Why suave movimiento isn’t ‘smooth movement’
A corpus comparison of polysemous adjectives in English and Spanish
Spanish suave is sometimes translated as English smooth or soft. In cluster analyses of data from the British National Corpus and the Corpus del Español, senses of suave are found to align in some ways with smooth, in other respects with soft, and sometimes with neither adjective. For instance, the ‘quiet’ sense of soft in soft noise is related to the ‘gentle’ sense in soft caress. The ‘quiet’ sense of suave is similarly related to a ‘gentle’ sense. On the other hand, both smooth election and suave transición ‘suave transition’ indicate an easy process, but smooth in smooth election clusters with the sense in smooth motion, whereas suave in suave transición clusters with the sense in suave velo ‘suave veil’. That is, a smooth election is ‘easy’ in the manner of an unobstructed motion, whereas a suave transición is ‘easy’ to deal with, like a lightweight burden.
Keywords: clustering, Behavioural Profiles, English/Spanish, collocation, polysemy
Published online: 10 March 2016
Cited by 1 other publications
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