COVID-19, Who Could Expect This! (On the “Dictionary of the Russian Language in the Coronavirus Era”)

2022. № 6, 117-128

Vladimir I. Zaika, Yaroslav-the-Wise Novgorod State University (Russia, Veliky Novgorod),
Oleg V. Nikitin, Petrozavodsk State University (Russia, Petrozavodsk),


The article analyzes the “Dictionary of the Russian language in the coronavirus era” (2021) in the aspect of studying modern sociolinguistic phenomena caused by the pandemic of 2020‒2021. The expansion of the thematic field “coronavirus infection” in the Russian language is noted due to the formation of new words and abbreviations, which represent spontaneous speech-making by native speakers. The article discusses stylistic diversity of word-formation and lexical methods of using medical terminology. The emphasis is placed on the variability and expressiveness of the “language in the coronavirus era”. The paper pays special attention to sociolinguistic experiments: the occasional use of neologisms reflecting the communicative situation; the appearance of words included in the lexicon of covid-dissidents; original paremiology and other phenomena. The authors comment on the explication of the semantics of new words and meanings in the Dictionary, the originality of the agentive lexicon and discuss the features of the linguistic picture of the world in the “pandemic discourse”. Much attention is paid to the analysis of illustrative material, methods of presentation and interpretation of occasionalisms and formula nominations. The paper points out that it is necessary to codify the unusual facts found in colloqual speech and emphasizes their influence on the literary language norm and the peculiarities of neological lexicography. The article draws a conclusion about the change in the sociolinguistic situation and the introduction of new words into the linguistic consciousness that need professional evaluation and comprehension for competent use in written and oral speech.

For citation:

Zaika V. I., Nikitin O. V. COVID-19, Who Could Expect This! (On the “Dictionary of the Russian Language in the Coronavirus Era”). Russian Speech = Russkaya Rech’. 2022. No. 6. Pp. 117–128.