The use of onomatopoeic interjections in predicate function in Russian and other languages: A Perspective from the Corpus of Parallel Texts of the Russian National Corpus

Leena Johanna Viimaranta, Marju Vihervä

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Onomatopoeic interjections (words such as the Russian bac and tjap and their English equivalents bang and pow) are not only used to imitate sounds. Russian linguistics has long acknowledged their use in predicate function instead of verb forms (for example, bac ego po lbu 'bang (interjection) him on the forehead'), but similar use is not widely reported for other languages. Instead of using the intuition of native speakers to test the possibility of this construction in different languages, we test the usefulness of a parallel corpus for such linguistic purposes. This study uses six different bilingual corpora and the multilingual Corpus of Parallel Texts of the Russian National Corpus to investigate the possibility of such uses as well as the meaning components involved and thus explicated in the translations. We conclude that predicate function seems to be a feature very characteristic of Russian, but it occurs in other languages as well. In translations from or into Russian, where Russian uses an onomatopoeic interjection in predicate function, the other language tends to use a verb, a combination of an interjection and a verb, or finds fit to explicate the deliberately ambiguous but very expressive Russian meaning in other ways.

Original languageEnglish
JournalScando-Slavica
Volume65
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)239-262
Number of pages24
ISSN0080-6765
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 6121 Languages
  • onomatopoeia
  • interjection
  • predicate
  • Russian
  • Slavic
  • Russian National Corpus
  • parallel corpora
  • IDEOPHONES

Cite this

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title = "The use of onomatopoeic interjections in predicate function in Russian and other languages: A Perspective from the Corpus of Parallel Texts of the Russian National Corpus",
abstract = "Onomatopoeic interjections (words such as the Russian bac and tjap and their English equivalents bang and pow) are not only used to imitate sounds. Russian linguistics has long acknowledged their use in predicate function instead of verb forms (for example, bac ego po lbu 'bang (interjection) him on the forehead'), but similar use is not widely reported for other languages. Instead of using the intuition of native speakers to test the possibility of this construction in different languages, we test the usefulness of a parallel corpus for such linguistic purposes. This study uses six different bilingual corpora and the multilingual Corpus of Parallel Texts of the Russian National Corpus to investigate the possibility of such uses as well as the meaning components involved and thus explicated in the translations. We conclude that predicate function seems to be a feature very characteristic of Russian, but it occurs in other languages as well. In translations from or into Russian, where Russian uses an onomatopoeic interjection in predicate function, the other language tends to use a verb, a combination of an interjection and a verb, or finds fit to explicate the deliberately ambiguous but very expressive Russian meaning in other ways.",
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year = "2019",
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The use of onomatopoeic interjections in predicate function in Russian and other languages : A Perspective from the Corpus of Parallel Texts of the Russian National Corpus. / Viimaranta, Leena Johanna; Vihervä, Marju.

In: Scando-Slavica, Vol. 65, No. 2, 03.07.2019, p. 239-262.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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T1 - The use of onomatopoeic interjections in predicate function in Russian and other languages

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AU - Viimaranta, Leena Johanna

AU - Vihervä, Marju

PY - 2019/7/3

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N2 - Onomatopoeic interjections (words such as the Russian bac and tjap and their English equivalents bang and pow) are not only used to imitate sounds. Russian linguistics has long acknowledged their use in predicate function instead of verb forms (for example, bac ego po lbu 'bang (interjection) him on the forehead'), but similar use is not widely reported for other languages. Instead of using the intuition of native speakers to test the possibility of this construction in different languages, we test the usefulness of a parallel corpus for such linguistic purposes. This study uses six different bilingual corpora and the multilingual Corpus of Parallel Texts of the Russian National Corpus to investigate the possibility of such uses as well as the meaning components involved and thus explicated in the translations. We conclude that predicate function seems to be a feature very characteristic of Russian, but it occurs in other languages as well. In translations from or into Russian, where Russian uses an onomatopoeic interjection in predicate function, the other language tends to use a verb, a combination of an interjection and a verb, or finds fit to explicate the deliberately ambiguous but very expressive Russian meaning in other ways.

AB - Onomatopoeic interjections (words such as the Russian bac and tjap and their English equivalents bang and pow) are not only used to imitate sounds. Russian linguistics has long acknowledged their use in predicate function instead of verb forms (for example, bac ego po lbu 'bang (interjection) him on the forehead'), but similar use is not widely reported for other languages. Instead of using the intuition of native speakers to test the possibility of this construction in different languages, we test the usefulness of a parallel corpus for such linguistic purposes. This study uses six different bilingual corpora and the multilingual Corpus of Parallel Texts of the Russian National Corpus to investigate the possibility of such uses as well as the meaning components involved and thus explicated in the translations. We conclude that predicate function seems to be a feature very characteristic of Russian, but it occurs in other languages as well. In translations from or into Russian, where Russian uses an onomatopoeic interjection in predicate function, the other language tends to use a verb, a combination of an interjection and a verb, or finds fit to explicate the deliberately ambiguous but very expressive Russian meaning in other ways.

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