Coronaspeak as Key to Coronaculture: Studying New Cultural Practices Through Neologisms

  •  Iryna O. Alyeksyeyeva    
  •  Tetyana A. Chaiuk    
  •  Elizaveta A. Galitska    


The research explores neologisms that have entered everyday English discourse during the coronavirus pandemic and formed so-called Coronaspeak. The analysis reveals that three approaches to neologisms are applicable to lexemes of Coronaspeak: the stylistic theory that is relevant to the words that used to be scientific terms but have been adopted by non-specialists, the etymological approach that regards as neologisms those new coinages that have developed a new meaning, and the denotational approach where neologisms are the lexemes created to nominate new concepts. Drawing on the assumption that language units verbalise cultural phenomena, the further study of Coronaspeak suggests that the modern English-speaking societies undergo a number of cultural changes: medicalisation of public discourse that originates from the government policy to engage the public in the struggle against COVID-19 as well as from using the pandemic as an argument in ideological and political conflicts; conceptualisation of the pandemic as a milestone, a turning point in history; introduction of new categories for social groups based on such criteria as health, profession, or attitude to the pandemic and socially responsible behaviour (e.g., clinically vulnerable people, key workers, covadults); development of new or modification of old cultural practices that embrace lifestyle (coronacocooing, WFH, drivecation), appearance (corona hair, coronabesity), patterns of online and offline communication (homeference, video party, coronadating, Wuhan shake); reconceptualisation of pre-pandemic concepts (home), and, finally, emergence of new types of interpersonal relations (coronarelationship, corona boyfriend).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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