When facing unexpected world changes, as in the case of the current pandemic, the language system adapts to the challenge to express a new reality. How? By forging new words! Let’s find out how this happens by looking at one of the most powerful engines we can count on: our brain.
Dr. Limor Raviv was a PhD student at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics. She defended her thesis entitled ‘Language and society: How social pressures shape grammatical structure’ on May 7 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed our lives immensely. But it also transformed the way we speak. It brought to life new creative words like covidiot (someone who is foolishly reckless with respect to avoiding contracting or spreading COVID-19) and quarancation (a home-based substitute to a vacation abroad). But there are also more subtle innovations, which are no less fascinating.