NEWLY CREATED BLENDS AND COMPOUNDS IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE RELATED TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Keywords:ad hoc concept, inference, blending, compounding, Relevance Theory
This paper aims to investigate the possible interpretations of the new expressions in the English language emerging during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current pandemic and the numerous subsequent profound changes in everyday life have proved to be a fertile ground for the creation of various expressions being increasingly used to describe these different social circumstances. The corpus of the study comprises more than 50 expressions that were collected using different internet tools and platforms. Blending and compounding seem to be the dominant processes for creating the recorded neologisms. Interpretation processes of the expressions with more than one meaning were examined within the framework of the Relevance theory. Since the aim of this paper is to examine the interpretation process of expressions that have specific morphological structure (blends and compounds). Since decomposition is an important step in the interpretation of these expressions, an additional goal is imposed – the analysis of morphological processes involved in their creation. The morphological transparency of neologisms (the level or degree of identifiability of the splinters and bases) is related to our ability to interpret them in the intended way. Furthermore, the interpretation is undoubtedly easier in an appropriate/available/specific context, but this study points to the possibility of the context being as important in the interpretation of compounds (more morphologically transparent) as it is with blends (less transparent). Namely, the neologisms analyzed in this paper comprise at least two concepts and in order to arrive at the intended meaning of an expression, the hearer needs to construct an ad hoc concept, and therefore access the encyclopedic entries of the concepts utilized in creating the neologism. Choosing the correct (intended) properties from the encyclopedic entry, now featuring in a newly created concept, is strongly influenced by the context. This could be one of the reasons for the fact that numerous novel expressions in the English language have more than one meaning (hence interpretation) attested by their recorded use.
BAUER 2001: BAUER, Laurie. Morphological Productivity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2001.
BAUER 2003: BAUER, Laurie. Introducing Linguistic Morphology. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press. 2003.
CARSTON 2008: CARSTON, Robin. Thoughts and utterances: The pragmatics of explicit communication. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons. 2008.
DANILOVIĆ JEREMIĆ, JOSIJEVIĆ 2019: DANILOVIĆ JEREMIĆ, Jelena and JOSIJEVIĆ, Jelena. “The Compounds and Blends in Brand Names of Baby Products.” Nasleđe, volume 24 (2019): p. 111–124.
GRIES 2004: GRIES, Stefan. “Shouldn’t it be breakfunch? A quantative analysis of blend structure in English.” Linguistics, volume 42 (2004): p. 639–667.
GRYNIUK 2015: GRYNIUK, Dominik. “On Institutionalization and De-Institutionalization of Late 1990s Neologisms.” Within Language, Beyond Theories, volume 3 (2015): p. 149–162.
LEHRER 2003: LEHRER, Adrienne. „Understanding trendy neologisms.“ Italian Journal of Linguistics, volume 15 (2003): p. 369– 382.
LEHRER, VERES 2014: LEHRER, Adrienne and Csaba VERES. Experiments on processing lexical blends. <https://alehrer.faculty.arizona.edu/sites/alehrer.faculty.arizona.edu/files/%20Experiments%20on%20Processing%20Lexical%
Blends.doc> 02. 11. 2020.
HALUPKA REŠETAR, LALIĆ KRSTIN 2012: HALUPKA REŠETAR, Sabina and Gordana LALIĆ KRSTIN. “Razumevanje slivenica u srpskom jeziku.” Nasleđe, volume 22 (2012): p. 101–110. [orig.] ХАЛУПКА РЕШЕТАР, Сабина и
Гордана ЛАЛИЋ КРСТИН. „Разумевање сливеница у српском језику.“ Наслеђе, број 22 (2012): стр. 101–110.
MATTIELLO 2013: MATTIELLO, Elisa. Extra-grammatical morphology in English: abbreviations, blends, reduplicatives and related phenomena, Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2013.
MIŠKOVIĆ LUKOVIĆ 2015: MIŠKOVIĆ LUKOVIĆ, Mirjana. Pragmatika. Kragujevac: Filološko-umetnički fakultet. 2015.
NEWMARK 1988: NEWMARK, Peter. A Textbook of Translation. New York: Prentice- Hall International. 1988.
PLAG 2003: PLAG, Ingo. Word-formation in English. Cambridge University Press. 2003.
RAY 1995: RAY, Alain. Essays on terminology. Amsterdan/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing. 1995.
SCHÄFER 2018: SCHÄFER, Martin. The semantic transparency of English compound nouns. Berlin: Language Science Press. 2018.
SPERBER, WILSON 1986: SPERBER, Dan and Deidre WILSON. Relevance: Communication and cognition. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. 1986.
WILSON, SPERBER 2006: WILSON Deidre and Dan SPERBER. “Relevance Theory.” The Handbook of Pragmatics, (eds L.R. Horn and G. Ward, DOI:10.1002/9780470756959): p. 607-632.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Authors retain the copyright of their manuscripts, and all Open Access articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.