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Saying, talking and telling: Basic verbal communication verbs in Swedish and English
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology. (Lingvistik)
2017 (English)In: Cross-linguistic Correspondences: From lexis to genre / [ed] Thomas Egan and Hildegunn Dirdal, Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2017, 1, p. 37-74Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study compares the major Verbal Communication Verbs (VCVs) in English say, tell, speak and talk with their Swedish correspondents säga, berätta, tala and prata. The analysis is based on data from the English Swedish Parallel Corpus. The semantic and functional description of the verbs is based on the theory of semantic frames and on speech act theory. The verbs are used primarily to report speech, but say and tell and Swedish säga are used also metalinguistically as a commentary on the current discourse as it unfolds. In English, talk and speak turn out to have a wide range of uses that are divided up in a different way in Swedish, whereas tala has many language-specific uses in Swedish. Tell has two major semantic correspondents in Swedish, berätta, which is used to report acomplex sequence of events or facts, and the particle verb tala om, which tends to report a single fact. However, tell has a rather general meaning and the most frequent translation is actually säga ‘say’. That tell lacks a direct equivalent inSwedish also explains why tell turns out to be significantly underrepresented in English texts that are translated from Swedish in comparison to original English texts. Genre-based differences are also discussed. For example, not only are say and säga much more frequent in fiction than in non-fiction, but the uses are also distributed differently.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company, 2017, 1. p. 37-74
Series
Studies in Language Companion Series (SLCS), ISSN 0165-7763 ; 191
Keywords [en]
contrastive studies, lexical semantics, verbal communication, Swedish, English
National Category
Humanities and the Arts
Research subject
Linguistics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-337437ISBN: 9789027259561 (print)ISBN: 9789027264725 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-337437DiVA, id: diva2:1169482
Available from: 2017-12-27 Created: 2017-12-27 Last updated: 2017-12-27

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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  • fi-FI
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  • nn-NB
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Output format
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  • asciidoc
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