Animal sounds: a human vantage point


  • Ekaterina Rakhilina Russian State University for the Humanities



Why is it that the lexicon is often shunned and ignored by linguists, or in other words, treated with disdain and generally considered to be the Ugly Duckling of the linguistic family? This paper is both an attempt to redress the balance and it is designed as a tentative, initial contribution to the study of verbs of sound. Here, the central focus is devoted to a small subsection of verbs of sound, namely to the verbs denoting animal sounds used with metaphorical reference to human beings. The paper also attempts to sketch possible situations and parameters which are relevant for human beings and which appear to be cross-linguistic universals. The discussion is for the most part focused on Russian but examples from other languages, such as English, German, Estonian, and so forth, are also included.

Author Biography

Ekaterina Rakhilina, Russian State University for the Humanities

Researcher, Russian linguistics