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German corona-related neologisms and their lexicographic representation

  • Between January 2020 and July 2021, many new words and phrases contributed to the expansion of the German vocabulary to enable communication under the new conditions that evolved during the Covid-19 pandemic. Medical and epidemiological vocabulary was integrated into the general language to a large extent. Suddenly, some lexemes from general language were used with very high frequency, while other words were used less often than before. These processes of language change can be studied in various ways, for example, in corpus linguistics with respect to the frequency or emergence of certain words in certain types of texts (e.g. press releases vs. posts in social media), in critical discourse analysis with respect to certain participants of the discourse (e.g. vocabulary of Covid-19 pandemic deniers), or in conversation analysis (e.g. with respect to new verbal interactions in greetings and farewells). The rapid expansion of vocabulary has notably affected also lexicography as a discipline of applied linguistics. This article will focus on the ways in which a German neologism dictionary project has chosen to capture and document lexicographic information in a timely manner. Both challenges and advantages arise from lexicographic practice “at the pulse of time”. The Neologismenwörterbuch is presented as an example that lends itself well to such a discussion because its subject (neologisms) is characterized as new, innovative, and constantly changing.

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Author:Annette Klosa-KückelhausORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Lexicography of coronavirus-related neologisms
Series (Serial Number):Lexicographica : series maior (163)
Publisher:de Gruyter
Place of publication:Berlin/Boston
Editor:Annette Klosa-Kückelhaus, Ilan Kernerman
Document Type:Part of a Book
Year of first Publication:2022
Date of Publication (online):2022/12/13
Publishing Institution:Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS)
GND Keyword:COVID-19; Deutsch; Lexikografie; Neologismus; Pandemie; Sprachwandel; Wortschatz; Wörterbuch
First Page:27
Last Page:42
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 430 Deutsch / 430 Deutsch
Open Access?:ja
Leibniz-Classification:Sprache, Linguistik
Program areas:L1: Lexikographie und Sprachdokumentation
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Attribution 4.0 International