[Lingtyp] coronavirus and Zipf

Bornini Lahiri lahiri.bornini at gmail.com
Sat May 2 16:32:20 UTC 2020

  Dear Natalia,

In Bangla (India), it is referred to as Corona. It sounds similar to "
*koruna*" which in Bangla means "mercy". So it is often used as "*Corona
Koruna koro*": Corona please have mercy.

Corona in Bangla is homophonous with "*Koro-na"*   do-NEG. I read a joke on
Facebook which is as follows.
If you have a Bengali girlfriend and she says: "Corona". You will never
know whether she meant the virus or was she asking you not to do (it). *Not
to do it* here means not to be intimate. In both cases, you are expected to
be physically distant.

I hope you find this useful!


On Sat, May 2, 2020 at 9:15 PM tangzhengda <tangzhengda at 126.com> wrote:

> In Chinese, the counterpart is '*xin-guan *(new-crown)', abreviated from
> the full form of '*xin-xing guan-zhuang (bingdu)*' (new-type crown-shape
> (virus)) and used as a modifier either to* bingdu (*the virus) or
> directly to* feiyan* (the pneumonia, lit. lung-inflammation) caused by
> the infection of the virus. Ocassionally,* xin-guan* is used directly* as*
> the virus or even more rarely, as the pneumonia.
> Bridled by the disyllabic constraint, two syllables are expected to be
> selected from the four:* xin-xing guan-zhuang*; Finally* xin-guan* wins,
> for they are probably most 'informative' and indicative of the full form.
> By the optimal manner of discussion, *Professor Danqing LIU *had
> published an article and successfully predicted and advocated the unified
> use of* xin-guan* during the period of mixed use of other candidates,
> such as* xin-xing, guan-zhuang,* etc.
> Interestingly,* xin-guan* may* not* be able to invoke the meaning or the
> image of 'a crown', of which the lexical counterpart is the disyllabic *huang-guan
> *or *wang-guan *(emperor- or king-crown). It is because the monosyllable*
> guan *ceases to go into the lexicon.   One of the results is that quite a
> number of people mispronounce* xin55-guan55 *as *xin55-guan51*, since the
> latter morpheme, meaning 'championship, top', is more frequently employed
> for lexicalization.
> Jeremy Tang
> Institute of Linguistics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,
> No.5 Jianguomennei Dajie, Beijing, China; 100732
> At 2020-05-02 18:47:03, "Natalia Levshina" <natalevs at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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/
> 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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> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
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*Bornini Lahiri, PhD*
Assistant Professor
Department of Humanities and Social Sciences
Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
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