Original scientific paper

Tanja Brešan Ančić,; Sveučilište u Splitu, Filozofski fakultet
Petra Božanić,; Sveučilište u Splitu, Filozofski fakultet

pp. 63-86



The COVID-19 virus pandemic affected all spheres of human life, including the language in which new words, phrases and idioms appeared in response to the emerging situation. These new terms as a linguistic reflection of a pandemic are quickly becoming part of our daily vocabulary. Therefore, it is important to investigate which new words and expressions entered the active lexis of the Croatian language. Given that the media played a key role in informing the population about everyday events related to the pandemic, lexical innovations as a reflection of the corona virus on Croatian websites are analysed in this paper. The main source are website articles. This research analyses the words related to coronavirus pandemics from the word formation perspective. In other words, the aim is to determine the most frequent word formation patterns which are used while forming new words. The analysis focuses on word formation processes of neologisms related to the COVID-19 pandemic: prefixation, suffixation, compounding, blending, analogy formation, language borrowing and calques. The research results show that the most productive formation method is compounding with the component korona and the abbreviation COVID. Furthermore, analogy formation is frequently found, as well as numerous examples of language borrowing, especially in the form of literal calques. It is clear that the Croatian media discourse accepts and creates neologisms quickly, depending on communication needs, and thus impacts their application among the wider population and within public discourse in general. Although traditional formation methods such as affixation or compounding were confirmed, the research showed that the Croatian media discourse quickly accepts formation methods which are not typical for it. This reflects the speed of the impact which extralinguistic factors have in determining linguistic elements, resulting in the passivity of the Croatian linguistic system and its speakers when providing a suitable replacement.

Key Words:

COVID-19, Croatian language, Croatian websites, media discourse, neologisms, pandemics, word formation