In recent years, the quantity of loanwords that have been adapted from foreign languages has increased as globalization advanced. Among this process, assimilation and extinction of the words are natural phenomena that have been observed in the past and in the present. The changes produced by these process sometimes cause communication gaps among people due to the lack of understanding. This study aims to shed light on how loanwords related to the COVID-19 pandemic have been adapted and used in connection with synonymous expressions in contemporary Japanese. Firstly, COVID-19-related articles were collected from the Mainichi newspaper during the first wave of the pandemic. Secondly, loanwords were extracted by using morphological analysis. Lastly, we examined the frequency of use of the selected loanwords; we also analyzed each loanword's changing tendency by comparing the loanwords with its synonyms in native Japanese. The findings show that COVID-19-related loanwords present distinct features in each word, and they can be divided into three groups: (1) loanwords that have consistent trend and frequent usage, (2) loanwords that are replaced by native lexicon with time, and (3) loanwords that have similar usage with native lexicons. These results contribute to understanding the process of loanwords adaptation in Japanese.
Jeongsoo Lim, University of Tsukuba, Japan
This paper is part of the ACL2021 Conference Proceedings (View)
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