LIFE IN ISOLATION - A Corpus-Based Study of the Use of the Word Element Iso during the Covid-19 Pandemic

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för språk och litteraturer

Abstract: The aim of the present study is to investigate frequencies and semantic usages of the word element iso in a corpus of newspapers and magazines related to COVID-19, the so called the Coronavirus Corpus. The coronavirus pandemic has led to many new words and expressions and it is thus of interest to examine how often such neologisms are used, as well as what they might communicate semantically. This is a case study with mixed methods of both quantitative and qualitative methods. The word element iso was collected from the Coronavirus corpus and analysed by frequency in different word-formation processes and by text source. Wierzbicka’s (1986) analytical framework of derivatives was used to conduct a semantic analysis of words and expressions. The findings reveal a strong correlation of usage between newspapers and magazines. However, the most common word-formation process is compounding and the high numbers of types in this category indicate great versatility of the word element. The semantic analysis revealed that iso is mainly used when talking of mutually understood topics.

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