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Phonosymbolic elements such as ideophones and interjections test the translator’s ability in various ways. These forms would, in theory, require a complete change of form and substance of the source text but this has not always been possible because of graphical, cultural and linguistic reasons, and this led, in certain cases, to a foreignized target-text environment. Recent research has started to consider the relationship between verbal and visual modes as beneficial and not just as a mere constraint for the translator. This research aims to align itself with this approach in order to analyze how verbal and visual modes in Disney comic books have come together to welcome sound symbolic forms and how translators have dealt with them in Italian Disney comics, in particular. In order to clarify the behavior, function, translation and use of expressive sound symbolic devices in Italian Disney comics, this article will offer a diachronic analysis of these strategies as found in a diachronic bidirectional corpus compiled through extensive archival research.


In this article I discuss the issues and challenges of compiling a corpus of historical plays by a range of playwrights that is highly suitable for use in comparative, corpus-based research into language style in Shakespeare’s plays. In discussing sources for digitised historical play-texts and criteria for making a selection for the present study, I argue that not just any set of Early Modern English plays constitutes a suitable basis upon which to make reliable claims about language style in Shakespeare’s plays relative to those of his peers. I point out factors outside of authorial choice which potentially have bearing on language style, such as sub-genre features and change over time. I also highlight some particular difficulties in compiling a corpus of historical texts, notably dating and spelling variation, and I explain how these were addressed. The corpus detailed in this article extends the prospects for investigating Shakespeare’s language style by providing a context into which it can be set and, as I indicate, is a valuable new publicly accessible resource for future research.