Dr. Lisa KuriscakSabbatical Presentation
Pragmatic and Lexical Innovation in Spain during the Covid-19 Pandemic
When: Monday, Nov 29thTime: 4:00 - 5:00pmZoom link: https://bsu.zoom.us/j/97494392890
Pragmatics, as the study of language in social interaction, can shed light on cultural changes that include speakers’ linguistic patterns, attitudes, and gestural practices. Following a year of data collection and analysis in Spain, I share insights from my study, which focuses on how speakers of Spanish talk about their pandemic experiences, utilize lexical innovation (neologisms and metaphors), and engage in speech acts that have been especially modified due to virus-related safety precautions (e.g., greetings). The oral and written data, collected via WhatsApp and online surveys, come from 160 native speakers in various cities across Spain. Following the common thread of reactions to change, the study describes how people have processed pandemic-related changes on multiple levels—verbal, emotional/attitudinal, and gestural/physical. Through analyses of how they refer to the virus and describe their pandemic experiences, articulate their personal Covid protocols, and navigate the speech act of greeting, this study offers a window onto linguistic and cultural changes in Spain. The findings speak not only to the language-culture interface in Spain but may also offer insight into pragmatic strategies in other language-cultural contexts.