New Compounds with Corona- and Covid- in Russian Language (Word-Formation and Normative Aspects)

2021. № 5, 40-54

Elizaveta S. Gromenko

Institute for Linguistic Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Russia, St. Petersburg)


The pandemic of coronavirus infection COVID-19 and the introduction of restrictive measures are the events that have led to dramatic changes in the life of society and are the cause of global stress and colossal language productivity. The uniqueness of the language situation that has developed during the pandemic is determined by the speed of language changes, that usually result from a long historical process, while the new language units of the pandemic period have undergone these transformations within one year (derivational productivity, the formation of polysemy, homonymy, etc.). The material of the language of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates variability common among complex lexemes, the reason for which may be the lack of literacy of a writer (in particular, the hyphenated spelling of complex words with a connecting -o-) or the initial possibility of the system to allow the existence of several variants. Compound words with corona- and covid- are of particular interest from the point of view of the normative aspect, demonstrating numerous material on spelling, graphic and derivational variability. Complex derivatives with the analytical adjective of the coronavirus era corona-, demonstrate the inconsistency of the spelling of about 50% of the units with the existing spelling norm, as well as in some cases the dominance of a non-normative variant in the usus or an equal number of uses of non-normative and normative variants. However, the doublet group of derivatives with the ковид- (covid-) component, follows the existing norm. The model of addition with the connecting -o- along with functioning comparable names with the analytical adjective corona ..., written together and/or with a hyphen, is present in 30% of cases, some of which are correspond to the usus.

For citation:

Gromenko E. S. New Compounds with Corona- and Covid- in Russian Language (Word-Formation and Normative Aspects). Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2021. No. 5. Pp. 40–54. DOI: 10.31857/S013161170017238-0.


The study was supported by a grant from the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, project 19-012-00494 “Lexical-semantic neology in the Russian language of the early XXI century”.