Lexical-Semantic Representations at the Time of the Coronavirus Pandemic

  •  Daniele Franceschi    


This paper examines some cases of lexical adaptation and innovation in present-day English resulting from changed communicative needs brought about by the current coronavirus pandemic. The data analysed consists of 15 lexical items retrieved in the NOW Corpus, a web-based collection of newspapers and magazines freely accessible online. The study shows that certain already existing words and expressions tend to be used more frequently in coronavirus-related discourse than in other contexts prior to the current crisis; others appear to be undergoing a re-adaptation of their semantic range, while new ones seem to have emerged and to be making their way into dictionaries. At the same time, there are certain free-word combinations built “on the fly” whose stability is still uncertain.

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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