[Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf

Daniel W. Hieber dwhieb at gmail.com
Mon May 4 20:02:10 EDT 2020


The clipping rona has been popular in younger circles, and interestingly has even been anthropomorphized as Miss Rona. A quick Twitter search yields some examples:

https://twitter.com/search?q=miss%20rona&src=typed_query

I’ve noticed that this anthropomorphized use seems to be socially indexed to black, gay, and drag subcultures, as the Twitter examples evidence.

Daniel W. Hieber
Ph.D. Candidate in Linguistics
University of California, Santa Barbara
danielhieber.com<https://danielhieber.com>

From: Bill Palmer<mailto:bill.palmer at newcastle.edu.au>
Sent: Monday, May 4, 2020 6:45 PM
To: Felicity Meakins<mailto:f.meakins at uq.edu.au>; lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf

Ditto Felicity’s comment. I have never heard “rona”. And I’ve had plenty of opportunity – people talk of little else these days!

Best
Bill

Bill Palmer
Director
Endangered Languages Documentation,
      Theory and Application Research Program
      The University of Newcastle
Vice-President, Australian Linguistics Society

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org> On Behalf Of Felicity Meakins
Sent: Tuesday, 5 May 2020 9:22 AM
To: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf

I must move in different circles in Oz. I haven’t heard the truncation “rona”. Even as a happy consumer of broadcast and social media!

From: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>> on behalf of Peter Bakker <linpb at cc.au.dk<mailto:linpb at cc.au.dk>>
Date: Saturday, 2 May 2020 at 9:18 pm
To: Natalia Levshina <natalevs at gmail.com<mailto:natalevs at gmail.com>>, "lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>" <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>>
Subject: Re: [Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf

In Australian English, corona is being clipped to 'rona. That's what Aussies do...

Tony Thorne (London) has an almost encyclopaedic overview of corona terminology on his website:

https://language-and-innovation.com<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Flanguage-and-innovation.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112028053&sdata=bgbYDoY21NeVoCfyZr2F3OhmJdVn%2BF%2F3e2KUho%2BEo9I%3D&reserved=0>
[Image removed by sender.]<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Flanguage-and-innovation.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112038040&sdata=a90swdCqVdpAOOAqQtdPK9T6gliTi37Ab29YfmKr%2By8%3D&reserved=0>
tony thorne | language and innovation<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Flanguage-and-innovation.com%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112048037&sdata=zkJ2hjDQoF4S95ncYnnZkxFIaAITMBL4mq9AkqQXG0w%3D&reserved=0>
The second part of my Lockdown Lexicon, Covidictionary, Glossary of Coronacoinages. In trying to make sense of our new circumstances, under lockdown, in social isolation or distancing, we must come to terms with an array of new language, some of it unfamiliar and difficult to process, some pre-existing but deployed in new ways.Many of us, though, are empowering ourselves by inventing and ...
language-and-innovation.com

mostly from English.

There is also a less serious Covidictionary here:

http://www.lingoblog.dk/en/covidictionary-your-go-to-dictionary-in-times-of-coronavirus-and-covid-19/<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lingoblog.dk%2Fen%2Fcovidictionary-your-go-to-dictionary-in-times-of-coronavirus-and-covid-19%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112058033&sdata=VhLor7UrarFuBblFSGk07BEMZml5DJOPEp6ZnDAmX0Y%3D&reserved=0>


[Image removed by sender.]<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lingoblog.dk%2Fen%2Fcovidictionary-your-go-to-dictionary-in-times-of-coronavirus-and-covid-19%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112068038&sdata=rPuEReAE4LampCuHdJWKimY3H0OAuBowuaC2FNknfOg%3D&reserved=0>
COVIDictionary. Your go-to dictionary in times of Coronavirus and COVID-19 – Lingoblog<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lingoblog.dk%2Fen%2Fcovidictionary-your-go-to-dictionary-in-times-of-coronavirus-and-covid-19%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112078023&sdata=Rr5%2B%2F%2FFATRVaACc7jWTggzAovNzDefH4Wnbt0KpMdA8%3D&reserved=0>
Lingoblog.dk goes viral! Ideas worth spreading! Please send this link: all your isolated friends, relatives and colleagues who can be uplifted by some COVID-19 humor. COVIDictionary 20: your go-to …
www.lingoblog.dk<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lingoblog.dk%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112088024&sdata=ee6cqj7CI1dYV%2BkZZxiuthSlUG%2FKBPcarMHXJtO3QJA%3D&reserved=0>

Peter Bakker


Fra: Lingtyp <lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp-bounces at listserv.linguistlist.org>> på vegne af Natalia Levshina <natalevs at gmail.com<mailto:natalevs at gmail.com>>
Sendt: 2. maj 2020 12:47
Til: lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org> <lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org<mailto:lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org>>
Emne: [Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf

Dear colleagues,

I'm writing an informal blog post about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on language, with a focus on Zipf's correlation between frequency and word/expression length. For example, the clipping corona (from coronavirus) is becoming increasingly popular in English: https://public.oed.com/blog/corpus-analysis-of-the-language-of-covid-19/<https://eur02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fpublic.oed.com%2Fblog%2Fcorpus-analysis-of-the-language-of-covid-19%2F&data=02%7C01%7C%7C5d7df842854143c0ba1608d7f0852e2e%7C84df9e7fe9f640afb435aaaaaaaaaaaa%7C1%7C0%7C637242327112098013&sdata=OjZOcpfPoFMn8YeF4yYTs4NLclBclhYX%2BrajzPbDMeg%3D&reserved=0>
I also have some data from Dutch, German, Russian and Polish. I'm wondering how other languages behave in that respect. In particular,

1) Is there a shorter form for coronavirus, like corona? Can it only refer to the virus, or also to the pandemic and the disease?
2) If there is such a form, is it used widely or occasionally (e.g. humorously/creatively/in quotes)? For example, in Russian koronavirus is the preferred form because korona means 'a crown'. There's an untranslatable Russian joke, Prince Charles finally got a crown (korona), but it was the wrong one.
3) Is there a popular everyday (i.e. non-astronomic) meaning of the word that corresponds to corona in that language (e.g. a crown, like in Russian)?


4) Also, are there any other abbreviations or substitutions (e.g. the use of a shorter formally unrelated word, like car instead of automobile) related to the pandemic you have observed?

I promise to post a summary if I get enough interesting data.

Many thanks and stay corona(virus)-free!

Natalia Levshina

--
Natalia Levshina
Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics
Wundtlaan 1, 6525 XD Nijmegen
The Netherlands



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