Cueing and construing dialogue in English and Spanish

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


This study explores the ways in which English and Spanish direct speech is portrayed through the verbs in Speech Framing Expressions (SFEs) introducing dialogues. The descriptive purpose is to identify what verb meanings are used to cue direct speech in SFEs, what lexical resources there are to express these meanings, how the meanings are lexicalized and how rich the vocabularies are. Five main semantic categories of verbs are identified: SPEECH ACTIVITY, PERCEPTION, COGNITION and EMOTION. It shows that the Spanish data feature a much more varied repertoire than the English data, and it makes more use of verbs related to the domains of thinking and reasoning, while the physical domain is the preferred focus of English. Theoretically, the study is a contribution to the debate about general typological differences in the semantics of verbs in Germanic and Romance languages. We can conclude that even though both languages have the same types of lexical resources available, their various ways of describing direct speech differ substantially. Semantically speaking, Spanish verbs are richer and more elaborate and, contrary to the received view from motion research, Spanish manner meanings play an important role in the lexicalization of many of its verbs.


External organisations
  • University of Castilla La Mancha
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Specific Languages
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Oct 26
Publication categoryResearch
EventAELCO, Congreso Internacional, 2016 - Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain
Duration: 2016 Oct 262016 Oct 28
Conference number: 10


ConferenceAELCO, Congreso Internacional, 2016
Internet address

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