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Journal of Literary Semantics

An International Review

Founded by Eaton, Trevor

Ed. by Toolan, Michael

2 Issues per year

CiteScore 2017: 0.38

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Volume 44, Issue 2


An interlingual study of the lexico-semantic field LAUGH in Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Christian F. Hempelmann
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Literature and Languages, Texas A&M University – Commerce, PO Box 3011, Commerce, TX 75428, USA
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/ Elisa Gironzetti
Published Online: 2015-10-24 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jls-2015-0008


This paper presents a series of theoretical and methodological choices against previous research and innovations for practical structuralist lexical field studies. Starting from a critical literature review of relevant work, it develops a synchronic interlingual study of the lexico-semantic field around words for laugh, smile, grin, etc. in an aligned corpus of eight translations of Kesey’s novel One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest and the English original text. Studies on paradigmatically-defined lexical fields of semantically competing words, such as the present one, have been criticized for not scaling beyond the actual field investigated. But with explicit methodological decisions and for specific domains for which aligned multilingual corpora exist they are shown to yield valuable insights. This paper reports the progress in lexical field theory, while also reviving semantic features and applying visual analytics, by way of analyzing examples from an aligned literary corpus.

Keywords: lexical field theory; Kesey; laugh; smile


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About the article

Published Online: 2015-10-24

Published in Print: 2015-09-01

Citation Information: Journal of Literary Semantics, Volume 44, Issue 2, Pages 141–167, ISSN (Online) 1613-3838, ISSN (Print) 0341-7638, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jls-2015-0008.

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