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Lexicographic detection and representation of Spanish neologisms in the COVID-19 pandemic

  • The syntagma gel hidroalcohólico ‘hydroalcoholic gel’ or the noun hidroalcohol ‘hydroalcohol’ cannot be found in Diccionario de la lengua española (DLE) of the Real Academia Española (‘Royal Spanish Academy’) or other general reference dictionaries of the Spanish language. This is so despite the fact that, for well over a year and to this very day, we have not been able to do anything without first sanitising our hands with this product. It is one of the many neologisms that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us, and these have become commonly used words that dictionaries should consider as candidates for future updates. By looking at the dictionarisability of these neologisms, in this work we try to set their boundaries on the continuum along which they fall. “Dictionarisability” means, in our context, the greater or lesser interest of these unities regarding the updating of general language dictionaries. At both ends of this continuum, there are surprising nonce words, as well as neologisms that have recently lost their status as such because they have now been incorporated into the dictionary. To identify different groups on the continuum of pandemic neologisms, we take into account the criteria proposed in the current literature and, by so doing, we are able to assess the extent to which they are discriminatory. This will allow us to address the neological process and to reflect on the various stages of it, from the time a neologism is born until the moment it ceases to be one because it has been dictionarised. Before that, however, we present the framework of our study and refer to the mechanisms available for detecting neologisms in general and pandemic neologisms in particular.

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Author:Pedro J. Bueno, Judit FreixaORCiDGND
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):2022/12/15
Publishing Institution:Leibniz-Institut für Deutsche Sprache (IDS)
Tag:dictionarisability; general language dictionary; pandemic neologism; reference dictionary
GND Keyword:COVID-19; Lexikografie; Neologismus; Pandemie; Spanisch; Wörterbuch
First Page:73
Last Page:92
DDC classes:400 Sprache / 400 Sprache, Linguistik
Open Access?:ja
Licence (English):License LogoCreative Commons - Attribution 4.0 International