Soundscapes in English and Spanish: A corpus investigation of verb constructions

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This corpus study explores how sound events are communicated in English and Spanish. The aims are to (i) contribute production data for a better understanding of the couplings of meanings and their realizations, (ii) account for typological differences between the languages, and (iii) further the theoretical discussion of how sound is conceptualized through the window of language. We found that, while there are significant differences between the languages with respect to how sound events are communicated, they are similar with respect to what domains the sound descriptions are instantiated in, namely perception, motion, manipulation, emotion-reaction, consumption, and cognition. One striking difference has to do with the conflation of sound for action, e.g., creak, squeak, and sound for motion, e.g., slam, crash. This finding supports the received view of English as a language that may lexicalize manner in those kinds of verbs, while Spanish expresses manner through qualifiers outside the verb. Moreover, both languages employ three different perspectives on the soundscapes: Producer-, Experiencer-, and Phenomenon-based. While English favours the Producer perspective, Spanish features an even distribution between Producer and Experiencer. Phenomenon-based descriptions are relatively few in both languages.


Enheter & grupper
Externa organisationer
  • University of Castilla La Mancha

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Jämförande språkvetenskap och lingvistik


TidskriftLanguage and Cognition
StatusE-pub ahead of print - 2020 maj 26
Peer review utfördJa

Related projects

Carita Paradis & Rosario Caballero


Projekt: ForskningInternationellt samarbete

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