID-19
- English corpus
- Spanish corpus
- Arabic corpus
- Step 1: Identification of metaphor and cultural based neologisms
- Step 2: Analysis of the morphological and etymological origin of the neologism
- Results and analysis
- English terms
- Analysis of English terms
- Spanish terms
- Analysis of Spanish terms
- Arabic terms
- Analysis of Arabic terms
- حظر الجمعة [ḥaẓr aljum‘ah]
- ساعة رفع الحظر [sā‘at raf‘ alḥaẓr]
- مناعة القطيع [manā‘at alqaṭy‘]
- المريض صفر [almaryḍ ṣifr]
- الفيروس التاجي المستجد [alvāyrus attājyī almustajid]