A corpus-based account of four Spanish verbs
This article explores synonymy and polysemy in the interaction of meaning and the elements that a verb combines with. It presents a corpus-based analysis of four Spanish verbs (tirar, lanzar, arrojar and echar) whose primary meaning is ‘to throw.’ A four-hundred sentence sample extracted from the Corpus del Español 1900s subcorpus serves as the basis for this study. Statistical tests are used to compare the verbs’ behavior across several factors: morphological markings such as mood, tense and person, the types of subjects (human versus nonhuman), the types of objects (concrete versus nonconcrete), and the interaction of subject and object in full constructions. The tests are accompanied by semantic analysis of the sample sentences. The result of the statistical and descriptive analyses is a radial categorization that highlights the types of metaphoric and metonymic extensions that each verb uses, and where and how the verbs overlap semantically.
Keywords: throw verbs, propulsion verbs, polysemy, corpus study, synonymy, Spanish, quantitative methods, radial category
Published online: 15 June 2012